New trend in UK game development: five man teams

Game development has changed a lot over the past few years. While AAA studios were much more common in the middling 2000s, today the landscape is far more indie orientated as even the middle ground is being gleaned of experience, with those with a few games under their belt often deciding to go it alone and put their faith in Kickstarter to fund their dream games.

According to TIGA, a trade association representing the UK's games industry, five man teams in the British isles now represent almost 60 per cent of all developers.

Just because a lot of people are moving on too, doesn't mean the scene isn't healthy. In fact in the UK there's more new games studios opening than ever before, but they're all smaller ones, with an average of five man teams.

This is also partly due to impending tax breaks for British game developers, which are finally coming into play later this year after having been campaigned for for years. While music and film both have subsidies to help further the arts in the UK, games for a long time were shunned. Now, finally, game developers are getting a taste too and it looks to already be having an affect on the industry.

The smaller studio openings are also likely affected by the recent spate of big studio closures in the UK. There was THQ Warrington, Sony's Liverpool based studio, Bizarre Creations and several others. These much larger entities bled developers all over the UK and they seem to be getting together in smaller, more malleable teams than before.

It will be interesting to see if this trend offers them more job security and satisfaction, even if it means that AAA development in the UK may take a back seat over the next few years to indies.

That's fine with me.

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