A new report has revealed the impressive growth in the Irish games industry since 2009, with the number of jobs up by 91 per cent as of October 2012. It also puts a price tag of €2 billion on the Irish consumer market between 2001 and 2011.
The Irish Computer Games Survey 2012, an independent study by Jamie McCormick, showed there are currently 2802 people employed by the games industry in Ireland, split across 83 different games companies.
This growth takes into account the recent staff cuts in the region (like those at Popcap's Dublin operation) as it's based on two separate online surveys, one conducted in March 2012, and one in October.
In March there were 3,344 jobs across 75 companies, but the October report recognised the loss of 590 roles in the six months following.
"There is a mismatch between the publishers and developers that operate in Ireland"
"Three international companies reduced their investment in the Irish market, and one indigenous international business closed during the six months between surveys; it is estimated that these alterations have led to the loss of 590 roles based on published figures. There was a further net loss of eleven mainly part-time and contract roles among eleven indigenous development teams with six taking on staff, four reducing staff, and one remaining the same."
The report attributed the 292 per cent growth in the number of game developers since 2009 to support from government agencies and specialised university courses.
The survey also showed that iOS was the most popular platform for the region's developers, with browser and PC titles just behind it, and in the time between surveys five companies had expanded their platform choices.
"There is a mismatch between the publishers and developers that operate in Ireland," the report also suggested.
"The platforms that the international publishers work on versus those that are being developed on in Ireland are different. This highlights that there is still a problem for developers getting a publisher to promote their games internationally, as there is no local publisher to help them do so on the platforms currently being developed on."
The report also made an educated estimate on the value of the consumer games market between 2001 and 2011, putting it at just over €2 billion or 7 per cent of the UK games market.
The report is available in full at Gamedevelopers.ie