A new upskilling programme to teach composers about how to create musical content for the social and casual games industry is having its official launch this evening at IMRO in Dublin.
The Minister for Education and Skills Ruairi Quinn, TD, is launching Games Music Ireland at an event whereby independent game developers will have the chance to mingle with composers.
The programme itself has been up and running over the past few months. It has already run an upskilling course at Windmill Lane Recording Studios for 30 independent composers.
Games Music Ireland’s aim is to upskill music composers and to spawn new jobs for them in the social and casual gaming spaces.
The goal is to put Irish composers at the forefront of this industry and to equip them with the technological and digital skillsets so they can create musical content.
Games Music Ireland is also planning to foster communication channels between Irish composers and games developers, both in Ireland and internationally.
Ireland is already a gaming hub, with key players such as PopCap Games, Zynga, Activision Blizzard, Big Fish Games and Riot Games having set up their international operations here.
Then, we have our own Irish tech firms Havok and DemonWare, which was acquired by Activision for US$15m.
Just last year, a Forfás report indicated that Ireland had the potential to more than double its employment in core games activities to 4,500 people if the country takes actions to become a digitally advanced business hotspot.
Opportunities for composers
Composer Mick Kiely is a co-founder of Games Music Ireland. He has already composed music for the AAA sector of the games industry.
Speaking this evening, Kiely said that he saw an opportunity for Irish composers with the right skillsets to fulfil a gap in other sectors of the gaming industry.
He said that the social and casual gaming sector presents huge possibilities for Irish composers as it is the fastest growing sector of the games industry.
Kiely said that because of Ireland’s wealth of talent in both the music and game development communities the country could position itself to take advantage of the emerging opportunities in this industry and create jobs.
Minister Quinn also pointed to the opportunity for Ireland to attract more gaming companies here and to develop clusters once we have the right skillsets.
"We have been very successful in attracting high-tech industry. With Ireland fast becoming the internet capital of Europe we will be doing more to ensure that companies from the social and casual gaming sector choose to locate here," he said.