On Thursday 23rd June this year, the UK voted to leave the European Union. The history making referendum has resulted in backtracking on political promises, the largest crash in the value of the pound since 1985, and the resignation of the prime minister. As you can imagine, the decision is going to have a profound impact on industry within the UK, so how is it going to affect the UK’s gaming industry?
What this means for gamers
In the short term, the UK’s gaming community won’t see many changes, but they may do in the coming months. As the UK moves to leave the EU, prices for games may well be affected due to currency conversion and other factors. Worst case scenario, games may start costing more as developers look to recoup the money they have potentially lost thanks to Brexit.
Jobs may be lost in the UK
Developers are going to suffer if the UK goes through with leaving the EU, as many rely upon EU funding to keep themselves running. Also, thanks to the crash in the value of the pound, many devs found that the value of their companies had nosedived overnight, losing hundreds of pounds in a matter of hours. Some companies may decide to move their headquarters away from the UK into Europe, in order to take advantage of opportunities there. This means that people in the games industry may well find themselves out of work.
There are also concerns about the recently introduced tax relief system for UK games developers. It’s not yet clear whether this will stay in place, and whether the money saved will offset the amount lost by an exit from the EU.
Indie developers may be hit hardest
The big guns in the industry may well be able to weather the storm, but it’s been predicted that indie devs will be hit the hardest, as they’ll have less access to funding. This could have a severe impact on the games that come out of the UK, as some of our most recent successes, such as Candy Crush Saga. With indie devs feeling the financial pressure, they may not be able to put out the same quality and quantity of games as they have before.
It’s not all bad news
You’ve probably noticed that this post is full of ‘mights’ and ‘maybes’. At the time of writing, the UK is still in the EU and we just don’t know what is going to happen yet. If we do leave, other possibilities may well present themselves. Many game devs, when asked by the media, have commented that while disappointed by the result, they think it’ not time to panic yet. If the exit is handled carefully enough, the impact may well be minimal and the gaming industry will be able to carry on as normal. As with many things right now, we’ll simply have to wait and see.