Following Brexit, 40% of Game Companies are Considering Leaving the UK

by Jose Belmonte

A new report by the Association for UK Interactive Entertainment (UKIE) has revealed some of the biggest issues that the industry is facing in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum, including more difficulties to attract investment and to retain talent. Moreover, a high number of surveyed businesses confessed to be considering leaving the country in order to escape from some of these problems.

The decision of the United Kingdom to leave the European Union has raised many challenges to the gaming industry of the country, such as more difficulties to get international investments and talent, and barriers to sell their products and services abroad.

Following the Brexit referendum, less companies are projecting an economic growth than in previous years, with only 63% expecting better results in 2017, while 80% did the same in 2016. A direct result of this concern is that 40% of respondents confessed to be considering relocating their part of all of their business outside of the UK, with half of them having already received offers from other countries like Germany, Canada, Spain, Ireland, United States, and more.

Less companies are projecting an economic growth than in previous years

The survey also reflects a primary concern over future barriers to access international markets, as they think it’s very important that the UK-EU trade is kept tariff-free both for online services and physical products, especially with the emergence of the VR market. Concerning investment, 37% of companies declared to be experiencing a negative or very negative impact on their ability to attract investment in the months after the referendum.

Companies also need to know they will still be able to receive user data from outside of the UK, as 59% of respondents rely on their ability to process that information in order to adapt and improve their services.

Another key finding of the report point that 61% of the respondents are heavily relying on international talent, and they see an urgent need to clarify the future of those EU citizens currently working for those companies. A 98.4% of repondents consider that those EU workers who fill the skill criteria should have a blanket right to live and work in the UK.

The UKIE represents over 320 games businesses from start ups to large developers, publishers and other service companies. The association considered of vital importance to inform the government of the key challenges that the game industry is facing with Brexit, in order to have the most successful negotiations with the European Union.

For the making of this report, the UKIE conducted roundtables with over 70 companies across 11 cities in the United Kingdom. Additionally, they got other 76 companies to fill an online survey, including developers, publishers and service companies.

The full ‘State of Play’ report is available to download in PDF.

- This article was updated on March 7th, 2018

About The Author

From Murcia to New York City, I go through life learning as much as I can about technology, TV shows and videogames. My motto is: Coffee, coffee, coffee.