What was hinted at a couple of weeks ago has turned out to be true. EA Sports is setting up a studio in Austin, Texas. The expansion will create about 150 new jobs, but we’re not sure about what exactly will be worked on there.
Says EA Sports COO Daryl Holt, “The beauty of Texas is it’s such a huge, knowledgeable sports culture. For us it’s not about moving a core franchise right now.”
That means we can probably rule out Madden or FIFA being produced in the lone star state, but maybe EA will use the new talent to give the NBA another shot? That’s a tough call because we don’t even know if there will be an NBA season this year thanks to the lockout.
Meanwhile, Texas governor Rick Perry was instrumental in providing the subsidies necessary to lure EA Sports to Austin. Getting states and provinces to help out their local operations isn’t something entirely new to EA. “It’s something we’ve accomplished in British Columbia, Florida, and Quebec, similar [incentive] programs have been created there that we helped champion,” said EA Games president Frank Gibeau, “We take this stuff seriously.”
In their efforts to impress Perry, EA Sports created a custom create-a-player and highlight reel for the governor. Ironically, Perry’s virtual self was wearing a Texas A&M football uniform. Austin is home to A&M’s rival, the University of Texas.