2009 Irish Games Industry Survey reveals 400% growth in sector in seven years

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Dublin&Limerick, Ireland - 6th November 2009 - A recent survey into the computer games industry on the island of Ireland has revealed that the industry has grown massively over the last seven years. The survey, conducted by researchers from NUI Maynooth and the University of Limerick, and published on the Irish Games Industry website GameDevelopers.ie has revealed a detailed breakdown of those employed in the sector, as well as giving an insight into the state of the Irish Games Industry.

The survey reveals that the twenty one companies that responded employ a total of 1,469 people in the sector across the island of Ireland. This is made up of 1,277 full time permanent employees, 170 contractors and 22 freelancers, representing a growth of over 400% since the last industry survey conducted by one of the authors in 2002. The survey also reveals that 60% of companies are involved in game development, with many companies working across multiple platforms, while 30% are games publishers operating across Europe, North America and Asia.

It also reveals the types of jobs in the industry. Nearly nine hundred are involved in non-development areas which include online customer/player support while nearly two hundred are involved in quality assurance. 104 employed in management, 72 in programming, 59 in localisation, 60 in art, design and audio, and 26 in marketing. The survey also revealed that seventeen of the companies who responded have been founded on the island of Ireland over the last five years.

Many companies are working across multiple platforms, particularly those involved in support, localisation and middleware. Smaller, indigenous companies who are involved in game development tend to focus on PC, web and mobile platforms. There are two indigenous game development companies working on console/handheld game development. The report also highlights the regional breakdown of companies operating in the sector. Thirteen of the companies who responded were located in the greater Dublin area, with nine of these stating they were located in Dublin city centre. A further five were located in Munster, with three in Ulster.

The report also highlights the demographics and multi-national nature of the workforce employed in Ireland. Almost 43% of employees in these companies are aged between twenty-six and thirty-five years, with a further 30% aged between eighteen and twenty-five years. By nationality, the greatest number of employees are German, followed by Irish and other European, i.e., not French, German, Spanish or Italian. The fourth largest nationality group is British. The report also highlights that females constitute 13% of the total numbers employe.

Two thirds of companies have located their headquarters in Ireland. When asked why they were located in Ireland, the companies provided an interesting mix of responses. While availability of skilled labour was the most significant reason for almost half of respondents, this was followed closely by an ability to attract talent, even if it wasn't available locally, i.e., access to Europe. In addition, four companies cited grants and financial incentives, and one identified links to universities.

A feature based on the survey can be read on gamedevelopers.ie and an extended report is also available via the website as a downloadable PDF document.

Notes to editors:

The 2009 Irish Games Industry survey was conducted over the summer of 2009 by Dr. Aphra Kerr, a lecturer in the Department of Sociology at the National University of Ireland Maynooth and Dr. Anthony Cawley, a research scholar in the Institute for the Study of Knowledge in Society (ISKS) at the University of Limerick.

GameDevelopers.ie, where the report has been published, celebrated its sixth anniversary this year. The website allows those employed in the games industry at home and abroad, students, and others related to the Irish games industry to network, seek assistance and advertise jobs. It also runs formal and informal events giving the communityan ability to meet face to face. It is non-profit, and run by volunteers. It is currently supported by Demonware.

For further information on this survey or GameDevelopers.ie, please contact Dr. Aphra Kerr at aphra@gamedevelopers.ie/ aphra.kerr@nuim.ie +353 (1) 7086140 or Dr. Anthony Cawley at anthony.cawley@ul.ie or +353 (61) 234623.


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