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Electronic Arts establishes a new EA Sports studio in Austin

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EA Sports is expanding. The money-printing division of top video game publisher Electronic Arts, the one behind popular annually releasing franchises like Madden and Tiger Woods, revealed at a press conference last week that it is opening up a new studio in Austin, Tex. that will bring 300 new jobs into the company. State governor Rick Perry appeared with publisher executives at BioWare’s Austin office to announce the news.

EA Games president Frank Gibeau and EA Sports COO Daryl Holt sat down with GameSpot to chat about the new studio shortly after it was announced. The bit that most of you will be interested in — what EA Sports Austin is working on first — gets some discussion, but nothing concrete is revealed.

“We do want it to start with HD platform development to make sure we’ve got the skills necessary to deal with things like an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 development, but really the sky’s the limit,” Holt explained. “We can look at anything in our current title plan, pieces of it. I don’t think we’re going to move core franchises right now to start with, if ever. We’ve got new IP in development as well. There are lots of different opportunities.” He goes on to state that Austin’s primary goal will be “building games and franchises.”

The thing is, there aren’t too many sports that EA Sports hasn’t tapped into. Is there space in the video game world for a curling franchise? Let’s all hope so. That would be sweet in a Zen sort of way.

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