GameSpace incubator boost for start-ups
Maura Stanford aka Sonic the Hedgehog with Angry Birds Shane O'Brien and David O'Neill, students at Ballyfermot College of Further Education, at the launch of Dare to be Digital in Dublin
A new incubator programme aimed at start-ups in the games sector will be launched by Games Ireland today.
The incubator, called GameSpace, will provide hotdesks for up to 30 companies as well as individual offices for anchor game companies. It will also provide a meeting area for companies to meet with prospective publishers and investors.
“At present there are many start-up companies in Ireland with tremendous talent in coding, development and animation that need a central hub for industry mentorship and to share knowledge with like-minded companies,” Barry O’Neill, chairman of Games Ireland said.
He said the global trend towards multi-platform, online, browser and mobile device-based gaming platforms had opened up a market of upwards of a billion potential customers worldwide.
The incubator will be located at the exchange building in the IFSC, co-sharing with Pulse College, which is providing the space. The first anchor start-up tenants of the incubator will be Powoww Studios, Six Minute, bitSmith Games and Batcat Games.
Dylan Collins, who is the founder of Jolt Online Gaming, will act as a mentor as will Scalefront founder Steve Collins, Richard Barnwell of Digit Game Studios and Barry O’Neill of StoryToys.
GameSpace will create greater synergy between start-up companies and further momentum for the burgeoning games development industry in Ireland which have been scattered in locations throughout the country until now, Mr O’Neill said.
The establishment of GameSpace is part of a wider framework envisaged by Games Ireland that will also encompass an accelerator programme, GamePad, which will seek to fast-track younger game companies for graduation to GameSpace.
The incubator will be launched at the annual Games Ireland Gathering taking place in the Aviva Stadium today.
More than 500 coders and developers are expected to attend the conference with panel discussions and a game showcase.
Demonware chief executive Tony Kelly, Swrve founder Steve Collins, Riot Games director of engineering Michael Saladino and Paul Young, chief executive of Cartoon Saloon, which received an Oscar nomination for its first animated feature film The Secret of Kells will attend.
Separately, the Irish leg of the Dare to be Digital international computer games development competition was officially launched in Dublin yesterday by the Digital Hub Development Agency (DHDA).
The competition, aimed at third-level students, provides participants with the opportunity to connect with leading computer games companies.
Computer games development presents fantastic career opportunities, according to Dr Stephen Brennan, chief strategy officer, DHDA.
“In fact, as an industry, digital technology currently has over one million vacancies across Europe, and companies are crying out for talented and skilled people to fill them.”
One team will be chosen by a judging panel made up of industry insiders to represent Ireland at the international competition later this year.