Video games industry: Rise of the 'bedroom' developer
On 17 August 2010, one of the UK's biggest games companies -
Dundee-based Realtime Worlds - went into administration with the loss of
more than 150 jobs.
The company's collapse followed disappointment in the sector as the
coalition government at Westminster cancelled planned tax breaks for the
Many experts predicted these hi-tech firms - full of young, mobile
people - would simply move abroad in search of more sympathetic tax
This once flourishing part of the Scottish - and the UK - economy was in
terminal decline, they said.
But the city's Abertay University, one of the few places in the UK you
can take courses on video games design and development, is still
churning out graduates keen to make their mark in the sector.
One of them is Martyn Hunter, a 21-year-old from Kirkcaldy in Fife, who
believes the collapse of Realtime was more a sign of rapid change in the
industry, rather than a symbol of its decline.
On starting his course three years ago, his ambition was to work on a
big blockbuster title like Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto - but now
he's more interested in becoming an indie games producer and join the
the "bedroom developer" revolution.
"Triple-A titles, major mainstream budgets just aren't going to work
these days," he says.
"I personally think that smaller, casual games for mobile platforms,
Facebook and social networks are the way forward, because they require a
lower budget and give a lot more creative freedom - which gives birth to
such amazing new games."
Far from being "depressing", Mr Hunter says it's actually a time of
incredible opportunity for graduates entering the sector.
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