Electronic Arts is partnering with Louisiana State University and the Louisiana Department of Economic Development to create a global quality assurance testing center in Baton Rouge, primarily to test EA Sports titles.
The new establishment enjoys the support of Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, who calls it "a terrific win for the city and the future of our state," noting innovation in the state's economic development initiatives.
Governor Jindal says the testing center will create 20 full-time jobs, and more than 200 part-time jobs for LSU students. "I know this will be a dream job for some kids, but it is also a key part of strengthening our state's economic development so we become the best place in the world to do business, and all of our children can stay right here at home to pursue their dreams," says the Governor.
EA says Governor Jindal personally reached out to them on the initiative, incorporating funding for two new digital media industry positions into his 2009 state budget.
"We are proud that EA will be part of this initiative that will assist in the development of the digital media industry in Louisiana," says Sharon Knight, senior VP of central development services at EA, who also cited LSU's "heritage in sports" as another factor enhancing the fit with the QA center for student employees.
In addition to the local sports culture, EA also says an abundance of potential technology-minded employees, digital media tax credits and the AVATAR digital media curriculum (Arts, Visualization Advanced Technologies and Research) at LSU also make Baton Rouge an ideal location for the site.
Baton Rouge Mayor-President Melvin L. "Kip" Holden says, "With over $9.5 billion per year in U.S. sales and an expected growth rate of nearly ten percent per year for the foreseeable future, the video-game development industry is likely to be one of the most exciting growth sectors for many years to come."
"This new partnership with EA represents a major boost in our effort to become one of the leading states in the country in this exciting growth industry. We plan to pursue other EA opportunities in the development arena, as well as use this partnership in our efforts to recruit other leading video-game development companies to Louisiana."