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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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Alec Meer avatar
Alec Meer: A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.
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