The founder and Chief Executive Officer of GamerFest Stuart Dempsey says Ireland’s first-ever gaming conference will help the country in its quest to become a global leader in the industry.
Nexus in Dublin will bring together developers, publishers, investors, gambling companies and other stakeholders to discuss opportunities and the potential for future growth.
With the global gaming industry on course to become a $400 billion sector, Ireland is understandably eager to grab a piece of the action.
The Irish government’s introduction of a Game Development Tax Credit has made Ireland an enticing option for gaming businesses and could spark massive growth in the sector.
Several leading game development companies already have a presence in Ireland – a factor which gives Dempsey hope that the country can emerge as a major player in the global gaming industry.
In an interview with RTE Radio, Dempsey claimed the Irish gaming industry was still in its formative stages but has massive potential.
With the global gaming sector worth more than the movie and music industries combined, Dempsey believes this presents Ireland with a huge opportunity to drive major economic growth and job creation across the country.
Dempsey’s desire to grow the Irish gaming industry will be aided in no small part by its involvement in eSports – the competitive sector of gaming where people play professionally.
An Post – the state-owned provider of postal services in Ireland – set the ball rolling in 2021 by sponsoring regular eSports tournaments in the FIFA series and Fortnite.
They have also ploughed significant resources into helping the development of Irish eSports athletes, boosting their hopes of them making an impact at international level.
An Post’s efforts have sparked significant interest in eSports from several other sectors, with the sports betting industry undoubtedly one of the most noteworthy.
Several established gambling operators in Ireland offer odds on eSports leagues and tournaments, which has helped to grow the fanbase for competitive gaming.
Many new betting sites are also keen to cover eSports as they strive to attract a younger demographic to their online wagering platforms.
Some of those companies will be represented at the Nexus event, setting up the possibility of stronger links being forged with the Irish gaming community.
Numerous gambling brands have established lucrative partnerships with eSports in other jurisdictions, and will likely seek to employ the same strategy in Ireland.
Sponsorship of teams, athletes, leagues and competitions is a marketing tactic betting firms have successfully leveraged in traditional sports, and eSports is ripe for the same methodology to be used.
Their involvement will play a key role in legitimising eSports, boosting its chances of coexisting successfully alongside traditional sports.
The recent creation of a new All-Ireland entity for eSports is another exciting development which will help the country’s bid to make its mark on the international stage.
The eSports & Gaming Federation of Ireland has linked up with eSports Northern Ireland in a move that will see the nation’s best gamers compete under the ‘Ireland eSports’ banner.
These handful of developments, coupled with an increasing number of multinational game publishers opening offices in Ireland, have left Dempsey excited about the future of the industry.
The Emerald Isle undoubtedly has some way to go before it can rival more established gaming regions such as the United States, Asia and mainland Europe.
However, Dempsey believes the country’s track record of success in other sectors should help the country’s bid to become a major player in the industry.
He highlighted the country’s efforts in generating growth in pharmaceuticals, medical technology and technology, and believes Irish gaming could be the next sector to boom.
With help from stakeholders such as IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland, and other groups like Imirt and Ardan in the background, Dempsey is adamant that Ireland can become a major global player in gaming.
While he acknowledged that there is plenty of work to do to attract more multinational gaming companies to jump on the bandwagon in Ireland, Dempsey is confident the work currently being undertaken by the gaming industry there will reap significant rewards in the future.