Great Britain boasts one of the biggest video games industries in the world, with national game revenues ranking sixth in the world. For a nation of such a small population, compared to the likes of China, the United States, and Japan, standing so highly in game revenues shows how popular the entertainment medium has become in the UK.
With so much interest, in gaming, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there are several game developers in the UK. What might come as a surprise is how many of them rank among the best in the world. Rockstar North, based in Edinburgh, created Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption II, Traveller’s Tales in Knutsford make the LEGO games, and the London-based Sports Interactive creatives the eternally popular Football Manager series.
Alongside the likes of Rockstar North, Traveller’s Tales, and Sports Interactive are several other triple-A studios, such as Codemasters, Criterion Games, Core Design, Sony Studios London, Rare, Team17, and Eurocom Entertainment. Now, the bustling nation for game development is going to get another significant player, coming in the form of a new London-based triple-A developer.
The UK gets another triple-A games studio
The new UK triple-A game development team is coming in the form of an expansion from the studio Sharkmob. Based in Malmö, Sweden, the triple-A studio is forming a new team in London to work in a supporting role at first and then more independently. The initial plan is for the new London team to assist the home Sharkmob team with their two current in-development titles.
So, the new London team will get to help with Sharkmob’supcoming battle royale game that derives from the Vampire: The Masquerade universe. After the launch of the two triple-A online multiplayer games, the London team will be given a tremendous amount of creative freedom. Sharkmob wants the UK’s newest top-class studio to become an industry leader, and will continue to get support from Malmö in future developments.
In 2016, industry veterans from Ubisoft Massive and IO Interactive decided to found their own development studio, setting up shop in Sweden. Then, in mid-2019, the Sweden-based studio was purchased by the colossal Chinese entertainment firm Tencent. Now, they’re evolving Sharkmobfurther, expanding the studio from its sole Malmö offices to London.
The studio in Malmö boasts some 200 employees despite being such a new developer. Their ability to grow so quickly and expand to a second location is greatly down to the investment from Tencent. Sharkmob has said that the new studio also seeks to nurture new talents without location stopping the company from growing. Yet, they’ve made the somewhat outdated choice to set-up shop in the English capital, which used to be seen as the necessary home for business, but not so much anymore.
There’s more to the British games industry than London
With so many businesses so close together, and the vast London area being connected by the underground, it has long been hailed as the must-be location for successful companies in the UK. However, aspects like the high cost of living, taxes, the cluttered city lifestyle, and the regularity of transport and traffic troubles, as often seen on the UKNIP 247 travel report, have had many people look elsewhere. Now, it could be said that it’s become fashionable not to be based in or around London.
It’s a trend that’s been seen throughout all sectors of UK gaming, including in online casino gaming. As detailed on the Vegas Slots free games page, Microgaming stands as one of the best slot developers in the world. Microgaming is a UK-based game development studio, but rather than setting up in London, they built an ultra-modern, five-story building on the Isle of Man. Still, foreign expansions, such as that from top slot provider Novomatic from Austria to the UK, have moved to London as Sharkmob has.
In fact, recent studies into the state of the UK games industry show that London only boasts 21.3 per cent of studios. As such, 78.7 per cent of the UK’s creative force lives outside of the once-coveted capital city. The country, and much of the world, is so well connected now that having permanent residence in London isn’t a necessity for success anymore. In the games industry, the North West, Scotland, and the West Midlands are emerging as game development hotspots.
Sharkmob seeks to become yet another major studio to be based in the UK, with its ambitious plans further proving how strong the industry is in Great Britain.