Digit launches biggest budget video game in Irish history

Irish developer teams up with game publisher Kabam

Digit Game Studios launched a game with the biggest budget in Irish history yesterday with venture capital funding of €3.5 million.

Digit's publisher Kabam, which is backed by Alibaba, Intel and Google, will spend additional funds to distribute and promote the game worldwide as part of a revenue-sharing deal.

The fantasy strategy game called Kings of the Realm was picked by Google yesterday as just one of just three games to be featured on its play home page exposing it to millions of people.

Dublin-based Digit was featured alongside new games from two of the world's biggest game developers a new version of Angry Birds by Rovio Mobile and a new game from King the maker of Candy Crush Saga. The Irish game launched at midnight last night too on iOS in the Apple App store.

Huge for us’

“To be featured by Google is huge for us,”

Richard Barnwell

, chief executive of Digit said. “We don’t want to be a small indie gamer, and think we can get one million users or more.”

Barnwell said that Kings of the Realm had attracted 40,000 users in its testing phase since January, and he was hopeful that launching in the Apple App store would help it grow even faster.

“This is a building armies, crushing your opponent, fantasy strategy game and the reaction has been really strong among gamers,” he said.

The publisher of Kings of the Realm is Kabam which previously backed Kingdoms of Camelot which has grossed $250 million since its launch less than four years ago.

Kabam was named by Deloitte as the 17th fastest growing company in the United States after it doubled its revenues to $360 million in 2013. The San Francisco company has assigned a team of 15 specifically to help the Irish game take off.

Revenue share deal

“Kabam is a great partner,” Mr Barnwell said, “We have agreed a revenue share deal with it. We have developed the game but they can put us in front of millions of people.”

Digit is backed by Delta Partners, Enterprise Ireland and ACT Venture Capital. It employs 20 people in Dublin and was founded in 2012 by a group of experienced game developers.

“Our business model is ethical free to play,” Mr Barnwell said. “There is nothing in the game that requires cash only, so it’s a player’s choice whether to invest time or money in doing something.”

He said Kings of the Realm was targeting gamers who like Game of War by Machine Zone. "Game of War is bringing in $1 million a day in revenue. Our target is to be competing against them by Christmas," Barnwell said.

Penguin has launched a trilogy of books by Irish author Oisín McGann to tell the background story behind the game. The second edition of this series was also launched yesterday.