North East England has a strong, fast growing gaming cluster.
With over 50 internationally renowned, specialist gaming companies, world-class facilities and state-of-the-art infrastructure, it is clear why North East England Works for games businesses. Gaming businesses locating in the North East benefit from a high calibre talent pool from five world-class universities, who collectively offer more than 70 bespoke courses for the gaming industry. This, coupled with an unrivalled support network and the opportunity to locate in collaborative, high-spec innovation hubs, makes North East England an attractive location for investors.
“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 properties and office space
VRTGO Labs, based on the Gateshead Quays, was the first UK VR industry-led centre of excellence, producing cutting edge VR and AR technology. Companies that are part of the VRTGO network work with leading brands such as Audi, PlayStation and Oculus.
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 businesses.
Sunderland Software Centre is home to a number of 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.
Unbeatable skills availability
North East England has over 15,000 employees working in creative industries 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 games industry, including Computer Games and Visual Effects (Northumbria University), Game Technologies (Newcastle University) and Serious Games and Virtual Environments (Durham University).
Ubisoft, the world’s third largest producer of video games, is employing 220 people at its Newcastle studio and a further 150 at its EMEA customer relationship centre, recruiting talented employees, from over 27 different countries and who speak over 16 languages.
Not only is the North East workforce loyal but it is one the least expensive locations in Europe to hire video gaming and creative staff. The typical cost savings of a video game designer in North East England are 34% less compared to London and over 10% less compared to Brighton, East of England and the South East. Compared to many European locations like Paris, Berlin and Stockholm, costs are 17-34% lower. Property costs are one-fifth of London, 30% lower than in Dublin and Manchester and 10% lower than in Brighton. According to the Financial Times Benchmarking Study, a 25 person video games operation in the North East would save over £1 million per annum in costs compared to London per annum.