Governor Perry, EA Games praise Texas A&M Viz Lab at press event

Tim McLaughlin

About 8:50 minutes into this press conference announcing Electronic Arts’ Austin expansion, Texas Govenor Rick Perry talks about the education environment in Texas. Then at the 11:30 mark, he talks about academic visualization and gaming programs at SMU, Baylor and Texas A&M University.

Governor Rick Perry, EA Games President Frank Gibeau and COO Daryl Holt offered praise this week for the significant talent pool offered by programs such as the undergraduate and graduate degrees in Visualization at Texas A&M University’s Department of Visualization. The “Viz Lab,” as it’s more casually known, has quietly become a world leader in producing the extremely talented graduates desired by the gaming and entertainment industries, and was significant to EA’s announced expansion of operations into Austin this week.

Frank Gibeau, EA Games President said at this week’s announcement of the new Austin operations, "We are continually searching for the best talent in the industry and the best locations for our operations.”

Governor Perry said, “Twenty-one universities currently offer these programs in Texas … Texas A&M Department of Visualization, ‘Viz Lab’ as it is referred to … is rapidly developing a reputation; it’s one of the best in the world.  Thanks to companies like EA that work with them to have a qualified pool of developers.”

With $25 billion annual revenue, there are more than 13,600 Texans employed in this robust and expanding industry.

The Viz Lab at Texas A&M, based in the College of Architecture, draws on emerging technologies to produce visual arts and entertainment.  Vizzers go on to work at internationally recognized studios for games, interactive media, film animation, and visual effects, including: Electronic Arts (EA), Blizzard, Iguana Entertainment, Aspyr Media, Bouncing Pixel, Presagis, Pixar, DreamWorks Animation, Walt Disney Animation, Industrial Light & Magic, Reel FX Creative Studios, Sony Pictures Imageworks, and more.

Tim McLaughlin, Head of Texas A&M’s Department of Visualization said, “We appreciate Governor Perry honoring us with recognition and supporting our program.  Companies like EA invest in creating great gaming experiences by contributing to our efforts to educate technically clever and artistically creative students. EA Sports has been engaged with us since the Department was founded.  Their expanded presence in Texas will provide outstanding in-state career opportunities for our graduates. We’re looking forward to continuing our relationship as they develop new directions for their sports game titles.”

posted July 20, 2011