Industry veteran Harvey Elliott believes the UK games business can thrive during Brexit as it ‘always changes’.
The former EA and Marmalade exec, who has just launched a new publishing division called PlayStack, is bullish about the British games industry due to the fact it has already endured so much turbulence over the past two decades.
Brexit is change, and people often forget that the games industry is always changing,” he told MCV. Whether it’s the console generations, or the rise of mobile, or the rise of the indie, the fall of the indie and the rise of the indie again. We’ve changed so much. Brexit is a political change, and you don’t get one of those every three, five or seven years. These moments are every 30 years. It feels huge and it has an impact, both in terms of our currency and also where our investment comes from. But if any industry is well equipped to ride a change like that, it’s the games industry, because we always change ourselves anyway.
It is change and it is different. I think there is a lot of opportunity. Some of it will be helpful, our income will be stronger because most of our money will be made outside of the UK, but our costs will be higher when it comes to buying services and media. UK investors have naturally got their portfolios, with money tied up in British stock and some of it in European stock, and they’ll be evaluating that. It has slowed down some investment activity initially, but now they’re figuring it out. As a country we make games, we will always make games. This is just another change.
The most dramatic impact has been to currency. If you are a US company with a UK studio, then it just got cheaper to run. If you are a UK business that is selling games, then you are getting more income. We are actually in a better position, really.”
He continued: Personally I was a bit disappointed about it, it wasn’t what I would have liked. But I can make it work and I don’t think our business is doomed. I think I have as much opportunity with it than I would have without it.”