Home Forums #IrishGameDev in the News Kapooki Games – Closed. :(

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This topic contains 36 replies, has 22 voices, and was last updated by  UsagiYojimbo 11 years, 10 months ago.

  • Author
    Posts
  • #4650

    Darkblood
    Participant

    This is really really sad to see for all us, with this news, these guys paved the way for many of us to be here today and in one way they kick started our industry to pretty much alot you see around here today. I was lucky enough to be there when Kapooki was just starting out & i am gutted with the news today.

    ” In other corporate news, the Dublin technology firm Kapooki Games has collapsed with debts of 700,000 euro.

    The company, which was founded in 2000 by Michael Griffin, developed games for the internet and mobile phones.

    Kapooki was wound up at a creditors’ meeting in Dublin within the past week, with accountant Michael McAleer being appointed as liquidator.

    Trade creditors are owed more than 300,000 euro with the Revenue Commissioners owed a similar amount.

    Kapooki had raised around 1.2m euro in fu8nding from venture sources including Campus Companies Venture Capital Fund and Enterprise Ireland. ”

    http://www.businessworld.ie/livenews.htm?a=1271501;s=rollingnews.htm

  • #26020

    Nooptical
    Participant

    Sad news indeed……best of luck to the guys in the future.

  • #26022

    lk_
    Participant

    Aye, sad to see any company fail.

  • #26023

    peter_b
    Participant

    ah shit.. thats hard luck indeed.

  • #26026

    Greenbean
    Participant

    Very sorry to hear this.

  • #26028

    Ronny
    Participant

    Kapooki, along with Torc and Havok, were one of the first Irish studios that I knew were involved with games technology. It’s unfortunate to see the grandfathers of our local industry go under. Hopefully the employees will be able to find other jobs in Ireland or the UK. Maybe we’ll end up seeing some of them set up another studio!

    This event makes me think about the current situation in Ireland and how it will continue to change in the near future.

  • #26029

    Pete
    Participant

    Sad to see. When I left college, Kapooki were the only serious job hope in Ireland for artists. They had a good oul innings, considering the game dev climate here and when they started up.

    A black day indeed.

  • #26030

    r_mc_gowan
    Participant

    really sad to see this, another blow on the irish industry :( goodluck to everyone.

  • #26032

    MooTV
    Participant

    It’s a bit nasty towards the end.
    No need for it.

    Good luck to all the lads in Kapooki.

    http://www.sbpost.ie/post/pages/p/story.aspx-qqqt=TECHNOLOGY-qqqm=nav-qqqid=8586-qqqx=1.asp

  • #26033

    Max Marshall
    Participant

    Sorry to hear the news, to lose any company is a big blow to the Irish Game Development scene.

  • #26034

    mal
    Participant

    It is unfortunate that this happened to Kapooki, they had a lot of great people working there.

    If it wasn’t hard enough convincing an Irish investor to plump money into your company, it’s just got a bit harder.
    Mal

  • #26036

    Ronny
    Participant

    It’s a bit nasty towards the end.
    No need for it.[/quote:53f291143f]
    Indeed, Sean. As has been discussed on the forums, Mike Griffin left Kapooki a good while ago to give the attention to his wife and kids that any family deserves. Maybe the website’s attempts at contacting him were unsuccessful because he’s no longer involved with the organisation… Not only that, but is it not true that the Irish market has improved? We’ve seen companies like Torc and Starcave begin to establish themselves.

  • #26037

    MooTV
    Participant

    I agree.
    I’m not naive enough to think that the start up companies in Ireland will make it through to product and sales. But it doesn’t stop it being a blow to the local industry.
    The greatest tragedy about Kapooki is just how close they got to making it.

    As for that article, it was just stupid aiming comments at someone who had left months previous.
    It’s just a touch of vulturistic sensationalism IMHO.

