Seattle, Wash. – The Academy of Interactive Entertainment (AIE), Australia’s leading educator for the Computer Game Development and 3D digital industries, will open their classroom doors to the Seattle market in June 2011 and is planning on bringing 125 jobs to the Seattle area within the next four years.
“We evaluated several cities in the West Coast and selected Seattle because of the depth of talented game studios, the deep creative and entrepreneurial talent that exists in this city” said John Demargheriti, President of the AIE. “The potential to work in partnership with a number of organizations who, like us, are also not-for-profit, and want to make a difference.”
“The assistance we received from enterpriseSeattle, the City of Seattle, and the State of Washington was amazing. When we were scouting locations their breadth of knowledge about digital media, and the impact that our educational portfolio would have on assisting local entertainment companies to grow even further solidified the logical choice of Seattle as the West Coast location of choice.” said Dr. Christopher Erhardt, Head of School-Overseas for the AIE. “We are looking forward to launching our local efforts with vocational programs targeted at the Game and Interactive Media Industry starting this summer.”
For the last nine months, enterpriseSeattle and Washington State have been working together on this project. “We are thrilled about the addition of AIE to our local interactive media cluster”, said Jeff Marcell, President & CEO of enterpriseSeattle. “This decision by AIE is just one more sign that our region is a strong leader in world of interactive media development and content creation.”
Rogers Weed, Director of the Washington State Department of Commerce, sees this latest win as a confirmation of Washington State’s leadership in enterprise software, interactive media, cloud computing and mobility. “Our state’s highly competitive tech sector has helped position us in the top two states nationally for growth in the new innovation and knowledge-based economy” says Weed. “Coupled with our strategic gateway location on the Pacific Rim, it’s clear Washington is the place to be for many international firms looking to invest and expand in the US.”
Steve Johnson, Director of the City of Seattle Office of Economic Development agrees that AIE’s expansion to Seattle affirms our standing as a leader in content technology. “AIE will be able leverage our deep talent pool of content creators in film, music, and interactive media to support their long-term business plans,” said Johnson. “We look forward to working closely with AIE and our economic development partners to successfully complete their expansion to Seattle.”
The Seattle region’s strong interactive media cluster was a major decision point for AIE. However, the business climate was also a consideration. “Working on this project kept us all mindful of the importance of keeping our region fiscally friendly to individuals and businesses,” said Kristina Hudson, Director of enterpriseSeattle’s Washington Interactive Network. “We have a good shot at being the global center of game and interactive media development and IP creation, if we stay competitive with our taxes and incentives.”
Dr. Christopher Erhardt from AIE will be attending the 4th Annual Power of Play at 3 o'clock today at the Redmond Marriott Town Center, and will be available for comments and questions. www.PowerOfPlay2010.com.