North East England has a strong, fast growing gaming cluster.
The North East has a strong and rapidly growing gaming cluster, with over 50 specialist gaming companies being headquartered in the region.
The region has a wealth of creative games studios making waves across the globe. Pocket Money Games, based in Gateshead, developed Superhot VR for the Oculus quest headset. Whilst, Coconut Lizard, who have recently been acquired by Keywords Studios, partnered with Rare on the development of Sea of Thieves game. Studios are continuing to expand into our region, with People Can Fly (formally known as EPIC Poland), one of the best AAA game development studios in Poland, opening a development office here.
The gaming cluster benefits from a highly talented pool of developers and creatives, a substantial number of which come to the sector from the five world-class Universities based in the region, which collectively offer more than 90 bespoke courses for the gaming industry.
The gaming companies benefit from an unrivalled support network, and the opportunity to operate from collaborative, high-spec innovation hubs.
Tombola, one of Europe’s biggest bingo site , is headquartered in Sunderland. Tombola prides itself on having a highly talented workforce, with teams that lead on platform development, infrastructure and applications, information security and Research & Development.
“Gateshead has established itself as a leading hub for the creative digital sector. We work with clients from across the world, but this is where Atomhawk is proud to call home.” Tim Wilson, Head of Operations, Atomhawk
World-class facilities and office space
VRTGO Labs, based on the Gateshead Quays, was the first UK Virtual Reality industry-led centre of excellence, producing cutting-edge VR and AR technology. Companies that are part of the VRTGO network, do business with leading international brands, including Audi, PlayStation and Oculus.
PROTO: The Emerging Technology Centre based in Gateshead is Europe’s first dedicated centre for emerging technology. Led by Gateshead Council, a dedicated team is on hand to partner with businesses to help them create exciting and meaningful digital content specialising in XR, 3D character capture and mention capture .
Northern Design Centre is a hub for design innovation and product development in the region. It provides incubation space and studios for new and growing digital businesses.
Sunderland Software Centre hosts games developers and software development companies. The centre supports the growth of the North East technology sector by providing business support and creating opportunities for aspiring and established software businesses.
Nova Games Collective is the official games support network for the North East of England. The cluster is made up of games companies and supporters of games who champion the North East and the great games and ideas that come out of the region. Their aim is to link up designers, developers, gamers, studios (of all sizes) through meet-ups, conferences, podcasts and online support.
Access to a highly skilled workforce
The North East has over 28,000 employees working in IT and Digital sector and has the highest proportion of students studying STEM subjects in the UK. The region offers a large talent pool of graduates, with all five universities offering bespoke courses aimed at the gaming industry.
Ubisoft, the world’s third largest producer of video games, has a major presence in Newcastle upon Tyne and employs 220 people at its Newcastle studio, as well as further 150 staff at its EMEA customer relationship centre, recruiting highly talented employees from over 27 countries.
Value for money
Companies who chose to locate and grow here, can take advantage of the region’s highly skilled talent pool. With a vast talent pool of video gaming and creative staff, North East England provides investors with a skilled workforce that offers great value for money. Employing a video game designer in the region is more cost-competitive than hiring in London or other major European cities.
Facilities and office properties in the North East are more cost effective than equivalent facilities in London, making the region one of the most attractive places to locate a business in the UK.