Big 72-hour Games Bash kicks off today

Gamers get to grips with Injustice during the i49 event in Telford - the firm behind i49 are in Derry this weekend.
Gamers get to grips with Injustice during the i49 event in Telford - the firm behind i49 are in Derry this weekend.

The company transforming Derry into a free to play games arcade as part of CultureTECH could make the city the site of a massive annual computer games expo.

Multiplay, the UK based firm who over the past 20 years have grown to be one of the world’s biggest gaming service companies, have brought their large scale and unique take on gaming to Derry for CultureTECH.

Over the next two days, Derry becomes Ireland’s gaming HQ - with Multiplay setting up free to play arcades across seven sites in the city.

Multiplay’s Aaron Donaghey, himself born and raised in Derry, told the ‘Journal’ the company were delighted to be in the city.

“Firstly we are here to provide top level equipment for the city arcades. But we also decided to do our own thing and see if ireland is ready for something on the scale that we are able to do in England.”

Multiplay’s latest event, the i49 event in Telford, pulled in a crowd of some 25,000 over five days.

“The next couple of days is a bit like a finger in the wind for us,” Aaron said. “What we most want to is find out what will work best in Derry. This is the opportunity to prove it can be done”

While gaming will get underway across the town - at sites including Foyleside and the Richmond Centre - Aaron said the Millennium Forum will be the centrepiece of Multiplay’s event.

Minecraft, FIFA and Trackmania and much more are on the menu for Derry gamers over the next 72 hours.

“There’s never been an event in the city with this scale of hardware and organisation,” Aaron said.

“We’re bringing around 100 PCs, more than 30 of those just for the Hunger Games tournament in the Forum and six cabinets just for the game Injustice. The Forum is a great venue and the first time we’ve held an event in a theatre,” he said.

Multiplay staff and volunteers from Magee’s gaming society, Core, will look after the hordes of expected gamers at the Forum while events will also be streamed via the CultureTECH website. Doors open at 10am at the Forum both today and tomorrow - you can get more info online at culturetech.co