TIGA: UK immigration cap will harm developers

Trade association feels restriction on non-EU residents will limit studio growth and efficiency

Trade association TIGA has criticised the UK coalition government's plans to limit the number of non-EU migrant workers allowed into the country, claiming it may damage the UK games industry.

Home secretary Theresa May recently announced the government's intention to cap non-EU migrant works to "tens of thousands."

"Our research shows that 39 per cent of developers suffered from skill shortages in 2009," claimed TIGA boss Dr Richard Wilson.

"If skilled personnel are not available in the UK then games businesses must be free to recruit them from elsewhere. These arbitrary limits could prevent development studios from completing projects on time, stymie expansion plans and limit the ability of studios to win new contracts."

He claimed that, in particular, publisher-owned studios which are often part of an international organisation may be prevented from making internal transfers.

"This would simply damage the ability of studios to complete their projects on time and impair the quality of game development."

This might in turn encourage investment in other territories, Wilso argued.

Added Rebellion CEO and TIGA chairman Jason Kinglsey, "First the Coalition Government drops Games Tax Relief, leaving our industry at a serious tax disadvantage vis-a-vis our overseas rivals, then it plans to prevent us from recruiting the best and brightest to work at UK studios."

"If the Coalition Government is serious about supporting a thriving video games sector in the UK then it urgently needs to reconsider both of these policy positions."

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Latest comments (7)

An immigration cap or restriction of talented creatives and game developers will further hamper our UK games to be competitive. Stop this craziness!!
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Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator 7 years ago
Back to the Dark Ages then..

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Kingman Cheng on 17th September 2010 2:25pm

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Unfortunately, the promise of pro business from the coalition, is just turning more and more imminently into a nuclear fallout. Currently, they seem to provide merely lip service to the feedback of the grassroots and captains of the industry are feeding back.

All the whilst, stumbling further and further into strange policies. Some good, Some truly awful within the budget cuts. And some outrageous whilst giving brussels a nice land grab. And removing any real teeth from the City.

In addition, the recent HMRC fiasco is so unbelievable and poorly managed (PR wise and execution) that if it were a corporation, one would imagine there would be a great swath of job losses. Instead, they are letting HMRC hurtle along into even crazier PAYE proposal (that are allegedly 100% error free)

Dark ages indeed. So much for the token effort of saying they will provide a consultation before any decision will be made.
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Show all comments (7)
George Knight7 years ago
Its like they don't even want a Games Industry in the UK anymore. Because if they carry on the way they are going it wouldn't surprise me if devs moved to countrys with much better support for the games industry. Im pretty sure I read somewhere that the Canadian government said that supporting the games industry was one of the best things that they have ever done. So why can't our government do the sensible thing and follow the example they have set and the obvious benefits.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by George Knight on 17th September 2010 5:05pm

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Yiannis Koumoutzelis Founder & Creative Director, Neriad Games7 years ago
it is a restriction, however, there`s plenty of talent in EU (which is a pretty big, diverse, and game loving talent pool btw)
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Ah but what chance to recruit our canadian friends and US compatriots....i feel we can only provide free exchange without such restrictions :)
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Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator 7 years ago
I agree Dr. Wong, I mean ditching business investment over the years has been quite apparent R.I.P. British Cadbury in more recent times. And I can understand serious budget cuts around here but you're right some of it are absolutely outrageous. Tax up in January 2011 too, wahey!

And haha 100% error free? :'D
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