A games hub is opening up in Galway. I am beyond excited, here’s why:
The games community in Galway is large and growing. It includes artists, designers, animators, writers, developers, and sound engineers. They arrange regular events and meetups, and are supportive in critiquing and promoting each other’s work.
It’s a lively community with a wide breadth of experience and knowledge. Howling Hamster, a fast growing Galway based startup, are quickly making waves both across the country and internationally. More experienced founders like Alan Duggan in Tribal City Games has been making games in Galway for 15 years, has successfully fundraised from Galway, and earned quite a few air miles to the US in that time. He’s been where Howling Hamster are going, including all the way to 50 million downloads on a game and beyond.
We have lots of coworking spaces in Galway lately, but the closer I work with games startups the more I gain a deeper understanding of how much of a different breed they are. ‘Regular startups’ focus on solving a problem, gaming startups focus on fulfilling a desire. They work differently, they target different markets, they have different needs.
As a city, we’re lucky in that Brenda and John Romero (creator of DOOM ) chose to move to Galway and quite importantly, continue to develop games from here. That shone a light on Galway as a hive of gaming knowledge.
Steven Kelly of Howling Hamster said that ‘there is a growing community of game developers in Galway, it started with Sam Redfern, and Keith Killilea just getting everyone together regularly and it’s really great to see that get more attention’.
For Alan Duggan & Co, working with sponsors and various groups to lock in everything that is required, he is hoping to get the hub opened before the end of the year, hopefully at the end of the summer. The space will play host to the community events, speakers from the gaming industry, and working space for approximately 10 companies.
A specialised space like this has so much potential to properly invest in and propel the various startups we have here in Galway forward. From Pulse College creating new talent, to EA Games generating the highest level of AAA games, this hub will be a fantastic addition. If you are in anyway interested, take a look at http://galwaygames.com/