Monday 29 December 2014

PopCap Games to pull out of Ireland with the loss of 96 jobs

Peter Flanagan and Ralph Riegel

Published 22/08/2012 | 05:00

THE DUBLIN-based office of PopCap games, the US computer games developer, is to close with the loss of 96 jobs.

The worldwide leader in casual video games, based in Pearse Street in Dublin, has told staff it is leaving the country.



A 30-day consultation has begun but there is little hope of any employees being retained.



The company makes computer games for PCs and games consoles but has been squeezed by the rise of cheap games available on smartphones and online.



PopCap, which is particularly well known for its 'Bejewelled' series of games, traditionally made its money by charging anything from €40 to €60 per game, but is now facing competition from so called "freemium" games available on devices like the iPhone, which can cost as little as 99c.



The company, which was an IDA client firm, doubled its Dublin workforce only 18 months ago.



Founded in 2000 it employs more than 400 people in Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, Vancouver, Seoul and Shanghai.



Meanwhile, BioMarin is to expand its plant in Shanbally, Co Cork, in preparation for the production of treatments for a range of rare diseases.



Recruitment



The firm -- which bought the former Pfizer plant at Shanbally in 2011 for €38m -- will create up to 20 jobs by early 2013 and a total of 100 jobs by 2015.



The company will now host a recruitment drive and biotechnology career day in Cork on September 12.



The firm's main production programme for Cork involves a drug clinically known as N-acetylgalactosamine 6-sulfatase (GALNS).



This is an experimental therapy for mucopolysaccharidosis (Morquio Syndrome) which involves the body's inability to break down certain compounds within tissues leaving the patient suffering from lethargy and severe difficulty in breathing and walking.



If GALNS clears all its clinical trials, it will be ready for production by late 2014 or early 2015.



The bulk of the jobs are earmarked for graduates in the manufacturing, quality control, information technology and drug validation sectors. However, general administration and warehousing positions are also available.



It is expected that BioMarin will signal further recruitment as part of its manufacturing expansion.



BioMarin vice-president Dr Robert Baffi said they were delighted with the development of their Irish operation.



Irish Independent

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