Games programming festival Game Fleadh 2012 will take place at LIT Tipperary this week, which will host a range of events to showcase the talent of Ireland’s young developers for the games industry. There will also be an award ceremony with a number of games companies located in Ireland shortlisted.
More than 2,000 second and third-level students from across the country are expected to attend the two-day event on 14-15 March to watch or participate in a range of intervarsity gaming competitions.
There will be events such as an artificial intelligence programming competition for first undergraduates students, the Microsoft XNA Game Studio and DirectX Challenge, gaming tournaments and GamesPro Talks from experts from Microsoft Ireland, Bioware, PopCap Games and Open Emotion Studios.
The Engineers Ireland Game Developer Awards will also be part of this year’s Games Fleadh, with eight Irish and international games companies shortlisted for the awards.
Companies shortlisted include Limerick-based Open Emotion Studios with four nominations and PopCap Games with two nominations. Others include SuperFunPlay, Asturm Nival/gPotato.eu, Eyesodic Games, BatCat Games, Tribal City, Pufferfish Games and Redwind Software.
“Given the rapid growth of the industry and Ireland’s growing reputation as an international gaming hub, it is only right that we would have an annual awards event to acknowledge the cutting-edge creativity of Irish companies,” said Philip Bourke, Digital Games Design Course co-ordinator at the institute’s Department of Technology, Media and Science and Games Fleadh founder.
“This really is a hot sector. According to the recent Forfas report, The Games Sector in Ireland: An Action Plan for Growth, the overall global video-games market is reckoned to be worth around €62bn each year, is growing rapidly and is one of the fastest-growing segments of the entertainment and media industry.
“Ireland is already showing a real aptitude and is being recognised internationally as an emerging hub. Critically, we must deliver top quality graduates for the sector so we can fill the 2,500 posts the industry here can create by the end of 2014,” he said.
Bourke added that some companies within the industry will attend the Games Fleadh to “talent scout”.