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EA to set up customer service centre in Ireland

Galway facility to house around 200 staff from next year - alongside Star Wars MMO launch

Electronic Arts has announced that it is to open a new customer service centre in Galway, Ireland, which will employ around 200 staff and begin operations next year.

The facility will "provide BioWare with greater proximity to European players," a company statement explained, with the move likely to be fully-focused on the launch of the Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO in 2011.

The deal was closed with the support of IDA Ireland, an Irish government agency, although details on the level and nature of that support were not provided.

"The new Irish location for BioWare will help us get closer to our fans in Europe," said Dr Ray Muzyka, senior VP for EA and group GM for BioWare. "Galway gives us the right mix of solid technology infrastructure and international recruitment opportunities as we continue to focus on bringing the highest quality gaming experiences to market."

And the Irish Prime Minister, Taoiseach Brian Cowen, added: "EA is the global leader in interactive entertainment and a very important addition to the thriving games industry in Ireland."

The Galway facility adds to the existing BioWare locations of Edmonton, Montreal, Fairfax, Virginia and Austin, Texas, while EA already has existing European game teams based in Guildford, UK, Stockholm, Sweden, Ingelheim, Germany, Bucharest, Romania and Madrid, Spain.

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