While much of the gaming news agenda has been dominated by Halo 3 in recent days, life has been going on for those outside Microsoft and Bungie. NCsoft Europe today announced that it will be expanding its office in Brighton, a move that will create over 100 new "high-skilled jobs."
NCsoft is a Korean publisher known for its online titles, which include the Guild Wars series, City of Heroes, Lineage, and the upcoming Richard Garriott-helmed sci-fi massively multiplayer game Tabula Rasa.
The expansion, on top of the 112 staff already employed by NCsoft in Brighton at its European headquarters, is primarily thanks to a grant from the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), designed to ensure "continued sustained development." NCsoft is set to use the grant to launch a series of new products and shift offices into Brighton's CityPoint development. According to NCsoft's statement, the money also safeguards 110 jobs and will help to create 116 new positions in the next three years.
There have been concerns within the British games industry that it was beginning to lose out to countries such as Canada and Australia, which are offering tax incentives to companies that set up development studios. According to a report in the Financial Times, the Canadian city of Montreal pays around 40 percent of the salaries of games developers in the region. UK trade group TIGA warned at the Develop conference in Brighton this year that the number of games development companies in the UK has been falling, and called for government support for the industry.
Geoff Heath, NCsoft's CEO, told GameSpot, "We are delighted that SEEDA has decided to support NCsoft in creating what will be 100 new high-tech jobs in the region, for a company that continues to provide attractive new opportunities for UK talent. We believe that in conjunction with SEEDA's grant, this will encourage talent to stay within the UK. The extra investment also reaffirms our decision to be based in Brighton and take the business onwards to the next level."