    But, from what I gather, the lads from Kapooki are a talented lot. I reckon they’ll get themselves sorted. I was lucky enough to have a go at the Big Top demo they had at Awakenings in Derry last year. It was good ole crack and really well polished gameplay wise.

    But it shows you what we’re all up against.

  • #26038

    omen
    Participant

    Mike Griffin left Kapooki a good while ago to give the attention to his wife and kids that any family deserves. Maybe their attempts were unsuccessful because he’s no longer involved with the organisation[/quote:73e2a5f016]
    Think you’re being a bit unfair as to what part the rest of the people did there!

  • #26039

    mal
    Participant

    >> Mike Griffin left Kapooki a good while ago to give the attention to his wife and kids that any family deserves. Maybe their attempts were unsuccessful because he’s no longer involved with the organisation

    > Think you’re being a bit unfair as to what part the rest of the people did there!

    Like every story, there are many different sides to it. I’m sure that if you buy some of the ex-Kapooki dudes a beer or three, they’ll recite the tale ( or just the juicy parts, depending on how many pints you’ve placed in front of them ).

    No matter… it’s a great shame they’ve gone. Hopefully the core team will find an avenue to continue to work together, and will re-form at some stage in the future… wiser from the experience.

    Mal

  • #26040

    monument
    Participant
  • #26041

    Darkblood
    Participant

    There is an important lesson to learn from this and it has happened in our own backyard.

    Lets keep the good parts of Kapooki with us all & build a stronger Irish industry, kick it up a gear.

    One point i would really like to get put forward is to the goverment is we need more support, we need better funding to start-ups so we have a fighting chance to not just survive but do better (This community knows we got a talent for this). Which i am sure alot of members know & i do belive something good can come out of all of this sad news.

    Mike went out there and he did it with much harder times than it is now to get support in this country. If we have a few more people like Mike in this country, we will do very well for ourselves.

  • #26042

    Ronny
    Participant

    Mike Griffin left Kapooki a good while ago to give the attention to his wife and kids that any family deserves. Maybe their attempts were unsuccessful because he’s no longer involved with the organisation[/quote:05212c148a]
    Think you’re being a bit unfair as to what part the rest of the people did there![/quote:05212c148a]
    Ack, that came out the wrong way! I meant the website’s attempts at contacting Mike Griffin were unsuccessful because he is no longer with Kapooki. I didn’t mean anything about the success of the company. Just wanted to clarify that before the hate mail starts to flood in!!

  • #26044

    maniacrobot
    Participant

    Tis sad news, had high hopes for the kapooki projects, but tis the nature of the beast, I wish the guys good luck for the future

  • #26054

    kyotokid
    Keymaster

    Damn sorry lads :(

    I hope the Kapooki guys land on their feet.

    Talking to some of the Muckyfoot lads here, the last thing they wanted to do was set up another company after MF closed. The personal debts make it very hard. I think locating outside of Dublin would have eased some of the financial strain but unless revenue keeps coming in you cant pay your staff and it all steamrolls.

    Mal is right – getting investors onboard an Irish game studio is going to be even harder now. I think the best thing that could happen is if a Publisher can be attracted to set up a studio in Ireland so we there can be a somewhat secure place for indigenous dev staff to flourish.

    I never got to see any of the Kapooki WIP stuff, but it sounded good in the gameplay department.

    If there are any Kapooki folk around post your thoughts – You going to stay in games…my thoughts are always ‘pay the bills!!!’ first.

  • #26060

    aphra
    Keymaster

    Very sorry to hear about Kapooki – the story was in the Tribune as well at the weekend.

    The lads were very helpful to a lot of people and gave generously of their knowledge of the industry in interviews, to journalists, on games industry panels and on the IGDA committee. Game companies come and go quite regularly in other countries, we hope that these guys get jobs elsewhere and other companies can benefit from their experiences.

    Aphra.

