Just weeks after Sony said that it too could open a studio in India, EA has opened the doors to its previously-announced development base in the country – and says it will provide a big boost to the local games industry.
The new EA India studio, in Hyderabad, currently houses over 200 staff working on a number of projects for its parent. These include mobile game development, online services for The Sims, art development for PC and online titles, plus automation tools and technologies for the wider Electronic Arts operation.
EA is one of the first major publishers to open a studio in the country, although it is not the very first – earlier this year Ubisoft India was established via the acquisition of Gameloft’s local studio. A number of local studios in the area have already risen to prominence also.
Plus, a number of services firms and outsourcing companies, including the likes of Babel Media (itself recently acquired by Indian outsourcing giant Quatrro) have had offices or headquarters there for sometime.
But EA thinks its activity will not only benefit its bottom line through he presumably lower cost base, but also benefit the local industry.
Amol Gurwara, head of operations for the mobile division of EA India studio, described the expansion of EA’s development studio as "a transformational phase for the Indian game development industry" in a report on VAR India.
"Gaming is one of the most exciting new career options available in the market today and we are looking forward to ramping up our operations significantly. Developers derive a lot of satisfaction when they see that the titles they contribute to connecting with audiences across the world of diverse cultural backgrounds. And working on EA’s titles will allow exactly that to happen. The gaming industry is renowned for embracing talent from a wide spectrum of industries. The new studio in Hyderabad will be an opportunity for local talent to enter the exciting world of gaming and be a part of this worldwide entertainment phenomenon."
Sony has also recently chosen to beef up its strategy in emerging markets like India, but has chosen to work with third-parties rather than build its own studio.
UK studios like Sumo Digital (part of Foundation 9) also have outsourcing studios in the country.