ZeniMax to create new jobs with Irish customer support centre

Former Warcraft exec to head facility for future Bethesda MMOs

ZeniMax Online Studios is to open a new customer support centre in Galway, Ireland, creating potentially "hundreds" of new jobs.

The facility will support future massively multiplayer online projects from publishing arm Bethesda, and is to be led by Rich Barham previously with Blizzard Entertainment and responsible for customer care for World of Warcraft.

"Today's announcement marks an important step for us," said Matt Firor, president of ZeniMax Online Studios. "We are excited to be building an experienced team, led by Rich, which will focus on providing superior customer support for our games.

"Galway has world-class educational facilities, is a beautiful place to work and live, and offers a wide variety of benefits for our employees. Our ability to provide superior customer service for our future products is firmly on track."

The facility will be supported by the Irish Government's investment agency IDA Ireland and other local initiatives.

"ZeniMax Online Studios' decision to locate its European customer services operations in Galway acknowledges Ireland's delivery of services' excellence in the digital media sphere and its position of strength in the global gaming industry," offered IDA Ireland's Barry O'Leary.

"They are a very welcome addition to a cluster of companies across Ireland in a sector which is witnessing rapid growth. IDA Ireland's strategy blueprint, Horizon 2020 recognizes the global growth in services and today's announcement by ZeniMax Online further embeds Ireland's reputation as a European digital capital."

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Latest comments (16)

Thomas Bidaux CEO, ICO Partners6 years ago
Zenimax Online and Bioware Mythic will be both in the same city for their support center.

When Bioware announced I was skeptical. If they have two big companies there, it is probably some better move. They will still struggle hiring their non-English positions IMHO, especially Tier 2.
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Private Industry 6 years ago
Bit of a small town for two big facilities with not the best transportation to get out of the country with the closest aiport rather far away. Guess its a lot cheaper than cork or dublin.
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Jamie McCormick Founder 6 years ago
This is great news for Ireland :)
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Show all comments (16)
Kim Munday6 years ago
Werner Shannon airports less then an hours drive from galway city! Its great news and there's plenty of of mulit nationals now living in ireland., Ireland has got a dynamic work for who want to work Its great news for the country, and that companies are coming back to Ireland after are previous politicians screwed up are nations reputation....
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John Donnelly Quality Assurance 6 years ago
Glaway is by no means a small town and it has good transport links to Dublin, Cork, Shannon and north as well so getting there is really not an issue, the cost of living in Ireland is lower outside of Dublin and its a gre social city.
There are some advantages to Galway over other areas but true some disadvantages but the same can be said for any city.
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Private Industry 6 years ago
I'm aware of the exact distance and i would not call it very close and flights from there are very limited. I live now since 4 years in dublin and while fthere are many people from different countries it will be hard to find people with certain language and work skills.

For me dublin is already a small city :)

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Private on 15th March 2011 3:16pm

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Thomas Bidaux CEO, ICO Partners6 years ago
I agree with Werner.
Finding the right lcoation for European operations is what I do for a living to give some context as well.

I am very happy for Ireland and I am pretty sure Zenimax has lots of good reasons to locate their center there - especially considering Rich's experience. But you can't say that Galway is easy to reach, especially when you have German and French nationals in mind. There are no direct flights to any German city and only flights to Paris 3 days a week.
And 80 000 souls doesn't make it a big city. It will be perfectly suitable for a number of persons, but this is a less attractive location than others, even in Ireland...

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Thomas Bidaux on 15th March 2011 3:28pm

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Diarmuid Murphy Developer Marketing, Microsoft6 years ago
As a person who spent 4 years in college in Galway. It is a great city and Thomas listed there are pros and cons.

Previous Zenimax site there already
Many other multinationals such as SAP, HP, boston scientific etc.
Two third level insitiutes, a university with ~12k students and an institute of technology (don't know their student population). Which would provide a stable base of educated staff.
Cost of living is significantly cheaper that Dublin (emphasis on significantly)
Better quality of live (IMHO) -More outdoor acitivies (surfing, climbing etc), better scenary, more community focused society. Hard to describe but Galway is a nicer place to live especially for those with families.
Tax break: I am sure there are significant tax benefits to locating in Galway
Transport: Although it is on the west coast, it is only an hour and a half from Dublin Airport via new motorway, about 45mins-1hr from Shannon Airport and smaller regional airport nearby in Galway/Knock. Good quality rail link to Dublin and rail corrider to Limerick & Cork is under construction.

Tier 2 language skills: I don't know the numbers but I would be sure there are many more foreign language speakers in Dublin.
Population: As Ireland's 3/4th largest city it is not small but it is not massive either.
Final personal con it is very rainy :)

I would love to see more development and operations roles come to Ireland. We are doing very well with customer service but moving up the value chain should be a focus.
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John Donnelly Quality Assurance 6 years ago
If you think Dublin is small.. Try Belfast.

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Diarmuid Murphy Developer Marketing, Microsoft6 years ago
On the distance from airports comment, I spend my time visiting call centres in Germany which are over 2 hours by autobahn from the nearest international airport with flights from Ireland or London. Still didn't stop them becoming one of the worlds biggest call centre companies.
Educated workforce is key, airports are nice to have but only critical that they are withing 2-3hours drive.
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Private Industry 6 years ago
I was in belfast once for some sport thing and it was big enough for the bus driver to not dins the way :)

I personaly would not move to galway because of the size of it and travel difficulties when i want to fly somewhere as i dont want to spend hours to get to the airport same reason why i avois ryanair because they fly to small airports and i dont want to waste hours to get to my intended destination. Not saying it will not work for them, iust they might not get the best possible people with that location.
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Till Dzierzon Localization QA 6 years ago
Galway is great city and honestly, when I was in Ireland I left about 4 times in 1.5 years. I'd rather have a long distance to the airport and a short distance to a beautiful countryside than the other way round.
I just rather spend most of my days in a nice place and deal with minor things like the airport being far away, than living in big city where everything nice is far away.

As for the workforce: Europe is quite small and a lot of people don't mind moving, especially if the job and location are nice, combined with a good salary, I believe they will get more than enough qualified personnel.

Good luck to them and Galway!
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Philip Bourke Lecturer, LIT-Tipperary6 years ago
Galway is a fantastic city, hope they can get the support teams out of the pubs ;-).

Now I have another reason, to add to an already long list, to visit Galway. I'm an extensive traveller and its hard to beat a west of Ireland city for character.

In summer it hosts 100,000 thousands of tourist from all over the world, now the have a reason to stay ;-)
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Private Industry 6 years ago
Its a mater of taste Till, i grew up on the counttlry side and its nice to make holidays in a small city or town for me, but I couldn't live in such an invorenment anymore. For me Dublin is already small. I lived from 15 onwards in vienna and than in London and realy used to cities. There are people like that and there are people who want to live in smaller places.
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The move to Galway is financially and logistically understandable, but I must agree with Thomas that filling up second level and billing openings may be quite an undertaking.
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Miguel Melo Principal Software Engineer/Product Manager 6 years ago
I lived in Ireland for 6 months and think it's an absolutely beautiful place filled with really cool people. Having said that, and I will readily admit that I may be biased, I believe that it's hard to beat Portugal (Lisbon or Oporto) if you want a good compromise between native multi-language skills, overseas flight connections, quality of life and sensible salaries.
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