The video game industry is one of the most innovative sectors in technology today. Its contributions to virtual entertainment, disruptive innovation, society, culture, and social networking have been immense — to the point where the global video game industry is forecasted to reach $159 billion by the end of 2020.
In the European Union, video game development is one of the fastest growing creative industries. However, EU gaming companies are facing challenges along the way. They are under pressure to outpace their competitors, staff their company with the best tech talent, and retain their top performers in a highly competitive industry.
Ongoing competition for tech talent across Europe
Since cutting-edge game development relies on highly-skilled development talent, gaming companies end up competing with not just each other, but the entire IT tech industry.
A recent report by EY on the video game industry found that 70 percent of respondents agreed that the next five years will be more challenging than previous years as a result of increasing pressure to stay ahead of the competition. Senior leaders at game development companies agreed that there is an escalating cost of talent across multiple industry verticals, such as development, graphic design, digital marketing, and senior management.
Brexit and current political landscape may also have an impact. According to a 2019 survey by Ukie, the UK gaming and interactive entertainment industry trade association, 36 percent of respondents were not prepared for the prospect of a no-deal Brexit. The increasing demand, rapid growth, and mainstream appeal of the video game industry combined with the volatile political landscape have presented a host of challenges.
The Polish gaming industry has shown similar trends. According to the Polish 2017 Gamedev study, 93 percent of top leaders within Polish gaming companies said that a high level of skill set is a key determining factor in choosing a new employee, which drastically narrowed down the talent pool.
Germany established itself as an important market for computer and video game development, but is seeing a decline in employment numbers in recent years.
To address the lack of talent in the labour market, the European commission presented a 12-points skills agenda in July 2020, aimed at sustainable competitiveness and resilience. The report focused on increasing STEM graduates and fostering entrepreneurial expertise to narrow the skills gap.
Video game development companies may benefit from remote global teams
Video game companies all over the world are under tremendous pressure to stay ahead of the competition. With the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, video game companies have started operating remotely, and have found great benefits in doing so. Going forward with a remote-first approach to identifying and sourcing talent could be the key to success in a highly competitive industry.
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For example, Austrian video game development company Moon Studios operates entirely without a headquarters. The company has relied on top global talent from more than 43 countries, and now has 80 employees working remotely all over the world.
Besides being able to source the best candidate in the world for the job, companies and employees are both seeing productivity gains as a result of a remote-first workplace.
British video game developer, Bossa Studios, went remote because of Covid-19 and found that 43 percent of their workforce felt more productive working from home. As a result, Bossa Studios has decided to continue offering remote work as a permanent option for its employees.
Cross-border global teams provide a crucial advantage — global perspectives. Endless, a video game company focused on coding education, has remote employees all over the world. Despite the differences in time zones, employees at Endless have found there is still a positive team spirit and collaboration.
Where should companies look for tech talent?
Here are a few places around the world where gaming companies can look to hire top tech talent:
- Southeast Asia: Beyond market size, the youthful population of Southeast Asia offers a deep talent pool for tech companies. For example, The Philippines produces over 130,000 information technology and engineering graduates a year, and Vietnam is producing around 80,000. In fact, the growing tech talent pool in Vietnam has attracted many international companies.
- Ukraine: Many Fortune 500 companies —over 100 organizations like Samsung, Google, and Microsoft — hire R&D teams in cities all over Ukraine. The IT industry is expected to reach $5.4 billion by the end of 2020, thanks in part to the country’s emphasis on developing its students’ STEM capabilities. The talent pool includes approximately 185,000 IT specialists.
- Uruguay: Uruguay is quickly becoming the “Silicon Valley of South America” due to the country’s focus on education and learning initiatives, and its ease of doing business. The tech industry exports $1.5 billion in products and services on an annual basis, making Uruguay the leading software exporter in South America, and the third worldwide.
How an Employer of Record (EOR) solution can help
As you look to add global talent to your team, figuring out how to do so may be a challenge, especially if your company does not have an established presence in the location in which you wish to hire. Whether you are relocating employees long-term or hiring new employees in a different country, your company can benefit greatly from using an Employer of Record (EOR) solution.
With a presence in 187 countries, Globalization Partners is already established around the world and will manage all the responsibilities concerning legal compliance, payroll, and onboarding for you. Your employees — whether relocated or new hires — still work for your company, but an EOR takes on all the responsibility as the legal employer.
Book a consultation to find out more.