What Brexit may do to Britain's games industry


You can help us report on how the United Kingdom’s impending withdrawal from the European Union is affecting its video game and interactive entertainment industry. If you work in the video game industry or know someone who does, please use TALK or add to this story in EDIT to tell us your experience and whether Brexit will affect you.

Britain is the world’s sixth largest (UKIE) games market by consumer revenue. It’s also long been a center of games creativity and development worth billions of pounds in service exports. It employs thousands of people, many of them highly creative knowledge workers from around the world.

Alongside IT and software, the games industry is worth more than double in terms of gross value added than film, TV, music and arts put together (UKIE).

Ever since the EU referendum in June 2016, video game businesses and industry representatives in the UK have expressed strong reservations over what a final Brexit deal might mean for them – a sentiment that has been echoed throughout British creative industries (Creative Industries Federation).

The two most pressing concerns are over access to top talent and markets. The EU’s skilled labor and its vast Single Market, as well as financial investment, have been crucial components to Britain’s success in this industry. Brexit need not spell doom, industry experts (UKIE) say. Though executives report attracting overseas talent has become harder since the referendum, 83 percent of businesses (UKIE) expect to grow this year. Brexit, they say, also presents opportunities for reform (UKIE), particularly over immigration if highly skilled migrants are favored.

Questions we expect to explore include:

  • Has Brexit affected video game businesses’ ability to hire, retain, or attract international talent?
  • Have video game businesses started preparing, and if so, how, in case a “hard” Brexit takes place?
  • Are British-based video game company employees being wooed by European competitors?

Facts central to the story:

  • Importance of EU Single Market and access to top talent
  • Expectations of growth for video game businesses alongside concerns over the future

Interviews sought or completed:

  • UKIE
  • British eSports Association
  • Video game companies in UK and EU
  • EU city mayors trying to woo workers/businesses
  • Video game industry workers
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