Electronic Arts creates new 300 jobs
Gaming company Electronic Arts (EA) is to create 300 new jobs as part of an expansion of its European customer service and operations centre in Galway.
EA chief operations officer Peter Moore said the company, one of the largest in the games industry, was attracted to Galway because of its mix of technology infrastructure, the availability of talented staff and the lifestyle.
He said Ireland’s corporation tax was “important” and was “one of the things you look at”.
"A lot of countries were putting very attractive packages in front of” the company but it believed in Ireland and Galway in particular, he said. The company received “great support from the Government with some of the tax packages,” he said.
Recruitment for jobs would start immediately and there was “no time limit” for when the 300 posts would be filled, he said.
Among the skills being sough are linguistic - English, French German Italian and Spanish - customer relations, technical training, community managers, analysts, econometrics.
The 300 jobs in Galway will provide “global support” for EA’s "major games titles across multiple languages, sustaining users around the world and around the clock", Mr Moore said.
They company was recruiting at “all levels of management and experience”, said Mr Moore.
Games “are not a toy or a fad, games are the biggest and by far the fastest growing segment of entertainment", he said. The audience of gaming was “as large and diverse” as those who watch television around the world, he added.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the announcement was a "real endorsement of Ireland's ability to meet the needs of leading multinational companies in the digital media space".
The jobs were “a response to a rapidly changing digital market” and were “the type of jobs Ireland is trying to attract,” Mr Kenny said. “We want to position Ireland as an international centre for gaming development and activity."
EA had already developed a “really dynamic workforce in Galway”, Mr Kenny said. The company already employs 400 people in Galway.
Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton said gaming had the potential to add up to 2,500 jobs over the coming years and Ireland had to ensure it met the changing needs of the sector.
The "cluster" of similar growing companies in Ireland was important in attracting the EA jobs, IDA chief executive Barry O'Leary said.
EA has its headquarters in Redwood, California, and its existing European bases are in Britain, Sweden, Germany, Romania and Spain.
The company was founded in 1982, and "develops, publishes, and distributes interactive software worldwide for video game systems, personal computers, wireless devices and the internet". It has more than 220 million registered players and operates in 75 countries.
Its BioWare subsidiary is responsible for developing titles such as Mass Effect, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Dragon Age: Origins.
The jobs boost was tempered with a decision to lay off 100 peat workers at Bord na Móna after one of the worst ever summer harvests for the company.