A Sega executive says that the era of big game studios in the United Kingdom is officially over. The British games industry will continue to survive, but no longer contains grand-scale development studios, says Sega production boss Gary Dunn. Dunn tells Develop that "it would take a brave soul to start up a 100-man studio at the moment, because the risk is so high."
Sega is opening a new micro-studio based in Solihull, who will work on smaller handheld and mobile games with a modest 15-person development team.
It is easy to see why Dunn is so pessimistic about the games industry’s status in the UK; several large-scale development studios have either been shut down by their parent companies or have closed shop due financial reasons. Bizarre, Realtime Worlds, and Free Radical are just a few of the development studios that no longer exist.
“The thing is, in most of these cases the studios closing down are quite large,” Dunn said in a recent interview with Develop. "Bizarre Creations was a behemoth of a studio. We’re looking to be an agile, modern studio focusing on new platforms."
Dunn went on to say that the days of giant development teams are numbered and that the UK games industry is going to have a lot more smaller start-ups going forward. For now Dunn is right about that much; many of those displaced by layoffs, closures and a general air of bad luck have started their own companies in the region.