Brexit and video games: Scottish industry raises migration concerns

brexit and video games
© iStock/borealisgallery

A roundtable discussion at Scotland’s Abertay University has explored the potential impact of Brexit on Scotland’s video games industry.

The video games production industry in Scotland, which is worth £98.9m (€111.04m) annually, employs 1,285 people; and industry representatives have expressed concern over the effects of the ending of freedom of movement under Brexit on recruitment of highly skilled staff from EU Member States.

Professor Gregor White, Dean of Abertay University’s School of Design and Informatics, said: “As Europe’s leading university for computer games education, Abertay attracts some of the most talented students and academic staff in the world, so an immigration system that allows for smooth mobility is important to us as an institution. Having a diverse international mix on campus highly benefits the Abertay student experience, adds value to our research and supports the quality of our teaching.”

The Scottish government, which has previously called on the UK government to allow a migration policy specific to Scotland to meet the country’s economic and public service needs after Brexit, has provided £11.5m (€12.91m) in funding to 40 video games companies. Migration is expected to account for all Scotland’s population growth over the next 25 years.

Scottish Migration Minister Ben Macpherson said: “Brexit presents major challenges for all our creative industries and therefore it is vital to understand their concerns and what initiatives each sector could benefit from. The Scottish Government recognises the importance of the games sector to Scotland’s economy and this roundtable is an important opportunity to explore how UK immigration policies and any Brexit process could affect the industry. In an area like the games sector, where it is necessary to compete internationally for the best developers, designers and talent, we need migration policies that enable Scotland to maintain its strong reputation as an open, welcoming and attractive place to live and work.”


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