Majority of UK developers attracted by overseas work

Majority of UK developers attracted by overseas work
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

January 31st 2014 at 11:26AM

Develop’s annual salary survey reveals 59 per cent of games workforce tempted by jobs outside the UK

The majority of game developers in the UK are attracted by the opportunity to work overseas rather than stay in the country, according to results from the latest annual Develop game industry salary survey.

Hundreds of developers filled in our survey, and 59 per cent of industry professionals who answered said they were interested in potentially working abroad, while 41 per cent said they were not.

The UK game industry is famously said to have suffered from a ‘brain drain’ in recent years, with a number of the country’s biggest studios also closing down – but often spawning new, smaller studios, with some employees also going indie.

Despite UK industry trade bodies TIGA and UKIE making an effort to combat this through a number of schemes, most notably campaigning for tax breaks, the government has struggled to get approval from the European Commission on the matter, which argued there was “no obvious market failure” in the sector, and that such games are produced even without state aid.

A recent report by the department for Culture, Media and Sport also recently claimed the UK?game sector shrank by nearly half in 2012 (a year before our latest survey was compiled) compared to 2011, with economic contribution falling from £946m to £540m. Employment,  however, was said to have risen from 13,000 in 2011 to 15,000 in 2012, a rise of 18.8 per cent.

It should be noted that the UK figures for developers interested in working abroad are part of a wider global trend, with 66 per cent of industry professionals around the world also interested in working overseas.

Yesterday we revealed that the average global game developer salary has fallen to £32,500. You can read our breakdown of our industry salary survey here.