The Malta Independent 1 November 2014, Saturday

Online Multimedia company in Malta

Malta Independent Wednesday, 23 November 2011, 00:00 Last update: about 6 months ago

A new company is investing over €4.43 million (US$6 million) and will be relocating its intellectual property to Malta where it is planning to develop a Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG) over the next two years.

TRC Family Entertainment Ltd, which is led by a world class team, will be employing 20 people by the end of next month and generate 100 new jobs over the next two years. It has $US18 million worth of intellectual property.

TRC will create an online multimedia company to develop and promote a new children’s entertainment concept with the hope of uniting children and families worldwide through the company’s unique brand. Thousands of users will be able to access the MMOG online. The company will meanwhile be working on additional initiatives that will be developed in conjunction with the game to create a stronger brand while generating more job opportunities.

The company has Chris Deering, former president of Sony Computer Entertainment – Europe, as its chairman. He has led multicultural motion picture video and computer game publishing for nearly three decades, initially as vice-president.

He will be Malta’s special envoy for gaming.

Paul Taylor is the CEO of TRC Family Entertainment Ltd. He was CEO of Jetix Europe between 2004 and 2009 and has served on the Disney Board in Europe.

Nine persons have been recruited and relocated to Malta while additional recruitment for a wide range of positions including programmers, game designers, animators, artists and writers, will take place over the coming weeks.

Research and development will be undertaken during the next two years and the project will develop into a full-scale digital game ready for full commercialisation.

Paul Taylor said he is very excited to have been working on the project nearly for two years already.

The major issue for the company was where to locate the studio and assessed options like San Fransisco, London, Canada and Ireland. They spoke to Maltese authorities and got the help they needed from Malta Enterprise.

After taking time to understand what Malta and the Maltese people had to offer, he was amazed at the level of courses and talent of students at the university, MCAST and St Martin’s College, especially those taking courses to become C++ programmers.

The raw talent they came across was what eventually led them to choose Malta.

They then tried to attract world top leadership persons to the company and some are relocating here with their families. Matt Coohill, who is credited with developing a number of games, will be joining here while Derrick Wires will be Studio Head and Chief Technical Officer.

Mr Taylor said it was easier than expected to attract the talent to Malta and the company is helping education institutions to train students. Technology support and the government’s investment in fibre optic cabling has been fundamental to the company locating here.

Currently their servers are being installed at their base, at the top levels of the Domestica Complex, in Valley Road, Msida.

Chris Deering said this will be a family project and Malta can definitely become a hub of such an industry because of the island’s strong cultural ties and family values.

He is also enthusiastic to be serving as Malta’s special envoy for gaming and has some ideas in the field.

Finance, the Economy and Investment Minister Tonio Fenech, said the government’s strategy to develop niche high value added jobs is being justified with the establishment of this company. The sector represents the next level development in the IT industry and digital gaming is a key component within the creative industry.

Through the agreement signed yesterday, Malta Enterprise will be co-investing in TRC Family Entertainment, owing a 15% shareholding.

This investment is to send a clear message that Malta is a good location for the development of digital games and is serious in its effort to increase talent and skill in the sector. Provisional analysis on the Digital Games Strategy for Malta, which will be published by the end of the year, shows that Malta has raw talent but needs the applied skills for the industry.

This new company will create the right environment for skills to be developed toward growth in the industry.

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