UK trade association TIGA has revealed that more than two-fifths of UK-based developers who lost their jobs between 2009-2011 have since relocated abroad to find work.
The report, “Making games in the UK today: a census of the UK developer and digital publishing sector,” has revealed the worrying extent of the ‘brain drain’ overseas. It claims that the UK game industry workforce had shrunk by more than 10 per cent between 2008-2011, coinciding nicely with times of depression, which has resulted in many devs losing their jobs.
A case study of Bizzare Creations, Liverpool-based developer of the Project Gotham Racing series closed by Activision last year, aptly demonstrates this brain drain. 35 per cent of employees who were made redundant as a result of the studio’s closure moved abroad, mainly to Canada, with an even higher proportion of senior staff choosing to emigrate.
TIGA CEO Dr Richard Wilson spoke about the findings:
“Our industry is suffering from a serious brain drain. Our competitors in Canada and elsewhere are able to recruit highly skilled developers from the UK largely because they benefit from tax breaks, which effectively reduce the cost of game development.
“Tax breaks both stimulate job creation in the game sector and provide game businesses with significant financial resources which they can deploy to recruit staff.”
Source: Press Release