Qalytics, a video game testing company, is relocating its main offices from Seattle to the Louisiana Technology Park in Baton Rouge, a move that will create 20 jobs.
Qalytics does advanced testing for a variety of companies, including Big Fish Games, Scholastic Corp. and Roadhouse Interactive. Louisiana’s economic development department said the new jobs will have an average annual salary of $27,000, plus benefits.
Larry Kelly, managing partner for Qalytics, said Tuesday that he spent the past two years looking at moving his business to Baton Rouge. Kelly first made contact with local officials about two years ago, when he was chief financial officer for Other Ocean, a video game testing firm. Kelly sold his 5 percent stake in Other Ocean and started Qalytics in late 2013.
“It seems so right coming to a great city,” Kelly said. The state’s digital interactive media tax credit was a “great attraction.”
“You just know how to do business here,” he said.
Kelly, who has been in the video game testing business for about 12 years, said he plans to set up operations in the Tech Park on Florida Boulevard “as soon as we can get an office.” His goal is to rapidly increase the staff, citing his experience with Other Ocean, which went from zero to 60 employees in five years.
“I should have the business chops to do it a lot faster,” he said.
Qalytics offers in-depth testing, checking to make sure how much fun a game is to play and how intuitive it is for players. The company said it can test more than just games, such as any mobile- or PC-based software.
Jeremy Hymel, a native of LaPlace who attended Baton Rouge Community College and helped set up EA Sports’ Baton Rouge testing operations, will be the Qalytics manager.
East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Kip Holden said Qalytics’ decision to set up shop locally, along with the expansion of local tech companies like MasteryPrep and IBM’s decision to build a software development center downtown, shows the diversity of the area economy. “We’re not just a one-stop shop,” Holden said.
Follow Timothy Boone on Twitter, @TCB_TheAdvocate.