Antrim schoolboy releases game

Published Monday, 26 July 2010
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A schoolboy from Co Antrim is taking on the internet gaming industry with the launch of his first game 'Buccaneers and Lobsters'.

Entrepreneurial 11-year-old Peter Fitzgerald developed the game over a period of eight months, and within four weeks has already seen 10,000 users signing up to play.

"I saw a gap," he said, "when I couldn't find an interactive, multi-player game that featured pirates after watching Pirates of The Caribbean and series such as Hornblower on TV."

Peter then set about designing a title that was aimed at ages 8-12 and set during the Napoleonic Wars.

It tasks players with building a fleet of warships to dominate the seas and battle against teams of other players online.

He wanted the game to be both educational and fun, but its appeal has proven more widespread than he originally thought.

"We spent a lot of time working on the details of 'Buccaneers and Lobsters' to ensure it's as accurate as possible and to encourage teachers and parents to see the value of the game," he said.

"We have asked older players what they think of the game and the feedback is good.

"We also have a growing following on Facebook from women, which is something I didn't expect."

His aim is to follow in his father's footsteps, which won't be easy - Peter's dad, also called Peter, was the founder of medical diagnostics company Randox Laboratories.

He is also drawing inspiration from the success of US developer Zynga, whose virtual farming game Farmville has been a billion-dollar success.

'Buccaneers and Lobsters' is free to play for now, but as the original version is modified and more features are added, Peter says he will be "developing his business model further."

"Access to the game is simple and it is constantly being improved," he continued.

"We can't say that Buccanneers and Lobsters will ever be finished. I need to continue updating it and adding to it if my players are going to keep coming back."

© UTV News
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3 Comments
Andrew Cuthbert in Bangor wrote (1,114 days ago):
In reaction to John Herberts comments. The game has grown in strength since its release back then and now has some 40,000 unique visitors per day. The game is now being integrated into educational practice and is in trial at some 22 schools. Peter Fitzgerald Junior still owns the game, and it was ultimately his creation.
John Herbert in Ulster wrote (1,267 days ago):
With the amount they've been spamming anywhere they can find on the internet, we can presume the 'kid' is just a promotional gimmick. Any good game wouldn't need the level of spam this game's had, so worth avoiding!
gareth in bangor wrote (1,359 days ago):
This is a fantastic story, i've just tried out the game and it's fantastic too!!
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