With the results of the UK referendum coming in overnight leading to Britain pulling itself from the EU, many businesses across industries may face numerous challenges ahead, but if you're operating a game company in the UK right now or you're just a small developer trying to get by, what does Brexit ultimately mean for you? GamesIndustry.biz has opened the virtual mailbox to find out.
Slitherine CEO JD McNeil offered these thoughts:
"There may be some difficulties to face now, as we truly are international company with offices in England, Italy, France, USA and Rumania, but we are not too worried about it.
"One challenge for us is that of our UK staff, two have transferred from overseas to live and work in the UK. One of the benefits of our international reach is that this has allowed us to put together one of the strongest and most professional teams in the industry. Territorial borders have never been an issue for us, nor do we expect they will be after the outcome of the referendum.
"One of our staff transferred here from inside the EU and the other from the USA. Both have UK National Insurance numbers and will remain as employees irrespective of this outcome.
"From a commercial perspective here again we have no concerns. Currently we structure our affairs so that the bulk of our revenue is through our New York bank. As we see the £ dropping we can benefit in two ways. Firstly, with a stronger Dollar and secondly in that the UK cost of our products will drop leading to increased sales.
"A major beneficiary of all of this is likely to be our developer partners, especially those in the UK or EU countries. Our policy is to support many of them financially during development with interest free loans, which we recoup via royalties when their games go on sale. So the potential loss of bank funding is irrelevant to them. We structure the repayments so that no more than 50% of any royalty payment is ever taken. Sure this extends the loan, but it gives them a guaranteed revenue stream which enables upgrades, expansions and new products to roll out.
"Both we and just about every entrepreneurial business in the UK that is susceptible to possible change will take whatever steps are necessary to deal with the immediate situation. I recall back in 1988, just after I formed my first company that interest rates spiked from 3% to 8% up to 15% in the space of just over a year. The economists were in melt down and do you know what, we in business adapted and just got on with it.
"Again in 2007-08, we had the "Big Bang" also known as the global financial crisis, it was considered by many economists as the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, so whatever the Referendum brings as a short or long term effect, we will deal with it."
Paul Sulyok, CEO and Founder of Green Man Gaming had this to say:
"The decision to leave the EU brings uncertainty and hard times ahead for the country as a whole which could be a significant issue for the economy. As a tech start-up hub for Europe, the UK has been able to attract a strong talent pool of specialist engineers and creative talent that has helped us build a successful video game industry. This uncertainty may not only affect this talent pool but also make it more difficult for UK developers to attain funding from European investors and funds to help build and market their games."
Sam Watts of VR developer Tammeka has similar feelings:
"The only small positive we can take from the referendum result is that our payments from Steam and Oculus in $USD will convert to more £GBP. That's it. The negative revolves around skilled talent not wanting or being able to stay, or come to UK. Already seeing (not personally) some EU investors withdrawing offers to UK studios. As a start-up VR studio it's hard enough to make noise and be noticed compared to the US West Coast as it is, this is just going to make things worse, unless we make a United Europe VR Sim for the 48% to enjoy."
Matt Norman, Managing Director of Questionable Quality, a start-up in the South-West (Plymouth) added:
"At the moment most of this is an unknown quantity, while all of the team are personally disheartened by the news, I'm trying to look at where this puts us in the coming years.
"It's unfortunate this may put up barriers between us and some very talented individuals, I have had the chance to work with fellow developers from other European countries and have befitted greatly from the experience. I worry that the U.K. (whatever countries will remain) will be able to match the level of funding that the E.U. has provided and specifically the legislation which pushed funding to areas in need of economic stimulation, being based in Plymouth we greatly benefited from this. Trying to remain positive I hope that in an attempt to stimulate the economy investment, even if it is short term, is prioritised into the game sector to help develop 'home-grown' talent.
"There are a number of ways we could pivot, look for work abroad to capitalise on a weaker pound for example, however at the moment this all seems very reactionary. For now I think I'm going to close social media, let the dust settle and see where this really leaves us, though I'm not sure we'll know where that is anytime soon."
If you work in the UK games industry and would like to weigh in on the impact of Brexit, please email email@example.com. We will be updating this piece with your responses.