I want to answer one of the most common questions we’ve had since starting the company: Why did three Americans move from sunny California and establish a new game development studio in sometimes not sunny Dublin, Ireland?
The short answer is that we think Ireland is a great place to live and work. At Vela, we’re committed to building a great environment that world-class creative and development talent can thrive in, and location is obviously a huge factor in that equation. Ireland is full of world class talent in many fields, but it may not be the first place you think of as a game development hub (though there’s definitely a strong foundation here). So how did we get here, literally?
It all started in 2015 when two of our co-founding team moved from Los Angeles to Dublin to work at another game company. It was an adventure, and when it started we had no idea we’d be establishing ourselves here longer term. But Ireland won us over as a great place to live and work for many reasons. So much so, that when it became clear that the next step in our careers was to start our own company together, the three co-founders put our heads together and chose Dublin out of anywhere else in the world. Here are just some of the reasons we made the decision:
Ireland is a great place to live
While nowhere is perfect, Ireland has a lot going for it, ranking 4th on the United Nation’s Human Development Index. It’s a small country with plenty of seafront, beautiful scenery, great people, and an open, tolerant, safe society. It’s possible to rely on public transport in Dublin and you may not even need your own car (which was very surprising for us, coming from California)! We spend more of our days thinking about creating a great game for players instead of sitting in traffic. There are also great schools of all levels if you have a family. And yes, it does rain here, but it keeps the landscape green all year around, and the climate is temperate which means there aren’t extreme temperature swings.
With such a beautiful landscape that is full of history, you will want to travel around Ireland and enjoy the fresh air. Drive or take a train to the other side of the country in as little as 2.5 hours from Dublin to enjoy the local food and culture. Ireland is full of surprises, such as ancient monuments like Newgrange that pre-date the Pyramids by almost 1,000 years, or a rich history in and around the various towns and cities. Ireland also has a great food scene, with restaurants of all types using high quality local ingredients.
If you fancy an escape to Europe, you’re also in luck! Dublin Airport is well equipped and has daily, affordable flights to almost anywhere in Europe, most of which are short and direct. You can enjoy waffles in Belgium, wander the streets of Prague, see the sights in Paris, taste tapas in Madrid, or lounge on the beaches of the Mediterranean – all with a 3 hour or less flight. Travel to North America is also easy, with many flights going all the way to the West Coast of the U.S and Canada, often direct. With time off for Summer Holidays, you’ll be able to make the most of it!
Ireland is a great place to work
Ireland has a vibrant, modern economy that supports both large established companies and ambitious start-ups (like us). The most common language here is English, even though about 17% of the population is from outside of the country, adding to the already rich pool of technical and creative talent.
As part of the EU, Ireland has solid worker protections that guarantee certain rights and benefits. With all of the beautiful places to travel easily to and from mentioned above, time off is always well spent. Work-life balance is taken seriously, and at Vela, we try to emphasize this even more and are experimenting with planned breaks in both Summer and Winter to ensure our team recharges properly.
We’ll help you get here if you’re not already
If you’re an EU citizen it’s easy to move over with no work permits required, but if you’re from outside the EU we can help you and your family get a visa to live and work. Our team has made the move, and if you’re interested in coming from abroad we can help you not only with the process and relocation assistance, but with first hand experience.
Check out the open positions on our Careers Page, and if you don’t see anything that you think fits now, apply through the general listing there. We’re always on the lookout for great talent from all backgrounds and places in the world, so come join us in Ireland, because here, we live.
*Source: Facts about Ireland Datasheet
**Ireland currently ranks #4 on the United Nation’s Human Development Index, behind only Norway, Switzerland, and Australia.