By Richard Thompson
California-based inXile Entertainment plans to open a video game development studio in New Orleans, creating 50 jobs over the next five years. The average annual salary will be $75,000, plus benefits. Louisiana’s economic development department estimates the project will lead to another 64 indirect jobs.
The [3,900]-square-foot facility, situated on Oak Street in Carrollton, will mark inXile’s first expansion outside its headquarters in Newport Beach, California.
The company specializes in developing interactive entertainment software for popular game systems ranging from the PlayStation 4 to iOS and Android smartphones. The firm’s designers have spearheaded titles such as “Torment: Tides of Numenéra,” “The Bard’s Tale” and “Wasteland 2.”
Local and state officials announced the expansion during a news conference flanked by inXile CEO Brian Fargo and President Matthew Findley. The pair have worked together for more than two decades.
Fargo, who founded inXile in 2002, said he was excited to open inXile’s first satellite office in Louisiana, and to be part of an emerging wave of technology companies looking to make their mark and establish the region as a high-tech hub.
A longtime industry veteran, Fargo established Interplay Entertainment in 1983, which became a Top 5 PC game publisher, producing some of the biggest franchises in video game history, including “Bard’s Tale,” “Fallout” and “Wasteland.” Fargo continued the “Wasteland” legacy at inXile with the production of “Wasteland 2,” which recently was financed by fans through a Kickstarter campaign.
In the past, they said, talented college graduates eager to break into the video game industry had few options: California or bust. Now, they’re hoping to change that. “This will allow us to compete with that level,” Fargo said. “It will also give us access to talent on the East Coast, and that’s something that we’ve never had before.”
Though the new building is far from finished — Wednesday’s news conference was in a warehouselike room with white walls and exposed piping lining the ceiling — Findley said he envisions a “very open office plan.”