IO Interactive opened new offices in Barcelona one year ago, with a surface area of 2,400m2. The video games firm has had the support of Catalonia Trade & Investment for its expansion project.
As part of the company growth plan, IO Interactive will hire programmers, artists, animators, and game and sound designers to develop video games from Barcelona in collaboration with its other studios in Copenhagen (Denmark) and Malmö (Sweden).
From Barcelona, until now IO Interactive has created AAA video games such as those in the 'Hitman' saga.
AAA refers to video games for consoles and computers that have higher graphic quality, gameplay, sound, script, and extension. AAA video games tend to have continuity through sagas and are often adapted in the form of films or series.
Currently, the studio in Barcelona has also started developing the first 'James Bond' video game in the last fifteen years.
The Studio Head of IO Interactive in Barcelona, Eduard López Plans, stated: "Barcelona has all the right conditions to attract talent. There are professionals trained in video games and it is an attractive location to attract workers from all over the world. Moreover, the Catalan culture fits very well with the way of working in Denmark".
López stressed: "We came to Catalonia intending to collaborate and grow the local video game ecosystem".
According to the Minister of Business and Labour, Roger Torrent: "Barcelona is already a reference in Europe for the video games sector. We want to continue to strengthen this position as a powerful center that attracts foreign investment projects".
Torrent added: "This is the case of IO Interactive, which already has 30 workers at its headquarters in Barcelona and which in the coming years will expand its workforce with 150 new qualified jobs, covering the entire value chain of the development of video games".
The head of Business and Labour said: "Catalonia Trade & Investment’s data shows that Catalonia has been the first region in the European Union to attract foreign investment in the video games sector in the last five years. We attracted around 20 projects that have created 1,000 new jobs". "We offer talent, creativity, and innovation, and also the necessary infrastructure for video game companies to land in our country", he concluded.
Catalonia, the capital of video games in Europe
According to a study by ACCIÓ- Catalonia Trade & Investment, Catalonia is the first region in the European Union to attract foreign investment in the video games sector.
Specifically, in the last five years, Catalonia has attracted 20 new foreign investment projects from international video game studios. They have involved an investment of close to 120 million euros and have created almost 1,000 new jobs. The main investing countries in this period (2017-2021) have been the United States, France, Sweden, and South Korea.
In this way, Catalonia has attracted 12.2% of the foreign investment destined for the entire European Union these five years. Catalonia is positioned as the first region in the EU both in terms of the number of projects and volume of investment in the area of video games, ahead of the Amsterdam region (West Netherlands), Ireland, Sweden and the Bordeaux and Paris regions of France.
At the same time, Catalonia is the second region in the EU in terms of the number of jobs created with these foreign investment projects.