Irvine, California-based World of WarCraft
developer Blizzard is expanding into a new office in Austin, a city that has become widely known as a center for multiplayer online game development.
According to a report
by the Austin Business Journal, the company plans for the new 46,000-square-foot office to focus primarily of customer support and quality control, with “a significant portion” of Blizzard's current staff devoted to these disciplines planned to be related to the new facility.
In addition, new hires are also anticipated in order to fully take advantage of the new office space, which is expected to house around 500 employees.
"We'll have numerous immediate job openings at the Austin customer service center, and we plan to expand that staff as needed in order to ensure that we can provide the best possible service experience for our players on an ongoing basis," commented Blizzard COO Paul Sams in the report. The executive further explained that Austin was chosen based on its community, as well as the city being a hub for existing call centers in North America.
The growth in necessary support staff has no doubt been fueled by the ever growing popularity of Blizzard's flagship MMORPG World of Warcraft
, which has quickly has become the most populated MMORPG in the world. In January the company announced
that the online PC game, which launched in November 23, 2004, surpassed 8 million players worldwide, and this figure climbed to 8.5 million users by March.
In addition, earlier this month Blizzard announced
that the game's first expansion, The Burning Crusade
, echoed the popularity of the core product by selling over 3.5 million copies in just one month, following its mid January launch in North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia.