Remaining in the EU 'important for UK developers'

Remaining in the EU 'important for UK developers'
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

January 28th 2013 at 4:40PM

European Union enables studios to expand on the continent and trade freely, says Kuju CEO

Staying in the European Union is vital to the success of UK developers, a number of leading industry veterans have claimed.

Speaking to Here is the City, a number of developers including Kuju CEO Dominic Wheatley and Eutechnyx COO Darren Jobling said being part of the EU was hugely important for expanding their businesses and shipping content across Europe.

The developers’ comments come less than a week after Prime Minster David Cameron pledged to hold a referendum on the UK’s membership in the EU by 2017.

Wheatley said that before the 1993 Maastricht Treaty, which formed the foundations for the EU as it stands today, shipping games to Europe was a “nightmare”.

He went on to say that being in the EU also meant it was easier for UK developers to open new studios in Europe, with Kuju owner Catalis, which Wheatley also heads, having opened offices in Belgium and Poland.

“It’s absolutely important to be able to trade freely with Europe because there's such a big market for us and of course for setting up studios,” he said.

Eutechnyx co-owner Darren Jobling added: "I basically think that extricating ourselves from Europe would be a bad thing for the game industry.

"In the UK, Europe is basically our biggest local market, and unrestricted trade access is essential to products of ours, such as Auto Club Revolution. Europe generally gets a bad rap in the UK popular press and Cameron is just jumping on the band wagon of jingoism."

Despite these claims that leaving the EU could be damaging for UK developers, Rebellion CEO Jason Kingsley said he doubted the UK leaving would have much effect, if any, given developers can just release content through digital distribution platforms such as Steam.

“I haven’t seen any barriers to distribution of our digital titles like Judge Dredd vs Zombies, or Zombie HQ or Guns 4 Hire anywhere yet," he said.

"Whether we are in or out of the European project, I can’t imagine this changing. In effect our trading partners are the customer, so as long as we make games in languages they can understand, and they have access to download our stuff, nothing else matters."