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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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Talk (3)

AF

Aaron Fothergill

"A lot/most of the input from the game..."
George Engels

George Engels

"Hey Dan, interesting you say so. Do y..."
DM

Dan Marsh

"I think there will also be many Briti..."

Author

United Kingdom
George (Jorge) Engels is a staff journalist and producer at WikiTribune. He's originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, and has lived in London for five years. He has a background in history and philosophy and a strong interest in international politics and social affairs. His work has been published by The Sunday Times, The Camden New Journal, The West End Extra and the Islington Tribune.

History for Story "What Brexit may do to Britain’s games industry"

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Talk for Story "What Brexit may do to Britain’s games industry"

Talk about this Story

  1. A lot/most of the input from the games industry to this story in the mainstream press has been from either the bigger game companies or from organisations such as TIGA. So typically the prime concerns are access to talent, R&D, funding etc.
    From the point of view of a small developer like myself, there are a lot of other factors which are likely to contribute to a further brain drain from the UK. We’re already being impacted by inflation caused by Brexit, especially when it comes to the imported tech we need to do our jobs. Post Brexit, we could be looking at food shortages or hyper inflation, reduction of workers rights and all manner of basic ‘niceties’ we’ve got used to as EU citizens.
    So while there’s a risk for the bigger companies, the small devs and the individuals currently working for the large companies have even more direct issues worrying them about the Brexit scenarios.

  2. I think there will also be many British people working for video game developers outside of the UK, in EU countries, who may be affected.

    1. Hey Dan, interesting you say so. Do you know anyone in that position?

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