Electronic Arts to create 300 new jobs as part of expansion of facility in Galway


US MULTINATIONAL gaming company Electronic Arts (EA) is to create 300 new jobs as part of an expansion of its Galway operations.

The new workers will provide “multilingual international customer support and services” for the company’s major games titles which include Madden NFL, FIFA Football, Medal of Honor and The Sims.

The jobs are part if its European customer experience centre of excellence and are “digital technical jobs” at “all levels” to sustain its customers “around the world and around the clock”, EA COO Peter Moore said.

Recruitment for jobs would start immediately and there was “no time limit” for when all 300 posts would be filled, Mr Moore said.

The company, which is one of the largest in the industry, already employs 400 people at its facility in Galway which opened in 2010.

Yesterday Mr Moore said it was investing in Galway because of its mix of technology infrastructure, the availability of talented staff and the lifestyle.

Ireland’s corporation tax was an “important” factor. He said that many countries had put “very attractive packages in front of” the company but it believed in Ireland.

The project would not have been possible without the IDA, he said. The company had received “great support from the Government with some of the tax packages,” he added.

Among the skills and roles being sought are linguistic (English, French German Italian and Spanish). Mr Moore said he had no concerns about being able to recruit enough bilingual staff within Ireland.

Roles will include customer relations, technical training, community managers and business analysts.

The company has more than 220 million registered players in 75 countries and posted a net revenue of more than $4 billion last year.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said it was a “real endorsement of Irelands 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.

Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton said it was “a sign of the way Ireland is transforming itself”.

“It has become more competitive and now its a very attractive location for many attractive companies he said. Gaming had the potential to add up to 2,500 jobs in Ireland over the coming years and Ireland had to ensure it met the changing needs of the sector, he added.

The “cluster” of similar growing companies in Ireland was important in attracting the EA jobs, IDA chief executive Barry OLeary said.

Mr Moore pointed to the potential of the industry. Games were “not a toy or a fad” but were the “biggest and by far the fastest growing segment of entertainment,”

Games had an audience as large and diverse as those who watch television around the world, Mr Moore said.

Unlike some other gaming companies EA was diversified across platforms which was “important at this time of turmoil in digital entertainment”.

More than 2,000 people are already directly employed in the games sector in Ireland.

Among the gaming companies already in Ireland are Activision and Zynga.

Popcap Games, owned by EA Games, also has Irish operations but the company announced a review of the Dublin operation last month. No decision has been made on the operation.

If a decision were made to close Popcap, EA Games would “where possible” redeploy workers to Galway, an EA Games spokeswoman said yesterday.

EA provides games and online services for internet connected games consoles, mobile phones, social networks, tablets and PCs.