Right now, the Isle of Man doesn’t boast a thriving games sector, but its government is working hard to rectify this.
The region has already attracted a number of medium-sized companies, including developer Derivco and publisher PlayFusion, but its Department of Economic Development has a number of incentives to make it a more attractive place to make games.
We have four or five different programmes. First of all, the Isle of Man has an enterprise development scheme – an investment programme – which means we will invest in companies,” head of e-business Jonathan Mills says.
We have a fund that intends to spend between 30m and 40m a year – split between the Isle of Man government and co-investors – to put money into the areas that we are looking to grow. That’s been in operation for a couple of months now. In addition, we have a long-established system of grants, so we can assist people who want to set up here substantially with capital and with refitting premises and so on. We also have relocation grants, where we will assist them in recruiting and relocating staff to the Isle of Man.”
While primarily the Isle of Man is looking to attract development talent, the region is also trying to build a diverse and thriving games market.
We’re hoping to create an entire ecosystem rather than one specific area,” Mills says.
We are looking to attract a broad range of skills. There are interesting opportunities around getting publishers here. We are hoping thatentrepreneurswill be attracted by an ability to get investors.”
Long term, Mills envisions the Isle of Man being a centre for virtual reality development.
We can get some big players in VR,” he says. We want to get in on the ground floor with that new tech. That’s our vision. That tech is clearly going to be explosive.”
Capital City: Douglas
Currency: Manx pound
GDP (Per Capita): 53,800
GAME, Tesco, Currys PC World, HMV
PUBLISHERS IN THE REGION
PlayFusion, GamesCO, Foreium