UK trade association TIGA has warned that the nation's game industry is facing a continued "brain drain" of skilled development staff. The warning was based on results from a recently conducted survey of 104 UK game business which revealed that 20 per cent of them had lost staff to foreign countries in the past 12 months.
“Unfortunately, some of our overseas competitors, powered by tax breaks for games production, have the financial resources available to entice some development staff away from the UK to work in their studios," says TIGA CEO Dr. Richard Wilson. "This is not just damaging to the UK video games sector. It is damaging to the UK economy."
Predictably, Canada featured prominently, TIGA highlighting the Entertainment Software Association of Canada's own 2011 report which states “Canada itself has been notably successful in attracting investment and skilled personnel from jurisdictions like the United Kingdom.”
“There will always be a flow of skilled people between countries and this can be positive," adds TIGA chairman and Rebellion CEO and Creative director Jason Kingsley. "However, the UK Government should be concerned about the loss of highly skilled people from the UK games industry.
"A brain drain of highly talented developers exacerbates skill shortages within the games industry and in the long term hurts the UK. TIGA will continue to refine its proposals for Games Tax Relief and other incentives to enable the industry to compete on a level playing field and so ameliorate the brain drain.”
The report follows last month's call by Dundee MP Jim McGovern for the government to review targeted tax relief for UK developers and publishers "as a matter of priority."