Friday, March 1, 2024

Concerns arise over jobs at Dublin-based Keywords Studios

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Staff at Dublin-based games services company Keywords Studios are concerned for their jobs after management confirmed it had begun a “consultation process” with employees at the Irish office.

The company, which provides technical and creative services to the global video games and entertainment industries, described this process as ongoing. It did not disclose how many jobs might be impacted by the move.

“Regrettably, Keywords has commenced an employee consultation process in Dublin, regarding certain roles, primarily in localisation QA,” it said, referring to quality testing. “We will treat our employees with fairness and respect through this process.”

But some staff have expressed concerns the jobs could be moved to Poland, where Keywords has an office, to take advantage of lower wage costs.

The company declined to comment further on any potential job losses, as the process was ongoing.

Keywords Studios employs 350 people in Dublin across localisation QA and other services. It also has operations across Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific.

The company implemented redundancies in Canada in September last year, laying off workers who were involved with quality assurance and testing for Dragon Age after developer BioWare did not continue its contract.

Keywords, which was established in 1998, provides services to most of the top 25 companies across the games and entertainment industry, including Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts, Epic Games, Konami, Microsoft and Netflix.

It has been on an acquisition spree in recent years, scooping up US game development studio Hardsuit Labs, US-based social media agency Digital Media Management and tech PR company LabCom, among others.

In 2022, it spent a total of €140 million buying up specialist companies to extend its end-to-end games service.

In July last year, the group confirmed it had agreed a new $400 million (€371 million) loan facility to pursue its growth strategy, with AIB, Bank of Ireland, Bank of China, HSBC, Danske Bank, ING and Citibank supporting the facility.

Interim results for the company for the first half of 2023 show revenues grew 19.4 per cent to €383.5 million, with organic revenue growth, which adjusts for the impact of acquisitions, at 10.4 per cent and operating profit of €29.3 million.

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