Video Game Developers Run for the Border

As Brexit looms large on the horizon, the video game industries of both North and South Ireland have arranged a playdate. The goal is to break down borders, on the border.

DUBLIN, BELFAST, 20th November 2018 - Run For The Border will kick off at The Spirit Store in Dundalk, Ireland on 19 January 2019, running from 7pm to 11:30pm. The two largest game organisations on the island - Games NI from the North, and Imirt from the South - will bring together over 150 game developers and enthusiasts for an international cross-border clash of clans. It is expected that this will be the largest ever gathering of independent game developers throughout the island of Ireland.

Dundalk is a bordertown exactly halfway between Dublin and Belfast. Placing Run For The Border at the Belfast/Dublin halfway point was a vision of the event from the beginning. Neither group wanted it to be a specifically Northern or Southern event; it was always about meeting in the middle.

“Our two communities don’t get together nearly enough,” says Kevin Beimers of Northern Irish game development studio Italic Pig, and events coordinator for Games NI. “We know one another through social media and occasional visits, and tend to get together at worldwide events, but rarely do a Northern developers travel to Southern events, or vice versa. ”

“There is incredible talent on both sides of the border,” adds Elaine Reynolds, Imirt board member and CEO of Simteractive in Dublin, “Having these two game dev communities so close to each other, yet rarely actively interacting, is something that definitely needs to change.”

Of course, the central location means that both sides need to travel to attend. Fortunately, an ideal supporter has stepped in to help. To open the border to higher attendance and as much cross-border collaboration as possible, the event will be receiving generous support from the Creative Europe Desks of both Ireland and UK, in the form of two 50-seater coaches, bringing eager developers to and from Belfast and Dublin city centres on the day of the event.

“The Creative Europe Desks Ireland and UK  (Northern Ireland) are delighted to support Run for the Border,” adds Orla Clancy (Ireland) and Sophie Hayles (UK/NI). “Games companies North and South have successfully accessed the Creative Europe Video Games scheme, and we’re really pleased to be working together to enable a meet up that sees the sectors coming together. Particularly with the uncertainty around Brexit, it’s a pleasure to work with the spirit of creativity, cooperation and collaboration shown by GamesNI and Imirt.”  

Run for the Border is primarily a social event but there will also be some talks and networking. The invitation boasts “a friendly event designed to meet new people, form cross-border collaborations, eat food, drink drink, listen to sage advice from local geniuses, play with each other’s toys… with a few surprises thrown in.” Tickets are selling fast so anyone interested in attending should move quickly.

Tickets for the event are available on:
Games NI Eventbrite (from Belfast):
Imirt Eventbrite (from Dublin):

Press Contacts:

Games NI:


About Games NI

Games NI is the association of Games Developers and Producers in Northern Ireland. We welcome members across all areas of game development, from artists and programmers to writers, designers and audio engineers.

Our mission is to create a collaborative network connecting NI companies and freelancers with other developers and publishers internationally.

We assist with training and education for the next generation of developers, working closely with university and educational bodies, creating opportunities to become part of the growing games industry in Northern Ireland.

Games NI aims to do the following for the Northern Ireland Games Industry:

  • Promote games made in Northern Ireland.

  • Encourage sharing and aid collaboration for development and local events.

  • Support educational and public bodies to develop resources and training for industry needs.

  • Curate a resource map for all Northern Irish talent.

About Imirt

Imirt is the organisation representing game developers in Ireland. We represent game makers from all disciplines in Ireland, both analog and digital. The Irish game industry is thriving, passionate and driven and is comprised of everyone from award-winning freelance game makers to massive multi-national companies like Demonware, Blizzard, Activision, Bethesda and Zynga. The goal of Imirt is to increase awareness of Ireland’s game makers on the national and international stage while providing opportunities for networking, community growth and development.

About Creative Europe Desk UK

Creative Europe Desk UK promotes awareness and understanding of Creative Europe, and provides free advice and support for applicants from the UK. The UK Desk is a partnership led by the British Council and the British Film Institute in partnership with Arts Council England, Creative Scotland and Welsh Government. The Creative Europe Desk UK - Northern Ireland is based in the Belfast office of the British Council.

About Creative Europe Desk Ireland

Creative Europe Desk Ireland supports the culture sector to work across Europe, to reach new audiences, to safeguard cultural and linguistic diversity and to develop skills needed in the digital age.

About Creative Europe

Creative Europe is the European Union's programme to support the cultural, creative and audiovisual sectors. From 2014-2020, €1.46 billion is available to support European projects with the potential to travel, reach new audiences and encourage skill sharing and development.

Ross Morrison