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"50% of '06 revenue outside North America" - EA

EA Montreal's VP points to key development centres over the next decade in Europe, Canada and Asia.

According to EA's Montreal's vice president and general manager Alain Tascan, speaking this morning at the Nordic Game convention in Malmö, Sweden, over half the publisher's total revenues this year will be taken from outside the traditional global games industry stronghold of the USA.

"This year, more than 50 per cent of our revenue is coming from outside North America," said Tascan. "Exporting to 'outside' is very, very important, and a big part of your business."

He illustrated the point by pointing towards explosive network technology usage in China, where more than 260 million internet users now exist, and claimed Scandinavia will be among one of the global development hotspots in the next 10 years.

"We're very actively looking for partners in Scandinavia," he said. "We believe the quality of the entertainment here is incredible."

Tascan said the centres for game development in the next decade will include San Francisco, Vancouver, Los Angeles, Montreal, Orlando, the UK, Scandinavia, Bangalore, Seoul, Tokyo and Shanghai.

The creation of the "perfect storm" of game development, according to Tascan, needs education, hi-tech infrastructure, a young and energetic population, a competitive cost of living, a culturally active environment and a "totally supportive" government.

"And when I say totally supportive, the government of Quebec gives us 40 per cent of all salaries," said Tascan. "If we give someone 100, they give us back 40."

The Nordic Game event concludes tomorrow.