Success Story

Why Electronic Arts Produces Games in Orlando

Industry: Gaming

Facility Function: Design Studio

Year Founded in Orlando: 1994

Location: Downtown Orlando

Employees: 700

Square Footage: 180,000

Why Orlando?

EA Tiburon is home to the electronic artists and digital media wizards who bring blockbuster EA SPORTS games to life, and it continues to find success in a place known for characters: Orlando.

Founded as Tiburon Entertainment in 1994 by three passionate engineers, the small game development studio worked closely with Electronic Arts for four 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 Tiburon has grown from three employees to over 700 today. The studio continues to grow in Orlando because of the region’s great creative and technical talent, supportive local leadership and world-class educational partnerships.

FAST FACTS

  • EA Tiburon currently produces Madden NFL, Madden NFL Mobile, NBA LIVE and NBA LIVE Mobile, along with the development of additional intellectual property and internal technology.
  • EA Tiburon employs over 700 software engineers, game designers, producers, artists, project managers, analysts, audio and video specialists, and more; many are graduates of local universities including Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy (FIEA) and Full Sail University.
  • The interactive entertainment company is building its brand-new studio in the heart of downtown Orlando at Creative Village.

What Games Does EA Produce in Orlando?

Electronic Arts Tiburon (EA Tiburon) is one of Electronic Arts’ Worldwide Studio facilities and produces some of the top titles in the industry including Madden NFL, Madden NFL Mobile, NBA LIVE and NBA LIVE Mobile, and other products in various stages of incubation and development.

As one of the largest video game studios in the world, EA Tiburon is a key EA SPORTS studio for the development and production of interactive entertainment across a variety of platforms.

What’s the Main Ingredient to Their Success?

EA Tiburon has grown steadily and continues to add more jobs at its Orlando location. In addition to the more traditional gaming roles, EA also employs a large number of data analysts, cybersecurity specialists, audio engineers and more – the company is able to find this specialized workforce due to the area’s cluster in modeling, simulation and training.

The studio draws its talent base from the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy (FIEA) and Full Sail University, both of which ranked nationally for the best video game design graduate programs in the county by the Princeton Review. In fact, the company worked with 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.

Where Does the Magic Happen?

EA Tiburon is building a new 180,000-square-foot, five-story building in the heart of downtown Orlando at Creative Village. Creative Village is a digital media district, located next door to FIEA, which houses a robust downtown campus of the University of Central Florida (UCF) and Valencia College. Direct access and proximity to this talent pipeline is one of several drivers behind EA’s decision to locate in downtown Orlando.

Creative Village, a digital media hub in the heart of downtown Orlando

The convergence of talent in an innovation district like Creative Village companies like EA Tiburon gives the opportunity to collaborate directly with two large educational institutions. Creative Village combines prime downtown real estate with a significant talent pipeline and education partnerships all in one creative ecosystem. Diversity in the surrounding community also offers opportunities for outreach with the potential to achieve economic equality while enhancing communitywide creativity and innovation.

FAST FACTS

  • Creative Village is a 68-acre mixed-use, transit oriented, urban infill neighborhood in the heart of Downtown Orlando.
  • The UCF/Valencia Downtown Campus opened at Creative Village in August 2019 with more than 8,000 students, faculty and staff. Overall, UCF has 69,000 students and Valencia has 65,000 students.

How Does the Company Support the Local Community?

EA Tiburon’s culture places an emphasis on diversity and inclusion, and the company puts these values into action in the community. EA’s studio is home to the company’s annual “Get in the Game” summer program for local high school girls, during which participants learn about careers in video gaming and enhance their coding skills alongside EA mentors; graduates also receive a free laptop and a guaranteed internship interview upon completing relevant college coursework. This is one of many initiatives EA passionately supports to increase and celebrate diversity on its teams.

The Final Word

We’re excited to continue the long history of EA’s Tiburon studio in Central Florida. Not only will it be an opportunity to build a state-of-the-art studio facility to help our teams do their best creative work, it will also be game-changing for the potential we can have in the downtown area and the community around us. It gives us the space to invest in and grow our teams in the Orlando area, and build upon the great relationships we have with the City of Orlando, the Orlando Economic Partnership, UCF, the Florida High-Tech Corridor Council and many others helping to elevate the importance of the interactive entertainment industry to our state’s future.

Daryl Holt, vice president and general manager, EA Tiburon, EA SPORTS Austin, EA SPORTS Madrid