New home: BioWare relocates to 75,000-square-foot downtown Edmonton location

New home: BioWare relocates to 75,000-square-foot downtown Edmonton location

JEFF LABINE Updated: September 24, 2019, Article published in the Edmonton Journal


Video game developer BioWare has upgraded to a massive new office space in Edmonton’s downtown.


The 75,000-square-foot space takes up three floors of Epcor Tower and houses hundreds of desks, audio recording rooms, gaming stations, an arcade and a motion capture studio. There are even dedicated quiet rooms for employees to take a break. The company fully moved in at the start of the month after occupying a studio along Calgary Trail for the past 15 years.


BioWare opened its doors to its new space on Monday to allow media, politicians and dignitaries a chance to tour.

Studio general manager Casey Hudson said he and the company’s 300 employees felt settled into their new space within a few days.

“We put a lot of effort into making this place an update in every way,” he said. “Everything is just a wonderful upgrade and it is really to bring out the best quality in our workplace for our staff and in turn, the best quality in the games we make.”


BioWare is responsible for some of gaming’s biggest hits including Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and the Dragon Age and Mass Effect series.

The Edmonton-based company, which was founded by Greg Zeschuk and Ray Muzyka and Augustine Yip, was purchased by Electronic Arts (EA) in 2008.


Hudson said the new space was designed with growth in mind and the goal of the company is to continue to expand in a sustainable way.

He praised both the city and the province for the level of support they received, specifically the Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit, which provides 25 per cent refundable tax credit for labour costs.


“Things like the tax credit are critical because most of the locations we compete with globally have very substantial technology-based tax credits,” he said. “For us to be even on a level playing field that tax credit really helps us to get there. Alberta and Edmonton governments really recognize technology is a major growth opportunity for us. Especially here in downtown Edmonton, things are changing really fast and it is a great opportunity to bring people in from really anywhere in the world where they can look around and see this as a place to come and join a company like BioWare or start something new.”

Mayor Don Iveson said seeing 300 jobs move to the downtown core shows a real level of confidence in the city’s revitalization strategy.


“Seeing these 300 folks join us downtown, welcoming them to the neighbourhood, is just a great vote of confidence from the parent company in California that Edmonton is a great place for them to continue investing and grow and continue to develop gaming products for the world,” he said.


“The city has done its part by doing a lot of investments in our downtown, not just the Ice District and the arena but enhancements to public transit, enhancements to parks and the public realm — all of them are designed to bring people and business downtown. And it’s working.”


Pretty snazzy. The office is on the 18th floor but they have 3 floors in total. This guy greets you at the front. #yeg
View image on Twitter


View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter


See Jeff Labine's other Tweets


Article originally published by Jeff Labine, Edmonton Journal: https://edmontonjournal.com/business/commercial-real-estate/bioware-moves-to-new-downtown-location


jlabine@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/jefflabine