Sunday 17 December 2017

Rural gaming start-up is proving a big hit thanks to Primal Flame

Start-Up of the Week

Pierre Aclement (left) and Niamh Cunningham
Pierre Aclement (left) and Niamh Cunningham

Conventional wisdom dictates that Irish games developers, like tech start-ups in general, need to be located in Dublin, Cork, Limerick or other cities. Some exceptions, such as Mayo's Kiltimagh, abound. But Irrelevant Fish is probably the first gaming start-up to come out of the remote rural townland of Ballaghaderreen, Co Roscommon.

The company, founded by local entrepreneur Niamh Cunningham and French developer Pierre Aclement recently launched its first game, Primal Flame.

"Living in the country is cheaper than the city," said Ms Cunningham.

"We said we'd give it a certain amount of time and the idea was to keep it lean. We didn't want to make a big financial investment so we didn't need to relocate to Dublin or a big city.

"If things keep going well, we can look into things like better equipment or more space."

The DCU computers applications graduate met Lyon-born Mr Aclement while working in Canada. Both knew how to code and decided to kick off a games company.

"We wrote the engine ourselves for the game so it would be quicker," said Ms Cunningham.

The result, Primal Flame for iPhone, is getting good reviews. However, Ms Cunningham decided to buck the trend for "freemium" games to concentrate on a 'paid-for' model.

"The whole pricing thing is interesting," she said. "Lots of iPhone titles now opt for freemium, but we decided to go for the older premium-style model."

Ms Cunningham says the company is preparing new games and a Microsoft Windows Phone version of Primal Flame.



Company: Irrelevant Fish

What it does: Makes games for iPhones

Founders: Niamh Cunningham and Pierre Aclément

Funding: Self-funded

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