  • #26077

    Idora
    Participant

    very sad news alright… Kapooki were the first company I got in touch with in the Irish industry, and were a great bunch of folks to work with, and a real inspiration. Here’s hoping they resurface collectively or individually in the Irish industry. Best of luck to all involved – particularly Ger, Dave & Gearoid the remaining founders after Mike’s departure earlier in the year

    This event makes me think about the current situation in Ireland and how it will continue to change in the near future.[/quote:8917b40603]It was never going to be any other way, Ronny. And I’m sure there will be more news, both good and bad to come…

    You have to bear in mind, the survival rate for new businesses (not just game devs, which I strongly suspect is even lower) past their first 3 years is less than 1 in 4. Running a business is never easy, and in the fiercely competitive and ever changing world of game dev, its only less so

  • #26093

    fitch
    Participant

    this is sad news.. like tony, my 1st irish games industry work was through kapooki..

    they were great to work with .. honest, inspired and totally trustworthy

    the drive they had for the product shone through every time i met up with them.. a real force to work with

    sorry to see them go and i hope all the lads at kapooki continue to build up the irish games industry

    i know for a fact the work i’ve gone on to do since would not have happened if it weren’t for kapooki

    deep gratitude and good luck guys

  • #26098

    aphra
    Keymaster

    just a quick note. Sunday Tribune want to do a follow up piece next week on the implications this has for the wider games industry. I guess they will be in touch with a few folks over the next few days and might be worth reading next weekend..

    Aphra.

  • #26102

    ian_hannigan
    Participant
  • #26110

    UsagiYojimbo
    Participant

    Very sad to hear this, a nail in the coffin of Irish game development for sure. Good luck to the guys, look to Free Radical for inspiration!

  • #26113

    kyotokid
    Keymaster

    a nail in the coffin of Irish game development for sure. [/quote:a7b9588491]

    I’d say it was more ‘another page in the story’ ;)

  • #26114

    Ronny
    Participant

    It was never going to be any other way, Ronny. And I’m sure there will be more news, both good and bad to come…

    You have to bear in mind, the survival rate for new businesses (not just game devs, which I strongly suspect is even lower) past their first 3 years is less than 1 in 4. Running a business is never easy, and in the fiercely competitive and ever changing world of game dev, its only less so

    [/quote:8506c6f0f2]
    Very true, Tony. I remember you discussing the statistics in Belfast and in Dublin. You mentioned how only several percent of games actually make a profit, while most will incur a loss. The games industry is going to have to go a long way to stabilise. Not just in Ireland, but all over the world. There’s been more than a few ideas about how to do this, we’ll just have to wait and see how it turns out. Have you read about Greg Costikyan’s lasted venture? I’m not so sure about its chances of success, but it will be interesting to see how it develops.

    a nail in the coffin of Irish game development for sure. [/quote:8506c6f0f2]

    I’d say it was more ‘another page in the story’ ;)[/quote:8506c6f0f2]
    Got to agree, Ivan. Every local industry has its problems. Look at the UK. Studios are going out of business every other day. Kapooki helped kickstart the Irish industry. For that they will forever be remembered. I don’t think this is a nail in any coffin!

  • #26116

    mal
    Participant

    > Kapooki helped kickstart the Irish industry

    It would be interesting to see an article showing a timeline on every Irish game development company in the last 20 odd years.

    Even before Kapooki, I know that Taintech, based in Dundalk, were the 1st games company I know of that were developing professional 3D games, aimed a console use ( and were also one of Havoks – then Telekinesys – first customers ). They had two great prototypes, one of a Tomb Raider style game, and one of a Celtic based strategy game.

    Also, Phantom Games I believe were doing some Sega Saturn development in and around Dublin.

    The Irish game development scene has had an interesting past so far, and it looks like the future is going to be just as interesting!

    The timeline could contain some sort of graphical representation, illustrating the birth ( and, if relevant, death ) of the company, as well as perhaps thumbnail images of the games they were working on during various periods.

