Florida launches game development initiative

With EA's absolute approval

With the recent closure of Maxis in Walnut Creek and Origin in Austin, EA's steps to shift development more 'in-house', to centralise control, and we assume - increase efficiency - has not gone unnoticed by other parts of the US who have come to rather enjoy EA's presence in their local industry.

Thusly, the state of Florida has unveiled a new initiative, aimed not only at keeping EA's Tiburon Studios in the sunshine state, but also making the area more attractive to further EA expansion. The answer is "$4.2 million to finance curriculum for game development," according to EA themselves, who must be rather pleased with Florida's new initiative.

Tiburon is home to some 500 employees, creating games like Madden, NFL and NASCAR, and the new games development funding will be passed to the nearby University of Central Florida, where a state-of-the-art facility training 100 developers a year will be created. Naturally, Florida state authorities hope that many graduates will flow directly down the road to EA. "We've made it clear we intend to stay in Florida and we want to grow in Florida," commented EA's vice president of corporate communications Jeff Brown. "It would be a lot easier for us if we could hire local people for these highly skilled jobs rather than having to relocate people from other parts of the world."

EA will help develop the new post-graduate programmes to be taught, and courses are said to begin in the autumn of 2005 to those with an existing computing-related degree. Thanks to GameSpot for this, err, 'spot'.

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