State officials in Ireland are considering an extraordinary reform package that could make the nation a global leader in games development.
The Irish government said it is backing the digital creative industries as a driver of economic growth, and has proposed doubling its game dev workforce.
A new policy paper “lays out a clear plan for action to put Ireland on the map as a global games hub for the 21st century”, a government minister said.
The new proposals aim to increase Ireland’s employment in core games companies to 4,500 by 2014. Today the country employs about 2,000 games professionals.
New education policy, company grants and improved R&D tax breaks are all being recommended as centrepieces in revolutionising the nation’s games industry.
Substantial government assistance has been promised, with the aim to deliver “sustained growth within the most progressive and digitally advanced business environment”.
Six initiatives have been proposed to transform the sector:
1) Developing an International Cluster; Stimulating connectedness between related sectors, nationally and internationally
2) Enhancing Skills and Experience; Addressing short term needs and building a continuous feed-stock of creative, technological and commercial capabilities
3) Accelerating Growth in Creative Content Development; Attracting and developing the talent pool creating the dynamic environment
4) Building International Visibility; Raising Ireland’s visibility as a vibrant location for the games sector
5) Driving Research, Development & Innovation (RD&I); Enhancing innovation in the games sector
6) Delivering Next Generation Broadband; Underpinning future growth
“I welcome this report that sets out, for the first time, Ireland’s potential in the video and electronic games sector,” said Richard Bruton, the minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.
“As a pioneering sector within the wider digital economy, the games sector is dynamic, innovative and exciting. Global growth, particularly in online and mobile games, is phenomenal and Ireland is well positioned to service international demand.
“What is apparent is that Ireland already has a number of strengths on which we can build success for the future and that will differentiate its offering internationally.”