Talk of UK industry shrinkage "not appropriate" says director of Media Molecule and FreeStyle

Lee: UK developers should “stop moaning”

Chris Lee, commercial director of Media Molecule and FreeStyle, has struck out against the negative spin placed on recent reports that the number of studios in the UK has shrunk, saying developers and the media need to "stop moaning".

The comments came during yesterday’s Codeworks Game Horizon Industry All Stars event and were spurred by the upcoming attempts by a UK consumer games mag to put together a report on the ‘Decline of the UK Games Industry’.

"There is too much negativity amongst UK developers when it comes to talking about our industry," said Lee. "It has to stop."

Word that the number of UK development companies has shrunk in the last five years from 400 to 150 first emerged in May, and has been reported in a variety of press reports since – but, said Lee, all reports fail to address "the reality that the industry has changed" pointing out that while the number of actual companies may have fallen, the amount of actual developers has risen.

"To talk of the decline of the UK industry is not appropriate," added Lee. Taking cues from an article he wrote for Develop back in March called ‘Reasons to be Cheerful’ he also pointed to the work done by teams like Bizarre Creations, Criterion, Traveller’s Tales and others, saying: "The UK market is punching above its weight. We are competing on the world stage."

Suggestions that the UK was suffering from a talent drain was also misplaced, he said, explaining that the UK was one of the few markets whose talent base had a balanced mix of art, code, audio and production staff.

"If you create the right environment you should be able to attract the right people. We can satisfy the four elements of production better than any other country in the world," he said.

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