Electronic Arts Senior Vice President and General Manager Daryl Holt shares why Orlando is an ideal location for business and how the region’s ecosystem is shaping and creating the future of innovation and technology

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Electronic Arts lobby

The Orlando Economic Partnership (OEP) is launching a campaign targeting new economic development projects that showcase why ‘Orlando Works’ for CEOs and decision makers within our region who share the story of why Orlando is a strong destination for business.

Electronic Arts Senior Vice President and General Manager Daryl Holt said Electronic Arts’ history in Central Florida dates back nearly 30 years when three software developers moved from California to establish a video game development studio in Orlando. After partnering with Electronic Arts for several years to develop EA SPORTS Madden NFL, the studio was acquired and become Electronic Arts Tiburon.

“They were looking for talent and talent that could help them make video games. We work for a company that was founded on the premise, ‘Can a computer make you cry?’ Can we use technology to make you feel, make you emote?’” Holt said. “That’s been our quest to bring play to life and to make people feel and have that emotional response to interactive entertainment.”

Since the studio’s founding, Electronic Arts has grown its footprint in Central Florida to 1,000 employees.

Talent is key for us at Electronic Arts and for our continued growth here in Orlando.

Daryl Holt, Senior Vice President and General Manager at Electronic Arts

“The educational partners that we have and the pipelines that we have created and continue to create are paramount to that success,” Holt said. “We have three billion gamers worldwide, so we need a diverse set of talent still coming into our organization.”

Holt said the Orlando region is a growing technical hub. He said that makes the region an ideal location for Electronic Arts and other businesses. “The building blocks have been here for decades and a lot of people may not know that. We’re now building on it,” Holt said.

When you think about this ecosystem, when you think about the things that are happening here, we’re not just talking about or seeing the future, we’re actually creating it here.

Daryl Holt, Senior Vice President and General Manager at Electronic Arts

Recently Electronic Arts moved into its new studio in Orlando’s Creative Village, which brings together like-minded individuals, business leaders, community leaders, and educational leaders.

“We’re going to see this as an emerging manifestation of the technology cluster that is growing in Downtown Orlando, so it excites us because we’re here while it’s happening,” he said.

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Electronic Arts studio located in Orlando’s Creative Village

He adds if business leaders or decision makers are thinking about relocating or expanding then they should look beyond any assumptions or thoughts they may have about the Orlando region.

What’s happening here isn’t at the starting line. We started decades ago. We’re now full momentum going into who we are and who we are going to become.

Daryl Holt, Senior Vice President and General Manager at Electronic Arts

“It’s an exciting time here in Orlando. We’re proud to be a part of it,” Holt said.

Holt said Orlando works for Electronic Arts because it’s a wonderful place to live, raise a family, start a business and enjoy life. Beyond that, he said Orlando works for businesses because everyone, from talent, to civic and political leaders to business leaders, are all working together to build a better future.

“That works because we’re all rowing in the same direction. We’re all thinking about creating this future. We’re all actively participating in doing it while we also successfully run the businesses that we’re running here in Central Florida,” Holt said.

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