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Games Industry in Northern Ireland

Probably not the most delicate of blog titles but it’s definitely time that people paid attention to the games industry in Northern Ireland. I’ve been generally aware of games activity in the region but it wasn’t until Hector (think Monkey Island meets Northern Ireland) crashed onto my iPhone this weekend that I’ve suddenly woken up.

Hector: Badge of Carnage (Ep 1) is a point-and-click adventure game in the LucasArts vein with about as much political correctness as Malcolm Tucker reciting nursery rhymes. It’s good stuff. Straandlooper (the developer, based in County Down) and TellTale Games have just released Episode 2 (Senseless Acts of Justice) with the final episode due in Autumn. Before I go any further, a confession. I distinctly remember the folks in InvestNI telling me about these guys some time ago. It may have been months. Okay, fine, it might have been a whole year ago (although in my limited defence, they didn’t use ‘monkey’ or ‘island’ to describe the game). Don’t make my mistake, download it now.

I’ve met a few of the game startups in NI and even tried to set up a joint-venture there once (didn’t happen due to issues at our end). Lots of enthusiasm and some good university courses. Which is pretty much all you need to start anything. As well as Straandlooper, keep an eye on these games startups:

Most of the activity seems to go through the Digital Circle group if you want to poke around for more info. And if anyone actually finds out what the Black Market guys are doing, let me know. (big thanks to Matt Johnston for helping me join the dots)