US gaming firm to double Dublin staff numbers By Gordon Deegan Monday, January 17, 2011
IRELAND’S games industry has received a jobs boost with US- owned PopCap Games confirming that it intends to double the number it employs to 110 at its European headquarters in Dublin.
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The Seattle-based game developer established its European HQ in Dublin in 2005, employing 10 in its start-up phase. The company now employs 55 and senior director Cathy Orr confirmed yesterday that the firm is planning to create an additional 55 jobs at its Dublin office.
“We are aiming to double the number we employ here over the next two to three years,” she said.
PopCap Games is part of the burgeoning game sector in Ireland that includes subsidiaries of some of the best-known names in the industry, such as Zynga, Activision Blizzard and Big Fish Games.
Recently filed accounts show that PopCap’s after-tax profits decreased by 79% to €613,152 in 2009.
However, Ms Orr pointed out that contrasting the 2008 and 2009 results was not comparing like with like as the company’s European and Asian revenues were split for the first time in 2009, while the group made an additional one-time change in how revenues are recognised in Ireland to reflect global products initiated here.
The accounts show that revenues at the firm in 2009 declined by 55% from €10.2 million to €6.7m. This followed revenues increasing almost fourfold in 2008.
Ms Orr confirmed that PopCap Games’ Dublin unit “enjoyed increased profits in 2010” but she was unable to provide the scale of the increase.
“PopCap’s European revenues have been growing steadily since we started in Dublin more than five years ago and the Dublin office’s share of worldwide revenue grew from 12% in 2009 to 17% in 2010.
“We’re looking to grow this significantly in the next three years,” she said.
Worldwide, the company employs 400 and it is understood that global revenues last year totalled $100m.
A large proportion of PopCap’s revenues is still made from the ‘try before you buy’ business model.
The company’s Dublin office is concentrating on products for smart phones, social platforms and tablets and Ms Orr expects “a range of new products and product updates to come out of Dublin this year”.
This story appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Monday, January 17, 2011
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