Ireland’s Jobs Minister Richard Bruton, TD, has established an industry group consisting of executives from the major games companies present in Ireland to spearhead a strategy to create 2,500 new digital games jobs by 2014.
Driving ‘on-the-ground’ collaboration and networking, the Clustering Development Team (CDT) will proactively develop relationships between the foreign and indigenous cohort of games companies, start-ups and well-established multinationals, industry and education institutions, games companies and related sectors.
Influencing the policy system, the CDT will also have a key role in bringing about a change of thinking and approaches in relation to policy development for the games sector and related digital economy activities for the longer term.
Building a games talent base
The CDT will be chaired by Paul Breslin of PopCap Games, with internet entrepreneur Dylan Collins as vice-chair. The team also comprises representatives of other leading Irish and multinational games companies based in Ireland, as well as representatives of relevant Government bodies.
The group will be tasked with driving the implementation of recommendations of the October 2011 Forfás report on the games sector, which targeted the creation of an additional 2,500 jobs in the sector by the end of 2014.
“A key part of the Government’s plan for growth and employment is targeting sectors where Ireland has the potential to grow large numbers of jobs,” Bruton explained.
"These are sectors where, because of companies already located here, because of research being carried out here, because of the talent base we have or for other reasons, we have competitive advantage and therefore have the capability to attract more multinational companies, grow more indigenous companies, and ultimately create more jobs.
“Digital games is clearly one such sector. Not only do we have a base of ICT companies here which is the envy of many other countries, but we are fast developing an expertise in digital games specifically which can be a foundation for major jobs growth.
“The games sector here has expanded fivefold since 2004 and now employs approximately 2,500 people here – and continues to grow worldwide at a rate of 8pc annually. A major Government report has targeted the establishment of a further 2,500 jobs by the end of 2014, and recommended the establishment of an industry-led group to drive the implementation of measures necessary to achieve that goal. Today we have delivered on that recommendation.
“The task now is to sustain the momentum we have created in this sector and see through the creation of the jobs we need. I am convinced that, driven by the industry experts who have agreed to serve on this group, that can now become a reality,” Bruton said.
Membership of the Clustering Development Team
· Paul Breslin, general manager, PopCap Games, chair
· Dylan Collins, formerly Jolt and Demonware, vice-chair
· Tony Kelly, CEO, Demonware
· Eibhlin Payne, CS director, Blizzard
· Nicolas Pajot, COO, Gala
· Richard Barnwell, CEO, Digit Games
· John Rice, CEO, Jam Media
· Steven Collins, CTO, Swrve
· David Sweeney, CEO, Games Ireland
· Laoise Mc Cluskey, IDA Ireland
· Ray Walsh, Enterprise Ireland
· Maria Ginnity, Forfás
· Muiris O’Connor/Tim Conlon, Higher Education Authority
· Jacinta Stewart, CEO City of Dublin VEC
· Bryan Fields, FÁS
· Stephen Curran, Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
· Ronnie Breen, Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
· Stephen Walsh, Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
Video game controller image via Shutterstock