Cork is WoWed by new jobs
Blizzard Entertainment is setting up a European games support centre in Cork, creating up to 100 jobs over the next three years.
The World of Warcraft (WoW) publisher is establishing the centre in Cork City, and is getting support from IDA Ireland. Initially, 50 jobs will be created by the investment, with an additional 50 expected to be added in the coming three years.
The company is establishing the new customer centre to increase the level of support it can offer European players and meet the growing demands of an expanding player base. Not only does it publish World of Warcraft, which is a hugely popular multiplayer online role-playing game, it is also responsible for Diablo and StarCraft. More than 9 million players currently subscribe to World of Warcraft.
The firm already has a European base, with offices located near Paris. The new customer support centre will complement the existing offices and work closely with the company's global teams.
The Minister for Trade, Enterprise and Employment Micheal Martin welcomed the announcement, describing the firm as a "global leader" in the entertainment software industry. "This decision by Blizzard to establish a new European customer support centre in Cork is further evidence of how Ireland is viewed internationally as a leading location for cutting edge investment in the exciting world of digital content," he said.
"Interactive entertainment is one of the fastest-growing and most popular recreational sectors globally, and this demand is creating new opportunities for Ireland as a platform for this highly innovative industry."
Mike Morhaime, President and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment, said he was confident that the Cork office would strengthen the company's support offerings throughout Europe, and help the firm provide a high level of support.
The announcement of the new jobs is a relief for the Cork area, which has been badly hit by high-profile closures recently. Earlier this year Motorola announced it was to wind down operations in the region, with the loss of 330 jobs. Meanwhile, US company Bourns Electronics, which was based in Cork for 26 years, also announced its intention to close with the loss of 80 jobs.