The UK games industry trade body, Ukie, has warned that a no-deal Brexit could cause damage to the UK’s domestic games sector by plunging it into unwelcome uncertainty.
“A no-deal Brexit would be a wholly undesirable and disruptive outcome for the UK and European games sector, with unknown ramifications,” stated Dr Jo Twist OBE, CEO of Ukie (pictured above) to MCV@gamescom.
The trade body, which represents nearly 50,000 jobs across the UK in an industry which contributes £2.87bn to the UK economy each year, has long warned of the impact of Brexit on access to highly sought after talent, access to markets, the free movement of data and funding.
But with the country seemingly moving increasingly towards a no-deal outcome on October 31st, Twist said that it is time for policy makers to “categorically rule out a no-deal Brexit outcome in order to support the sector and remove uncertainty.
“We have been continually reminding government of the risks of Brexit since the referendum, and providing resources for UK games businesses to prepare for it. But the reality is that a no-deal outcome on the 31st October could stifle our digital economy,” Twist said.
“We do not want to see a no-deal Brexit creating physical borders, or significant digital barriers. The absence of a data adequacy agreement for the legal flow of data could place an enormous number of games businesses on uncertain legal footings,” she continued.
“We don’t want to lose access to services that are vital to digital economy businesses and we don’t want to see unnecessary red tape entangling small and medium companies. And potentially plunging the personal status of so many EU and EEA workers in our industry into uncertainty could endanger our hard-fought reputation as a place where truly multinational success stories can emerge.
“We want to ensure that the message about the United Kingdom is that we remain open, and a fantastic place, to do business with all global partners. It is time we had some firm clarity and assurances from Government that a no-deal Brexit is ruled out for the sake of our thriving sector and the economy at large.”
BACK IN COLOGNE
Twist’s call comes as Ukie opens the doors on its biggest ever gamescom stand (Hall 3.2 Stand C020-E039). Themed around the 1980s to celebrate the trade body’s founding in 1989, the stand will play host to 84 companies, all looking to sign new business and strengthen existing partnerships.
During this week, Ukie will be hosting a number of events to bring together the entire sector. These include two drinks receptions – hosted by Jagex and Coutts respectively – and Ukie’s annual Gamescom Game of the Year Award, judged by MCV and sponsored by Wicked Sick.
“Gamescom is one key pillar of Ukie’s highly successful international trade programme. It delivered £113m worth of business wins last year at trade shows, through inbound trade missions and other targeted activities, demonstrating the sector’s global value and appeal,” said Twist.
“But with the spectre of a no-deal Brexit dragging the entire UK economy back, programmes like this could prove even
more successful by taking a potentially disastrous political outcome off the table,” she concluded.
Read more of our gamescom 2019 coverage.