Video and computer games maker Electronic Arts will be recruiting programmers from Latvia and the other Baltic countries to work at its Swedish "studio" Digital Illusions Creative Entertainment (DICE) (the link is half-assed and under construction). DICE has around 220 staff at present, but is planning to expand and perhaps double that number in the medium term.
DICE is best known for having designed and built the Battlefield series of war simulation games.
The Baltic C++ programmers and 3D graphics specialists will work in Sweden at Swedish salaries. As DICE spokesman Peter Hendriksson explained, the reason for recruiting across the Baltic Sea is not to outsource, but to get any talent at all. Apparently, programmers from the UK and the US aren't interested in moving to Sweden. Baltic programmers have a chance to get paid more than in Latvia (where they are relatively well paid anyway) and to work for a world-class company group in a situation where many, if they wanted to, could be weekend commuters to their homelands.
Recruiting Baltic talent for gaming is a departure from the pattern hitherto, where most IT work has been outsourced or nearshored to Latvia and its neighbors, and where most of the work has been on enterprise solutions (such as with Exigen and TietoEnator). However, Hendriksson believes that talented programmers can easily adapt to the gaming environment, where they still have to design and write code to specifications, regardless of whether it is to display CRM statistics or control the behavior of three-headed snake monsters.