Austin, Tx. -- As the old saying goes, everything is bigger in Texas. Today that statement holds true for EA’s presence in the state as well. In a press conference this afternoon with Texas Governor Rick Perry, EA Games President Frank Gibeau and EA SPORTS Chief Operating Officer Daryl Holt announced that EA SPORTS will be opening a new studio and adding hundreds of jobs right here in Austin, Texas, consistently recognized as one of the most inventive, creative, wired and rockin' cities in America.
The new EA SPORTS studio in Austin will complement their existing studios in Tiburon, Florida and Burnaby, British Columbia.
Hiring has begun for the new jobs, which will include software engineers, game designers, artists, programmers and senior technical positions. Approximately half of the 300 new jobs will be permanent positions; the rest will be contract work.
“On behalf of the State of Texas, I’d like to congratulate EA on expanding its presence in Austin, and welcome the quality jobs that will be created here as a result,” Perry said.
“Much like the video gaming industry, our state is built on the foundation of competition; thanks to our low taxes, reasonable and predictable regulatory climate, fair legal system and skilled workforce, we continue to attract companies from around the nation.
“Texas is where the game is being played. Whether we're talking about cutting-edge energy, bio-tech or video games, Texas is the perfect place.”
According to the Entertainment Software Association, Texas ranked second nationally in computer and video game employees in 2009, with more than 13,600 individuals employed by the industry. Additionally, with 21 schools offering video game design and development programs in the 2010-2011 academic year, Texas is ranked third in the nation.
"We're really excited about it," Gibeau said. "Austin is a terrific place for us to do business. Frankly we just love building games in Austin. The talent is world-class and Perry and the Texas Legislature have created a very business-friendly environment for us."
In addition to the top-flight talent in the region, EA is benefitting from Governor Perry’s Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program that helps companies move from higher cost locations to Texas. The initiative is unique from programs in other states because it applies to a wide spectrum of the industry, including video games.
“We are continually searching for the best talent in the industry and the best locations for our operations,” Gibeau, said. “Governor Perry’s leadership in passing the Texas Moving Image Production Incentive has created an economic environment that is very supportive of game development. Texas is a great place to make games – that’s why EA is expanding here.”
Governor Perry closed out the event by commenting on the huge economic potential from the video game industry. “Look, this isn't a small deal: $25 billion dollars in annual revenue and Texas is ready to compete for a bigger piece of that pie,” Perry said.
“It's really awesome to have a company like EA that is committed to the long haul now and is expanding its presence in Texas. Thank you for making Austin, Texas a bigger and even more important player in the video game industry.”
As part of the initiative to locate and hire the best talent in the region, EA will be hosting an “Austin IT Meet-and-Greet” next Monday, July 25th from 6-9pm at the Westin at The Domain. If you’re in the Austin area we hope you’ll come down to meet our recruiting team and learn more about the opportunities with EA Austin!
A video of the press conference with Governor Perry will be posted here later this afternoon.