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MEP: UK games sector faces Brexit 'freefall'

MEP Alex Mayer with Jeremy Cooke, chair of Games Eden
MEP Alex Mayer with Jeremy Cooke, chair of Games Eden

Alex Mayer decries 'virtual reality' of upcoming minefield

As business concerns rise about Brexit Cambridgeshire’s MEP Alex Mayer has voiced the concerns of the games sector in a post-EU setting.

Ms Mayer has warn that Brexit is already taking its toll on the computer games industry at a meeting with Jeremy Cooke, chair of trade organisation Games Eden and the creator of the high tech CBBC show Bamzooki.

The gaming industry body, UK Interactive Entertainment (UKIE), recently stated that 40 per cent of UK-based games companies are considering relocating after Brexit, as they rely on skilled workers from the EU. One of the main purposes - or at least by-products - of Brexit is to make it more difficult for overseas talent to contribute to UK plc.

Many smaller developers also currently receive funding from the Creative Europe programme which could be cut off post-Brexit. and even in the case of a ‘soft’ Brexit. The sector is a big player in the East of England with 174 independent games developer companies registered with UKIE.

One developer that has already closed its doors is Ely-based Freekstorm Games, citing uncertainty because of Brexit.

Ms Mayer said: “Brexiteers really are living in a virtual reality if they think that the UK is going to be better off because of Brexit.

“Brexit could mean the mass effect of the UK games industry going into complete freefall, as developers and designers relocate out of the UK like lemmings in order to keep themselves in business.

“We are already seeing the fallout from the Brexit minefield in the games industry now. It could spell absolute doom for UK developers.”

The news comes on the weekend of the FXP festival, with Brains Eden coming up soon.

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