NeverMind Games - the highly successful games development company based in the Thurles Chamber Enterprise Centre - really is playing mind games with the company title. You see, it really is all about games now - on your phone, your ipad, your pc - everywhere.
And that’s where Mark Lambe, James Sadlier, Kevin McGarry and Alan Boyce want to be, and are.
They have established their company in the Centre out of three considerations - location, location, location. First of all, with Limerick, Portlaoise and Dublin being their individual bases, Thurles was a natural geographical fit for them. Secondly, with a games development course in LIT Tipperary which is bring headed up by lecturer Phil Bourke, Thurles was a sensible centre for the company. Interns, who must undertake work experience in year two of their course, can simply cross the campus and bring their ideas to NeverMind Games.
Thirdly, few facilities in Ireland are as well served in terms of broadband connectivity and communications. Mark says, “We got talking to Phil Bourke about this company idea and came into contact with this Centre as a result. It is perfect for us and we are delighted to be able to use it and to grow the company from here.” NeverMind Games, basically develops educational and recreational games, mostly for mobile apps.
The idea is to pitch the games to the likes of Apple for the iphone or ipad and hope that they will take them on. If they do, Apple will then commission the sale of the games through their apps.
A game usually takes up to four months to develop from concept to finished product, but there is no real set timeframe. The lads were involved in the LEAP Project in Limerick and were thrilled to be named in third place in the end of year awards in a very competitive environment. “It was a huge achievement for us and it put us up there in the spotlight,” said Mark who has already been to San Francisco at a prestigious games development conference, and also attended Silicon Valley where the company ultimately hopes to establish a hub. However, despite the ambitious plans, the Thurles base will be maintained at all costs. “It’s vital to us to be here so close to the college because that’s where the graduates are coming from,” he says.
“There is another aspect to this also,” added Cllr Seamus Hanafin “ and that’s that those graduates, many of whom are older than him, are looking at the likes of Mark and saying, we can start our own business as well. They take inspiration from what these guys have achieved and they also know that they are welcome to use the facilities here in the Enterprise Centre, which is another big plus for them,” he says.