EA celebrates 24 years as one of Central Florida’s most innovative companies advancing the region’s competitiveness.
Orlando, Fla. – Electronic Arts (EA), a leading global entertainment business that specializes in the development of cutting-edge games, innovative services, and powerful technologies, was named the 2022 winner of the Orlando Economic Partnership’s (the Partnership) Schwartz Innovation Award. The annual award honors a local company that has made the greatest impact on the Orlando region’s economy and competitiveness and stimulates future advancements through innovation. EA will receive the award during the Synapse Orlando innovation conference Friday, Oct. 21, at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.
“We are proud to continue pioneering the next generation of game technology in the very region where Schwartz pioneered the optics and photonics technology that paved the way for some of the innovative motion capture techniques we utilize today,” said Daryl Holt, vice president & general manager of EA Tiburon (Orlando), EA SPORTS Austin and EA SPORTS Madrid. “With Orlando’s emergence as the MetaCenter, we are honored to be recognized as a leader in such a rich ecosystem of innovative companies that have, for decades, been developing the building blocks for the future of the digital economy and the experiences that will power it.
“Orlando’s history as a hub for innovation, density of tech talent, creative and collaborative spirit, and forward thinking local and state partners help immersive and experiential companies like EA thrive.”Daryl Holt, Vice President & General Manager of EA Tiburon (Orlando), EA SPORTS Austin and EA SPORTS Madrid
EA’s presence in Orlando began with the acquisition of Maitland-based game development studio Tiburon Entertainment, which had worked closely with EA for years before it was acquired in 1998. Throughout the collaboration, Tiburon laid the groundwork for production of several popular videogame franchises, including Madden NFL. Since the acquisition, EA’s Orlando location has grown from three employees to over 1,000 today.
EA continues to grow in Orlando because of the region’s great creative and technical talent, supportive local leadership, and world-class educational partnerships. The studio draws talent from the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy (FIEA) and Full Sail University, both of which are ranked nationally for the best video game design graduate programs in the country. In fact, EA worked with the University of Central Florida (UCF) and the City of Orlando to establish and develop an industry-focused curriculum for FIEA at its inception. Since the academy opened its doors in 2005, hundreds of future game creators have graduated from the program and many of them work at EA Tiburon.
Recently EA expanded its innovation footprint in Orlando with the construction of a new 180,000-square-foot, five-story regional headquarters in the heart of downtown Orlando’s Creative Village, a digital media district located next door to FIEA that’s home to robust urban campuses for UCF and Valencia College. Direct access and proximity to this talent pipeline and collaborative opportunities with educational partners are two of several drivers behind EA’s decision to locate in downtown Orlando.
“Our new state-of-the-art studio facility in the heart of the Orlando region helps our teams do their best creative work while providing space to invest in and grow our teams in the Orlando area.”Daryl Holt, Vice President & General Manager of EA Tiburon (Orlando), EA SPORTS Austin and EA SPORTS Madrid
“Moreso, it facilitates opportunities to build upon the great relationships we have with the City of Orlando, the Orlando Economic Partnership, UCF, the Florida High Tech Corridor and many others helping to elevate the importance of the interactive entertainment industry to our state’s future,” Holt says.
The Schwartz Award is named after the late William C. Schwartz, a pioneer in the field of laser technology who founded two companies in the Orlando region that advanced his field by creating first-of-its-kind products.
“The Schwartz Innovation Award allows the Orlando region to honor the legacy of William Schwartz by recognizing a company that has successfully created, developed and implemented innovative products, ideas and processes that have contributed to the region’s competitiveness and stimulates future advancements in Orlando,” said Tim Giuliani, president and CEO of the Partnership.
Previous recipients of the Schwartz Innovation Award include Beep, FINFROCK, Luminar Technologies, the University of Central Florida and Quality Manufacturing Services, Inc.
“This award is named after the late William C. Schwartz, or as I knew him, Bill, the man who, back in 1993, sponsored my very first research project at UCF,” said past winner and Luminar Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer Jason Eichenholz.
“If Bill hadn’t had the vision to create the University of Central Florida’s CREOL laser program 30 plus years ago, I wouldn’t be here today and Luminar wouldn’t be here either. And it’s fair to say that his contributions to Orlando’s innovation ecosystem paved the way for each of these companies’ successes.”Jason Eichenholz, Luminar Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer
For more information on the Schwartz Innovation Award, please contact Justin.Braun@orlando.org or at 407.902.0211
About Orlando Economic Partnership
The Orlando Economic Partnership (the Partnership) is an economic and community development organization that is seizing the moment to advance Broad-based Prosperity® throughout the Orlando region by growing the diversity of the economy and driving investment into the region. The Partnership catalyzes Orlando’s collaborative ethos to fuel regional leadership and improve the region’s competitiveness. Learn why opportunity in Orlando is Unbelievably Real™ at InvestOrlando.org
About Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: EA) is a global leader in digital interactive entertainment. The Company develops and delivers games, content and online services for Internet-connected consoles, mobile devices and personal computers. In fiscal year 2022, EA posted GAAP net revenue of approximately $7 billion. Headquartered in Redwood City, California, EA is recognized for a portfolio of critically acclaimed, high-quality brands such as EA SPORTS™ FIFA, Battlefield™, Apex Legends™, The Sims™, Madden NFL, Need for Speed™, Titanfall™, Plants vs. Zombies™ and F1® . More information about EA is available at www.ea.com/news. EA, EA SPORTS, and the EA SPORTS logo are trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. FIFA and FIFA’s Official Licensed Product Logo are copyrights and/or trademarks of FIFA. All rights reserved.