France courts game developers as Brexit looms

After a report was released last November claiming that a no-deal Brexit would devastate the British gaming industry, France has decided to launch a new campaign to promote the advantages of working on games in the country, and one which takes the time to specifically target British devs.

Called ‘Join The Game', the campaign touts potential grants, funds and tax credits that are designed to help creators get started in France, and there are even agencies set up to help you move your business there, but could this be the fin de siècle of British game development?

Possibly, yes.

Dr. Jo Twist, CEO of non-profit trade association Ukie, remarks that “the UK is one of the best places in the world to make and sell games” in a statement about the campaign, but adds “that reputation can be eroded in a globally competitive industry. The emergence of a programme designed to poach talent and businesses from the UK should remind policy makers of this fact.”

Twist also states that “continued uncertainty caused by Brexit and potential for disproportionate regulation of our industry without the support of a robust evidence base risks diminishing that positive approach – potentially turning talented individuals and businesses away from the UK.”

As 40% of British game devs have already said they’d consider relocating in the event of a no-deal Brexit, this is a very shrewd move by France. If you listen closely, you can even hear the soundtrack to Moulin Rouge playing vaguely in the distance. Perhaps diamonds are a dev’s best friend?

In a response to the Join The Game campaign, trade association TIGA has said the UK government must consider introducing a Video Game Investment Fund, and increasing the Video Games Tax Relief fund by 5% to avoid an industry exodus.

“Governments in other jurisdictions will continue to seek to attract our successful studios and talented development staff,” said TIGA CEO Richard Wilson. “We now need to reinforce our success by retaining and enhancing Video Games Tax Relief, establishing a Video Games Investment Fund to improve studios’ access to finance, continuing to strengthen education and skills and enabling studios to access highly skilled people from overseas following Brexit.”

Wireframe #17 is out now.

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