Online game developer opening Austin office [Austin American-Statesman]
(Austin American-Statesman (TX) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Aug. 30--Online game developer Wargaming is opening an Austin office next year and plans to have 50 to 60 employees here by the end of 2014, company officials say.
The Austin facility will serve as a global services hub, with business intelligence, global design services, and central technology, said Craig Fryar, the company's head of global business intelligence.
"We have a lot of different studios that comprise the Wargaming family and so one of the things we're going to be doing is helping to create a core technology platform on which all of them can base future products," Fryar said.
Wargaming Austin will also be the regional administrative hub helping to manage and support the functionality of all other offices.
Fryar said the company is currently searching for office space along the Research Boulevard corridor and plans to open locally by the first quarter of next year. The company has already hired about a dozen employees for its Austin operations and plans to be at 50 to 60 employees by the end of 2014, Fryar said.
Wargaming, like other developers, was attracted to Austin because of its talent base, particularly local developers' knowledge of online gaming, he said.
"Austin is a long-time hub of video gaming," Fryar said. "That combined with the technology base that's here and the entertainment base that's here make it -- and it's a convenient city, centrally located in the country -- so it made a lot of sense."
Wargaming is based in London, with offices in Europe, the United States, Asia and Australia.
The company's "World of Tanks" is a pioneering free-to-play PC game, and Wargaming has two more war titles on the way: "World of Warplanes" and "World of Warships."
"We're excited about the prospects of Austin and I think Austin is going to be amped when they see more presence here from Wargaming," Fryar said.
Wargaming's announcement comes after the Austin gaming industry has gone through a rash of downsizings and closures. Earlier this year, two major studios, Vigil Games and Junction Point Studios, were shut down. Also, BioWare Corp. and Zynga both announced major local job cuts last year.
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