Posted on September 19, 2012, Ross Lincoln BioWare Beat: Irish Call Center Switched To General EA use
With the news yesterday that BioWare cofounders Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk simultaneously resigned their positions at the head of the studio, we asked if this was a sign that the company was on the way to becoming nothing more than a brand name, an EA imprint rather than a true developer. Left unasked in our article is the question of why now did they choose to bail? Naturally, that should provoke lots of speculation from Everyone. Those of you speculating might want to note that an important clue has emerged with the news, courtesy of Joystiq, that a subtle dismantling of BioWare’s industry footprint is currently underway in Ireland.
A post to EA’s official blog touts the approximately 300 jobs the publisher intends to create in a call center iin the West Region city of Galway. The facility, established last year solely to support Star Wars: The Old Republic, was formally named BioWare Ireland. It is now being reorganized to serve all major EA Europe titles, and has been renamed as the hilariously dytopian-sounding European Customer Experience Centre of Excellence, or ECECE if you’re nasty. This is obviously a big win for the citizens of Galway. Ireland has been among the EU countries hardest hit by the ongoing economic crisis, and 300 new, relatively well-paying jobs is nothing to sneeze at. (Galway only has around 76,000 people.)
Given TOR’s disappointing (to EA) performance, this isn’t exactly shocking. We fully expect the next chip to come in the form of BioWare Austin being renamed, as rumors predicted in August. But the timing of the announcement – made the same day as the announcement of the BioWare founders’ exits – should raise eyebrows of all but the most credulous observers.
This has been BioWare Beat, Game Front’s ongoing look into the… evolving fortunes of the studio behind Mass Effect 3 and Dragon Age 2..