29% of games businesses negatively affected by Brexit, says TIGA

Depreciation of sterling had positive impact on 11% games firms, according to survey

A Brexit impact survey published by trade organisation TIGA has painted a mixed picture for the games industry over a year after the referendum.

The survey, which looked at 63 games businesses of varying sizes, developing across different platforms, found that 29% of respondents felt Brexit had been damaging to their business. According to the survey, some businesses are struggling with retention and recruitment of talented overseas staff.

However, 11% of respondents noted that Brexit has been positive due to the depreciation of sterling, which has made some UK game studios more competitive.

Other key findings from the survey noted that 33% of respondents didn't know whether Brexit had had any impact on their business, and 27% reported that there has yet to be any consequences either way.

The recent decision by parliament, which ensured that MPs will be given the opportunity to vote on the Brexit deal, will no doubt be a welcome one for games businesses as Britain prepares to leave the largest single market in the world.

"Brexit has increased economic uncertainty in the UK but it has had a mixed impact on the UK video games industry," commented TIGA CEO Dr Richard Wilson.

"The single most important priority for the UK video games industry in the next phase of Brexit negotiations is that we have access to highly-skilled employees from the EU, EEA and beyond. Currently, EU workers make up 15% of the UK games industry, while 5% come from countries outside the EU. This is a significant proportion considering EU workers make up 6.8% of the UK workforce as a whole.

"In order to grow and thrive as it previously has, the UK video games industry will need to continue to recruit talent on a global level."

TIGA has set out a range of options for a future migration policy in a submission to the Migration Advisory Committee in 2017. These include freedom of movement, provision for 1,500 work permits per annum for the games industry, the addition of roles such as games analyst and engine programmer to the Shortage Occupation List along with an appropriate fast-track visa programme, and ensuring that new immigration arrangements are straightforward.

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