Jobs boost as gaming giant announces 200 posts for city

There was welcome news on the jobs front yesterday with the announcement that leading American entertainment software company, Electronic Arts (EA ), is to locate its European customer service and operations centre in Galway city, a move that is expected to create 200 jobs.

Electronic Arts Inc, which is headquartered in Redwood City, California, is already actively recruiting staff and searching for a suitable location in the city for its BioWare™ studio centre. It is believed that the new centre in Galway will be up and running early next year.

The investment, which is being fully supported by the Government through IDA Ireland, will provide BioWare™ with a greater proximity to European players. EA has built up a impressive reputation developing, publishing, and distributing interactive software worldwide for video game systems, personal computers, wireless devices, and the internet. BioWare™ game titles include Dragon Age: Origin, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and Mass Effect.

Welcoming the announcement Taoiseach Brian Cowen said, “This investment was won for Galway by IDA Ireland in the face of stiff competition from other European locations and as such it demonstrates yet again to the global investment community that Ireland continues to attract high quality foreign direct investment in these challenging times for the world economy.”

Mr Cowen further acknowledged that EA will be a “significant employer” in the west of Ireland as it will be hiring multilingual customer support service agents as well as technical support staff and will contribute to the further developlment and attractiveness of the region as a location for additional investment. “We welcome EA to our business community and look forward to continued partnership in the years to come,” added the Taoiseach.

CEO of IDA Ireland, Barry O’Leary said that the investiment is a “significant and strategic win for Ireland”. He said that the Galway operation will “add to Ireland’s growing reputation as the internet capital of Europe and is testament to the expertise available throughout Ireland for investments of this nature.”

While the reality of the annoucement sank in, politicians and other representatives from around the county issued words of praise for what is broadly deemed a great triumph.

“It’s a very good day for Galway,” said Mayor Declan McDonnell, who added “It underwrites the education system we have in NUIG and GMIT as a lot of graduates will be required.” He said that Galway “continues to manage the economic downturn in a positive fashion” by attracting international companies. Cllr McDonnell vowed that “any support that they [EA] need will be forthcoming” from Galway City Council and its councillors.

Also welcoming the news, local Fianna Fáil TD Frank Fahey said that this significant announcement is “a further vote of confidence in the workforce here in Galway”.

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