40% of UK's laid off studio staff 'go overseas'

40% of UK's laid off studio staff 'go overseas'

By Rob Crossley

January 19th 2012 at 12:00PM

New Tiga report claims Britain's dev workforce has fallen 10% since 2008

Nearly half of Britain’s games developers made redundant in the past three years have moved overseas for work, according to new data.

Games trade association Tiga, which said it has surveyed three-quarters of British games industry to gather its data, reports that 41 per cent of workers laid off between 2009 and 2011 had relocated overseas.

Tiga also claims that Bizarre Creations – the Liverpool studio which closed down 2010 – had a third of its staff quit the UK to find a new games industry job.

Tiga, which continues to campaign for games industry tax break initiatives, says the main destination for such developers was the US and Canada.

The findings are based on a survey conducted by Games Investor Consulting of “75 per cent of the UK’s games businesses” and published by Tiga in a forthcoming report.

The study, which makes grave warnings of a “brain drain” in the UK, claims that Britain's industry workforce shrunk by over 10 per cent between 2008 and 2011.

“The UK video games development and digital publishing sector provides high levels of graduate employment, has a high propensity to export, is at the cutting edge of R&D, and has a world class reputation for IP generation.


Tiga CEO Richard Wilson said the UK “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 games development,” he said.

“Tax breaks both stimulate job creation in the games sector and provide games businesses with significant financial resources with which they can deploy to recruit staff.

“The video games industry is exactly the kind of sector that the Government should be supporting to help rebalance the UK economy.”