A report commissioned by Irish minister for jobs, enterprise and innovation Richard Bruton lays out a plan to more than double the size of the game industry in the country in the next few years.
The Irish game industry already directly employs 2,000 people, up five-fold since 2004, according to the report, entitled Games Sector In Ireland: An Action Plan for Growth [PDF
] and compiled by Irish government policy advisory board Forfas.
That number could continue to grow to 4,500 by the end of 2014, the report predicts, if the government offers the appropriate support for the industry.
The report suggests a number of steps that could help build Ireland as an international cluster for the industry, and establish the country's international visibility as a game development center. Government measures to support for education, research and development, and broadband internet will also help grow the industry, the report suggests.
Besides helping the games industry directly, this kind of support "can also be a catalyst for growth in a host of other related activities in the digital economy, including social networks, search engines, animation, film and video and e-learning" which employ roughly 11,500 people today, the report says.
"The actions in this report aim to ensure that we build on our existing capabilities, enhance the interaction between industry and education, and prepare our children for the digital workplace of the future," Bruton writes.
BioWare recently opened its first European subsidiary
in Galway, Ireland, to help support the upcoming MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic
. Bethesda Softworks parent Zenimax Media also opened a Galway facility
earlier this year, and social gaming giant Zynga expanded to the country last year
In a recent speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
, EA CEO John Riccitiello singled out Dublin, Ireland, as a desirable location for development thanks to a well-educated, immigrant-heavy workforce and low tax rates.