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Numerous UK Game Development Studios See Closure

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Posted on January 10, 2012 AT 03:13pm

THE BUZZ: Today hasn’t been a good day in terms of news about the health of the UK’s game development scene.

First up comes word from gamesindustry.biz that Nottingham-based Monumental Games—an independent studio best known for the recent MotoGP titles for Capcom—has been shut down. According to the report, the studio has gone into administration, and Games Industry was told that “all 25 employees at the studio have been made redundant.”

In additional to that, two UK-based studios with ties to Sony have now either been closed or restructured. Industry news site Develop has confirmed that Leamington Spa developer Bigbig—whose most recently project was the PlayStation Vita release Little Deviants—has been marked for full closure.

Meanwhile, Sony’s Cambridge division will see restructuring. According to the report, what is left of the studio will then exist to work with Netherlands-based Guerilla Games on building Killzone titles for the Vita.

EGM’s TAKE: Times have really been tough in recent years for developers over in the UK. Obviously we hope the best for any of the staff members now finding themselves out of a job due to these changes, but we must also ask a bigger question: What does the UK scene need to do in order to avoid the problems it’s been having? Some have mentioned the reduction in tax breaks for studios located in the UK—would the return of such breaks be enough to strengthen the scene in that country again? Or are there other factors at work?

Any thoughts on the UK development scene? What can be done to help the studios there avoid having this happen to them?

Eric L. Patterson, Executive Editor
Eric L. Patterson got his start via self-publishing game-related fanzines in junior high, and now has one goal in life: making sure EGM has as much coverage of niche Japanese games as he can convince them to fit in. Eric’s also active in the gaming community on a personal level, being an outspoken voice on topics such as equality in gaming and consumer rights. Stalk him on Twitter: @pikoeri. Meet the rest of the crew.

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