    Mal

  • #26119

    Ronny
    Participant

    It’s a very good idea, Mal. It would give us a good idea of how the Irish industry has developed over the years without having to get into the gritty details that may put off the more casual among us. I can’t imagine it would be that difficult to do.

    I certainly think it’s something we should consider doing in the near future.

  • #26120

    Phil Plunkett
    Participant

    Sad news indeed.

    As for past companies I think there was one in Wexford that did 8 bit stuff. There was also Pixel Productions which became Gremlin Ireland doing 16 bit games and more recently Funcom Ireland, both based in Dublin.

    Phil

  • #26124

    Idora
    Participant

    Have you read about Greg Costikyan’s lasted venture? I’m not so sure about its chances of success, but it will be interesting to see how it develops.[/quote:f66bafa2a8]yeah, pretty interesting. Looking forward to seeing how that turns out

    I’d say it was more ‘another page in the story’ ;)[/quote:f66bafa2a8]Got to agree, Ivan. Every local industry has its problems. Look at the UK. Studios are going out of business every other day. Kapooki helped kickstart the Irish industry. For that they will forever be remembered. I don’t think this is a nail in any coffin![/quote:f66bafa2a8]i’d agree too.

    Apparently while there are now less indie games companies in the UK than there was 5 years ago (approx. half – due to acquisitions as much as companies going under), there are actually more people employed in the games industry than before. Is that good news or bad news, I’m not sure

  • #26130

    omen
    Participant

    Bloody hell…one company closes and people think games in ireland are dead? And I thought I was the pessimist on these boards! Reality check people, companys go down all the time, and not just in games!

  • #26135

    nanogoo
    Participant

    Hi all,

    As a former founder of Kapooki, I just want to say thanks for all the good wishes for the members of the Kapooki team. There were 3 of us who stayed with the company until it closed its doors in Sept. It was planned that we continue development while our sales agent in the UK worked hard to complete a deal on our behalf and although Kapooki had been attempting to establish a publishing deal for sometime, it never happened.( got pretty close, but never completed a deal for numerous reasons ). We are planning on preparing a short story for the benefit of the members of GD.ie and hopefully it will be of some benefit to you all.

    On a personal note, I have built up a library of interesting tech articles and various documents over the last 5 years and plan at some stage to provide the site with a bookmarked list of all this information so you can all benefit from it. So watch this space…hehe!! As for all of you who I may have met or bumped into along the way, best of luck with your efforts to continue building the industry which is still so poorly understood and under financed. I sure hope to bump into you again in the near future.

    -ger.

  • #26141

    ian_hannigan
    Participant

    We are planning on preparing a short story for the benefit of the members of GD.ie and hopefully it will be of some benefit to you all.

    On a personal note, I have built up a library of interesting tech articles and various documents over the last 5 years and plan at some stage to provide the site with a bookmarked list of all this information so you can all benefit from it. So watch this space…hehe!![/quote:8ae399dc51]

    That would be very useful Ger thanks!

    Best of luck in the future.

  • #26151

    mal
    Participant

    Hi Ger,

    > We are planning on preparing a short story for the benefit of the members of GD.ie and hopefully it will be of some benefit to you all.

    That sounds great! The article that was written on Pooka and the GAA game was quite informative, and spoke of the ups and downs of that company, it might be worth having a quick look over it.

    http://www.gamedevelopers.ie/features/viewfeature.php?article=129

    The best of luck on your future, and don’t be a stranger on these boards!

    There seems to be quite a bit of game development occurring outside Dublin, so you might be getting your hiking boots on and doing a bit of travelling soon…

    Mal

  • #26220

    UsagiYojimbo
    Participant

    so who are now the main players on the Irish game dev stage? Looked at the Torc Interactive videos for Dreddnought and IMHO it looked world class and they were using havoks physics. That Starcave group seem to be on the up aswell

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