Guildford dev cluster can 'set the benchmark'

Codemasters: UK devs should work better together

Britain’s factionalised games development industry could flourish if devs worked better together, a studio head at Codemasters has said.

Ian Johnson, who heads up of Codemasters’ new Guildford studio, said it was particularly important for Britain’s games companies to work together in light of heightened competition from overseas.

“I think if, as a group, we had the confidence to share resources between ourselves instead of grabbing onto things like they are some valuable golden eggs, that would be ideal,” Johnson told Develop.

“That’s nationally relevant too, but obviously getting there will mean many hurdles,” he added.

Johnson’s comments appear in a new Develop feature that focuses on the Guildford development cluster.

The Codemasters chief said Guildford could “set the benchmark” for studio collaboration – a claim echoed by other developers based in the region.

Lionhead Studios publishing exec Stuart Whyte said Guildford’s dense pack of games studios allows for “a lot of movement between the studios, and people changing careers within the hub”.

Whyte added: “Hopefully we can all start to do that more and share. We’re all going to be growing and shrinking at different points as we make games, so the ability to foster an ecosystem where we can support people to move around between Guildford studios, and actually see them learn from different companies and spread that knowledge about making games between us; that could really help us all.”

Johnson went onto explain that Guildford has become a self-sufficient dev cluster, and that the increased sharing of resources and staff “is partly a response by the studios here to the competition we’re facing from overseas”.

“There’s obviously enticing tax incentives in places like Canada,” he said, “so the way that we can compete with those is to be efficient.”

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