Eirplay gets into the game with pending sports deal

29 Jun 2004

Dublin-based Eirplay Games is finalising a deal with a major industry player that will allow the company to increase its headcount substantially, siliconrepublic.com has learned.

The Irish company, which has its headquarters in the Digital Depot on Thomas Street in Dublin, develops content for wireless platforms and the web. It is currently in the process of agreeing a contract with a well-known producer of sports games, although the company can’t yet disclose the identity of its new partner. As part of the deal Eirplay will develop that company’s content for the mobile phone sector. “It will heavily feature online gameplay on a mobile. The products are positioned for the transition from 2.5G to 3G,” said Eirplay managing director Peter Lynch.

Next year Eirplay hopes to double or possibly treble staff numbers as a result of that project and others Lynch added. “Our plan is to recruit exclusively in Ireland, bar one or two senior executive positions where obviously you need international experience,” he told siliconrepublic.com.

Eirplay currently employs five full-time staff and another three people part-time. Its expansion plans would take staff numbers up to between 16 and 20 people, mostly full-time but with some part-time employees.

Because of its decision to source staff locally, Lynch welcomed the recent news that Carlow Institute of Technology is to introduce a games development degree course. “I like the fact that it’s a four-year degree. It will give people a very good grounding in software and multimedia and specifically in games development. Because it’s a degree it will give a lot of time over to looking at each of the skills used in developing a game.”

Since being established in 2000, Eirplay has built up an array of digital content for the wireless and web markets. It also has distribution agreements with industry players in Europe and the US. Earlier this year it won the Digital Games Developer Award at the O2 Digital Media Awards, beating off competition from Microsoft Games Studios and Riverdeep Interactive Learning.

By Gordon Smith