Video game HQ, 150 jobs headed to Round Rock

A video game and technology company that was founded in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex is moving its headquarters to Round Rock.

KingsIsle Entertainment Inc., which was headquartered in Plano but also operated a software development studio in Round Rock, on Dec. 16 received approval from Round Rock City Council for an economic development agreement to move its headquarters to a 33,000-square-foot facility in La Frontera at 2700 La Frontera.

As part of the agreement, the company is required to invest at least $500,000 in improvements at the facility and create 150 jobs within three years. It is also required to lease and occupy the space before Jan. 1, 2022. In return, the Round Rock Transportation and Economic Development Corp. will provide performance-based payments totaling $100,000 over three years.

“KingsIsle is a needed addition to Round Rock’s business community,” Mayor Craig Morgan said in a statement. “Not only is it a technology and computing business, which is a key industry target for our economic development partnership with the Round Rock Chamber, it will also be a corporate headquarters. This is a double-win for Round Rock.”

KingsIsle was founded in 2005 in Plano. The company is known for online role-playing games, including Wizard101 and Pirate101. The company was acquired by Media and Games Invest SE, which is headquartered in Malta and has more than 600 employees, for $126 million in January 2021.

As part of the acquisition process, the company looked around the country for a place to consolidate its engineering studios, according to a Dec. 16 release from the Round Rock Chamber. The company previously occupied 19,000 square feet in Round Rock where it had 80 employees. The company is required to retain those employees and add to that total, which will include software engineers, developers and administrative with an average salary of $85,000 per year and full benefits.

In 2019, the median household income in Williamson County was $87,337, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Median household income represents the combined gross income in a typical household.

“We’re excited to solidify and grow KingsIsle Entertainment’s footprint in Round Rock while incorporating relocated staff from previous offices now decommissioned in the Bay Area, Austin, and Plano,” KingsIsle Chief Gaming Officer Merv Lee Kwai said in a statement.

The announcement marks another economic win for Round Rock, which had a population of 119,468 in 2020, up from 99,9887 in 2010, according to Census Bureau data. Earlier this week, Houston-based BGE Inc., which has roughly 20 offices in five states, including two in the Austin-area, shared plans to add 50 employees in Round Rock, bringing its total to 130. Inc. is also eyeing 193 acres, part of Robinson Ranch, for a large warehouse and distribution center.

“We are thrilled that KingsIsle has chosen to continue to invest in our community,” said Jordan Robinson, the Round Rock Chamber’s interim president and CEO, in a statement. “The results of their nationwide search for a new headquarters is evidence that Round Rock is a destination for economic growth and opportunity.”

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