UK-based Game Development Companies are about to start HIRING like crazy!

By in Games Industry on March 24, 2012

That is at least according to Maija Palmer, technology correspondent for the Financial Times.

Based on a link shared by a common LinkedIn connection at Mind Candy (one of the studios mentioned), the following article from details the reasoning behind this upcoming “SPREE” of hiring about to hit the UK market:


Essentially, the article outlines how due to some recent changes in tax legislation in the UK, as yet completely defined, it looks as though game development studios headquartered and operating in the UK will be able to claim back 20 to 25% of their production costs.  The legislation is based along the same lines that exist for the film and television industries.

As gaming production is an exercise in hardware, software, and grayware (grayware being PARAMOUNT in the equation) – it stands to reason that these savings will translate into attracting and retaining the best development and business talent that the UK studios can muster up. This is incredible news for the gaming industry and the development studios within the UK.  Production costs are considerable on any game development project and can carry on longer than expected, chewing through investor funding as studios struggle to deal with unexpected challenges and needed shifts in creative direction as things begin taking shape.  Having a quarter of these costs back to leverage against this is brilliant.  It will serve as a method of fostering an opportunity for growth in this sector for the UK!

According to recent articles and wall street analysts, the gaming industry is expected to grow to 86 billion USD by 2014, with online games contributing a 10-20% growth rate year on year to that figure.  That’s a considerable chunk of change, opportunity, and something that any country with foresight and vision would benefit from – by getting on that train and riding it all day long!  This action puts the UK in a much better position to be part of this growth, and attract back top talent, major development studios, and advantages for those already there – companies like Mind Candy, Codemasters, and EA’s Guilford-based studios.

I’ve had a front row seat to the development of the gaming industry in Ireland for the last two years.  The government and it’s local organizations designed to attract FDI and to foster domestic economic growth have done an excellent job recognizing the gaming industry as an attractive option.  A significant resource for future jobs, economic injection, and tax revenue the games industry has grown significantly here in the past two years alone. Part of the EU, low cost living, and beautiful scenery all serve to attract the right employees to the right opportunities as they push forward in their efforts.

I recently participated in the Ireland Games Festival in Thurles, Ireland at which I had the opportunity to be the Keynote speaker, at the event.  I was able to meet the future developers of tomorrow, and as a result, can personally witness that the talent is out there.  I look forward to following many of the talented and resourceful students, graduates, and entrepreneurs that I met there (and during my time here in Ireland as a whole) as they go off to work at, start, and sell successful game studios.  The idea of these Irish citizens being able to remain in Ireland to capitalize on their talents is a brilliant one.  I wish them the absolute best.

It makes me think that a ruling like this, coming from so close across the water, will surely push their efforts even further to keep in step with the UK.

Fasten your seat belts.