Following in the wake of two articles in the Examiner newspaper which we have linked to in our forums, Róisín Burke from The Sunday Business Post (SBP) wrote two articles in yesterday’s paper (18th of Jan. 2015) on the Irish games industry.
One focused on asking what has happened since the government launched its Action plan for the Games Sector in Ireland in 2011 and set out a number of measures which it claimed could double the numbers employed in ‘core game activities’. On foot of this a cluster group was established to implement the plan. This group included industry, academic and other interested representatives.
Games Ireland was formally incorporated around this time, as an industry representative body for the games industry in Ireland and held a high profile event in the Shelbourne hotel attended by industry representatives from Europe. See images below of an Taoiseach End Kenny and David Sweeney, then chair of Games Ireland and in the second image Paschal Donoghue (TD) and Barry O’Neil (StoryToys) from this event. Paschal Donoghue (TD) was at that stage one of the most prominent political figures promoting the games industry. Games Ireland were also participants in the cluster.
The Clustering Development Team has to date not published a report and there is no public records of their activities (do correct us if there are!). According to the SBP articles Games Ireland appears to be declining to agree to publication of a report without some key issues being included and the ‘team’ has been in hibernation now for almost a year.
Meanwhile David Sweeney stepped down as chair of Games Ireland towards the end of 2014 to concentrate on his European work. He has been replaced by Paul Breslin of Riot Games. Paschal Donoghue has moved to a new appointment as Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport.
In the second article we see some discussion of the potential impact of a new tax credit system for game development introduced in the last year in the UK. Some Irish companies are considering establishing offices in Northern Ireland or in the UK to take advantage of both the tax credit and funding via cultural funding agencies.
So together with the articles in the Examiner, a rather somber picture is presented and the action plan is looking rather lifeless.
Download the action plan – forfas20111010-Games_Sector_in_Ireland_2011