Ireland is a common sight in entertainment, particularly within the modern rise of fantasy movies and TV series. In gaming, however, there isn’t a large contingent of developers, studios, or even games set in Ireland. There are many within certain genres, but not an overly large count overall.
This is despite the presence of massive companies with strong ties to gaming, with Microsoft Ireland being the prime example of this. Still, there are some working their way up, with WarDucks being one of the more exciting up-and-coming prospects. As specialists in virtual reality games, the studio received a hefty sum in funding to spur their next augmented reality project.
Bringing the battles against Kaiju to the real world
WarDucks rose to prominence through their mostly PlayStation VR creations. Rollercoaster Legends, Rollercoaster Legends II: Thor’s Hammer, and Sneaky Bears all topped charts on the platform, while Sneak Bears Rollercoaster on Samsung Gear VR was a top seller. A few years ago, however, the South Dublin-based studio decided to make their next game with an AR core design.
The 2013-founded company has clearly impressed with its creations to date, with the development of their leap into AR receiving a hefty sum of €3.3 million in funding. The money was raised from EQT Ventures, Suir Valley Ventures, and some other investors. Helping the appeal of WarDucks has been the presence of gaming veterans who have worked on several smash-hit titles.
John Romero (Doom and Quake), Lawrence Schick (The Elder Scrolls Online), and Doug Kaufman (Civilization II) are all playing key roles in the development of the upcoming location-based AR mobile game. The game, which we now know to be Edge of Earth: Epic Monster War, is still in development, but a recent update proves that the first 4X Strategy title on mobile to use the real world is gradually closing in on a full launch.
Gameplay footage has emerged online for the in-development WarDuck game, showcasing the virtual base-building on the real-world map, monster combat, and the familiar time-based base-building mechanics. In mid-August of this year, the team launched live testing for the game in Ireland, the UK, and the Philippines, garnering over 1,000 downloads on the Play Store to help development. It’s currently on version 0.6.2.
More gaming in an Irish setting
Edge of Earth allows anyone in the world to make their surroundings the setting of a futuristic battle against monsters on Earth. Players in Dublin will be able to set up bases and defend the capital against the monsters that seek to destroy the city. So, for some, it can be classed as another game that uses Ireland as its setting or theme, made even better by it coming from WarDucks.
Other popular games that have placed Ireland into their virtual worlds in a more story and theme-driven way include the Assassin’s Creed Valhalla DLC Wrath of the Druids, which takes your Viking adventure from Britain to Ireland, as well as the Aground DLC map for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 – a battleground on the Irish coast.
Of course, the most common use of the Irish theme and setting in gaming takes a more mythological approach, with creatures like the fabled leprechaun front and centre. In the online casino world, for example, Irish games with depictions of lucky charms and leprechauns always do well with players. Right now, it’s the progressive jackpot game Charms & Clovers that sits among the most popular of its type.
If the live testing goes well, Ireland can look forward to the full release of WarDucks’ intriguing real-world AR game, which might just raise the prestige of the Dublin developers by yet another tier. Until then, there are some other Irish-associated games to delve into, with Project Cars 2 and Tomb Raider Chronicles worth adding to the list.