Bruton hopeful on gaming jobs
A group tasked with driving growth and job creation in the digital gaming sector is holding its first meeting today.
Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton has asked the Clustering Development Team to consider ways of implementing the findings of a report by Forfás which found that 2,500 jobs could be created in the sector by the end of 2014.
More than 2,000 people are directly employed in the games sector in Ireland at present, a number that has increased five-fold since 2004. The sector is forecast to increase in size from its current $59.3 billion to $82.4 billion by 2015.
Mr Bruton said Ireland had a competitive advantage in the sector because of the firms operating here and the skills base among the workforce which created an opportunity to attract “more multinational companies, grow more indigenous companies, and ultimately create more jobs”.
“The task now is to sustain the momentum we have created in this sector and see through the creation of the jobs we need,” he said. “I am convinced that, driven by the industry experts who have agreed to serve on this group, that can now become a reality.”
The Forfás report identified digitally distributed and online games as the main areas where Ireland has the opportunity to grow and develop, with particular focus on creative game development, support and the exploitation of intellectual property.
The group consists of professionals working in the digital gaming industry, officials from Mr Bruton’s department and employees of agencies such as the IDA and Enterprise Ireland.
It is being chaired by the chief executive of online game group Popcap Paul Breslin with Dylan Collins, who has worked with gaming firms Jolt and Demonware, as vice chair.
Ireland is already home to a number of major games firms, including EA, Bioware, Activision Blizzard, Zynga and Mr Breslin’s firm PopCap.