Newly launched video game studio Playtropic to hire 300 Barbadians
BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS — The launch of a video game company in the country could be the start of a successful industry that would add thousands of jobs to Barbados’ economy.
The Caribbean region has largely capitalized on its stunning scenery, world-renown hospitality and idyllic locations to leverage its tourism industry.
But the COVID-19 pandemic’s devastating impact on the major industry served as a catalyst for the region’s governments to hasten calls for economic diversification.
Still, video games are not typically what comes to mind when one thinks of the Caribbean, with its beautiful blue waters and warm sunshine.
That could be about to change for Barbados, as just last week, Playtropic Videogame Services (Barbados Ltd.) became the first video game company to operate in this nation.
Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Mottley commented on the group’s launch, hailing its potential to achieve the kind of economic diversification that has become a buzzword in the region.
The prime minister expressed confidence in the video game industry’s potential to “give the local creative industries a major boost”.
Additionally, she underscored her desire to see “young people taking up hundreds of job opportunities available”.
New industry to provide 300 jobs in Barbados
According to the firm’s president and founder, Joel Benton, Playtropic will provide some 100 jobs in Barbados before the end of this year.
Additionally, the group plans to hire another 200 Barbadians for a total figure of 300 jobs made available.
Even better, both Benton and Mottley have stressed that a college degree is not a requirement for the positions.
Mottley emphasized, “We’ve agreed we will work together on the education requirements, which will be competency-based and not necessarily looking at degrees.
“A degree is a good thing, but if you have the ability to do this without one, then come.”
Expounding on that, Benton added, “They don’t even need to have a degree.
“They have got to be passionate about games and we provide full training…
“I hope we can build the skills necessary to actually create video games here that are meaningful to Barbadians and everybody else around the Caribbean.”
Benton briefly touched on the subject of brain drain, lamenting that while the highly-educated and highly-skilled Barbadian population is interested in the video game industry, “there are no places for those people to work without leaving and going to Europe or North America”.
But that, he stressed, is about to change, thanks to Playtropic.