Sunday 4 December 2016

Twitter and BioWare troop in with major job boosts

Anne-Marie Walsh and Brian McDonald

Published 27/09/2011 | 05:00

Global networking phenomenon Twitter is eyeing locations in Dublin city centre for a new international office that may lead to hundreds of jobs.

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The internet was alive with tweets yesterday speculating about where the online giant is likely to locate, with central Dublin and Dublin 4 frontrunners for the operation.

Sources revealed it would set up before the end of the year.

The news came as a subsidiary of US games giant Electronics Arts announced plans to create 200 jobs at a state-of-the-art customer service centre in Galway.

Recruits at BioWare's first facility outside of North America will provide 24-hour support for the award-winning online game 'Star Wars: The Old Republic', to be launched in December.

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BioWare arrived in Galway last year and has more than 100 staff already working on providing back-up support for gamers.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny was in Galway yesterday for the BioWare announcement.

"The Programme for Government highlights the digital game industry as a particular priority area for growth and the presence here of EA, one of the world's leading interactive games companies, will help enhance our status as a centre for the digital media sector," he said.

The IDA, which made the Twitter announcement yesterday, has not revealed how many jobs will be created but sources said there may be hundreds of new positions.

It is understood that Twitter plans to set up user support and finance operations, similar to other hi-tech investors that have set up here, including Google.

IDA Ireland tweeted at 6.30am that Twitter would establish an international office in Ireland.

"Twitter is a fantastic addition to Ireland's dynamic digital media cluster and we are excited to support the company's continued international growth," said IDA CEO Barry O'Leary.

Jobs Minister Richard Bruton said Twitter's announcement to join high-profile online companies like LinkedIN, Zynga, Amazon and Yahoo was a "massive win" for the country.

He noted that it was another big employer to the internet hub that already includes Google (2,200 staff in Ireland), Facebook (250), eBay (1,000), Paypal (1,300) and Amazon (350).

Twitter's European Communications Centre would not comment on the location of the new office or number of jobs.

"The Twitter office in Dublin, our third location outside of the US, is a great next step in the company's global expansion," said a spokeswoman.

Meanwhile, 245 jobs have been created by former Dell employees and support companies that have started their own businesses, according to enterprise board figures.

The new businesses were supported by the enterprise boards through funding from the European Globalisation Fund.

"The level of interest was phenomenal," said Eamon Ryan, head of Limerick City Enterprise Board. "The businesses, which range from software development to entertainment services, showed a huge determination to succeed. The whole process was very encouraging and we are hopeful that it will lead to the possibility of further indigenous jobs down the road."

Irish Independent

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