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He added that the impact of NUI Galway and GMIT and the very high quality of their graduates puts Galway in a very advantageous position.
“Other companies such as Cisco in Oranmore have cited the calibre of the workforce in the city as a reason why they have located here and this is very positive for Galway and the west of Ireland. The research work being done in the colleges such as the DERI project in NUI, Galway is contributing to the city’s fast growing reputation as a world class centre for research and innovation. We’re building up a critical mass of industry in this knowledge-based economy and this will stand to us when we are working to attract employment.
“The gaming industry is up and coming in Ireland with companies Activision Blizzard and Big Fish games already based here and I am very glad to see that Galway is getting a strong foothold with Electronic Arts in a market which has such great potential,” he said.
These views were echoed by Gerard Kilcommins, chairman of the American Chamber West Region, who said that EA’s decision is a “testament to the educated and skilled workforce in Ireland’s western region”. Mr Kilcommins, who is also Global VP of Vascular Operations and site GM at Medtronic Galway, said, “Galway offers a readily available pool of talent, global market access and vastly improved physical infrastructure... it is encouraging to see the continued development of the new media and gaming sector nationwide.”
EA is expected to maintain its existing BioWare studio locations in Edmonton, Montreal, Fairfax, Virginia, and Austin, Texas. The new Irish company is a wholly owned EA subsidiary. EA has existing European game teams based in Guildford, UK; Stockholm, Sweden; Ingelheim, Germany; Bucharest, Romania; and Madrid, Spain.