The organisers of Games Fleadh — Ireland’s version of the Oscars for undergraduate game designers and developers — are calling for the scheme. The event took place at Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) and featured some of the biggest names in the gaming industry.
Event organiser and lecturer at LIT’s Game Design and Development programme Dr Liam Noonan said the provision of a tax relief system to Irish game designers and developers would “encourage more entrepreneurship and consolidate the strong growth” recorded in the sector recently.
“We do need to level the playing field and encourage investment in this creative innovative space, this industry is no different to the movie or TV sector as it is creative, dynamic and risk-taking is involved,” he said.
“Investment tax relief schemes in the game design and development sector are needed to encourage more entrepreneurship and the creation of Irish jobs.”
The increasing strength of the sector has been highlighted by job announcements from EA, Black Shamrock and ZeniMax, as well as the relocation from Silicon Valley to Galway of Romero Games.
Dr Noonan pointed out that the move of Romero Games to Ireland, in particular, was a major coup for the sector.
The high profile move to Ireland by John and Brenda Romero whose title credits include Doom, Dangerous Dave, Quake, Wizardry, and The Mechanic is the Message is an endorsement of the potential of this sector to develop.”
“EA have continued to grow their presence in Galway and with the addition of their QA team are creating job opportunities for Irish game developer graduates.
The recent establishment of the Irish game makers association ‘Imirt’ lends further evidence to the growth and optimism in this sector,” Dr Noonan said.
The event organiser also pointed out that Games Fleadh was a “fantastic networking opportunity for the Irish game development sector”.
The all-island games design and development competition for third-level students is now in its 13th year and is supported by some of the biggest names in gaming including Microsoft Ireland, EA Games, Ubisoft and the Irish Computer Society.
The Games Fleadh featured a keynote speech by John Romero as well as talks by industry professionals from EA, Microsoft and Fungus Games.
It also included a startup session which provided insight from a number of recently formed Irish startups in the game design and development sector.
A number of competitions took place throughout the day including an EA FIFA 2016 and UFC tournaments, with numerous EA titles being provided as prizes for the various competitions.
To celebrate the launch of Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy’s The Division on Tuesday, the game was playable at the event, while gamers also had the chance to put questions and offer feedback to its developers at Ubisoft Massive Entertainment.