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EA Sports confirms new Austin studio

300 new employees to focus on sports, games, IT and finance

Electronic Arts will open a new studio in Austin, Texas, and employ 300 new team members across its sports, games, IT and finance operations.

The 300 positions will be divided evenly between contract and full time employees, with the EA Sports team taking over two buildings that are currently home to Mass Effect developer Bioware.

"I think we'll probably start this first year somewhere around 30-35, just to get the team up and moving, just so they can start building features and working on HD platform development," said EA Sports COO Daryl Holt in an interview with Joystiq.

Holt also confirmed that Austin team wouldn’t replace any current EA studio, or affect the company’s Tiburon and Burnaby studios."We're not going to disrupt what's currently going on, Orlando's expanding, Burnaby's expanding, EA's growing," he said.

It’s not decided which franchises the new team will work on, and as yet no limits have been put on the new studio’s growth. “But it's not something that's going to be open-ended while we recruit the team, because we want to recruit the right talent."

The news announced at the Austin Operation during a visit from local governor Rick Perry.

“Perry has created a very pro-business environment,” said Frank Gibeau, EA Games president. “It helps us to look to Austin as a long-term opportunity.”

“If it’s in the game, it’s in the game," said Perry. "And right now Texas is where the game is being played. 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,“ he added. “It isn’t rocket science.”

EA already employs around 450 people at it's Austin studio, and will apply for incentives from the Texas Film Commission.

Plans for the studio were leaked from an internal memo last month.

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Rachel Weber

Senior Editor

Rachel Weber has been with GamesIndustry since 2011 and specialises in news-writing and investigative journalism. She has more than five years of consumer experience, having previously worked for Future Publishing in the UK.