Business Irish

Tuesday 28 March 2017

Games developers seek to recruit 350 new staff

Tom Lyons

EMPLOYERS are scouting for fresh new talent, with up to to 350 jobs on offer at the Games Ireland conference at the Gibson hotel in Dublin's Docklands this Wednesday. Six of the world's biggest players in the gaming industry are hiring.

Electronic Arts, the maker of the Star Wars video game, Activision Blizzard, PopCap Games, Havok, Microsoft and Big Fish Games -- which announced plans to hire 30 software engineers in Cork last week -- are all looking to taking on new staff from game-design artists to game product marketers.

Barry O'Neill, the chairman of Games Ireland, said: "It's a very competitive market for jobs at the moment. We want people who are working in IT or other areas to see that their skills are transferable to the games industry."

The sector already employs over 2,500 people in Ireland, said Mr O'Neill, and the Dublin event will also showcase five Irish games start-ups, including his own firm Ideal Binary as well as Limerick's Open Emotion Studios and Tribal City Games from Galway.

"We need a vibrant start-up community," Mr O'Neill said. "It's the only way we will ever develop our own big games maker."

He said the Government was already working on a number of initiatives to help Irish games, including making it easier for Irish game developers to return home and setting up a "hot house" to help smaller firms.

However, Mr O'Neill added: "What we also need, though, is broader based incentives that will make us competitive with places like Canada."

Globally, the video gaming sector now turns over more than €50bn annually.

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