The gaming world is evolving. What was once an industry focussed primarily on the U.K., United States and Japan, has expanded to a huge multinational market.
In 2011, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, announced an initiative to ensure the creation of video-game studios in Ireland as a way of creating 2,500 jobs by 2014.
Despite a large increase of studios in Ireland, Irish studios have yet to see even 1% of what the Irish public has spent on video-games.
With all this expansion and incentives, can you actually name an Irish created game?
Yet, there is a timeline which showed that the expansion of the video game market
Since the Clustering Development Team, a group dedicated to increasing the number of digital jobs in Ireland, was created in 2012, it had been using on old data which is not exactly ideal when recommending new policies.
They have said to The Journal: “They make that decision that’s based on data that’s two to three years out of date and when they do make it, it’s another two or three years before they can see the impact. Between the map and the timeline, we have a real view of the gaming industry.”
So it’s no surprise that last year there was a huge question about the effectiveness of the group. This debate is still ongoing but there doesn’t seem to be much fanfare from the gaming community.
There is still a small amount of independent games making there way onto Steam or GOG. Such as the obscure puzzle game Montagues Mount, which came out in 2013. It became the first game to integrate the Irish language into a game. Unfortunately, the game wasn’t met with the best reception.
There may still be games which might fill this role. Spooky Doorway have the detective game, The Darkside Detective, to be released later this year. However, there is still a major obstacle which Irish games need to overcome, connecting with their audience and informing them of their game.
While there are gaming events held regularly, Jamie McCormick, formerly of Scraggily Dog Games, says they’re more about “connecting developers with developers, whereas what we need to do is connect consumers with the games.”
The Irish gaming world needs something that reaches the audience through word of mouth. A game of good quality that would ensure good user feedback.
The main contender for this title is Gambrinous‘ Guild of Dungeoneering which came close to filling that gap. Despite the fact that the game actually got decent reviews from critics and held mainstream appeal, the game still failed to maintain a good user base.
Ultimately, not enough has changed to justify the large initiative by the Irish government. All that is needed is that one game which reaches the audience.