British gaming companies thinking relocation due to Brexit

Nine months later, the dust has (relatively) settled from the stunning Brexit vote and the withdrawal negotiations are underway. Many industries have been affected by the UK's decision to leave the European Union, including the gaming industry. A survey by Ukie polled seventy-five of the over two thousand gaming companies in the UK to find how they are handling the effects of Brexit.

British gaming companies thinking relocation due to Brexit
Last month, gaming industry group Ukie released the results of their poll of seventy-five of the over two thousand gaming companies in the UK. The poll, along with an "extensive consultation" starting in September of last year and ending in February, led to some interesting results: forty percent of the companies polled are considering relocating because of Brexit.

Twenty-three percent of the companies that are currently thinking about leaving have already received offers from other countries, the report goes on to say. Those countries making offers include the United States, Germany, Ireland, and Canada, among others. Having offers in hand to relocate makes their departure more of a possibility.

Gaming makes up a significant portion of the UK's entertainment industry – last year, sales of UK-developed games reached £2.96 billion, more than music or movies. Britain's leaders seem to realize the impact of video games on their economy.

"The UK's creative industries are one of our biggest success stories, and we want to make sure the UK remains a world leader in video games production," a spokesperson for the Department for Culture, Media, and Sport said.

The biggest concern of the companies polled was talent – both in the form of current workers and access to skilled workers in the future. Sixty-one percent of the respondents said that their companies need highly skilled international talent to thrive. Fifty-eight percent of those companies said they specifically employ workers from the European Union.

Withdrawal from the EU could mean losing access to that talent. Coupled with the complaint from companies that games degrees in the UK are "largely failing to equip students with the specialist skills and professional awareness needed to find entry-level work in the industry," developers could be facing a talent crisis and seek to relocate to a country where they can maintain an open pipeline of skilled international workers.

"In very competitive, innovative global industries, like games, if UK businesses cannot attract the diverse talent they want and need, some firms are likely to relocate, taking jobs and economic opportunities with them," Ukie said of the EU negotiations.

You can read the full report from Ukie here.

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