The Midlands has been creating world-leading video games for over 30 years, and has one of the largest and strongest clusters of development companies within the UK, producing a range of console and mobile platform games.

The region is home to award-winning app and game developers both in video game development and serious games which are relevant to markets including education, retail, healthcare and advertising.

The sector is able to draw from an extensive talent pool due to its central location, attracting employees from across the Midlands, London and the north of the country. The graduate talent pool is also wide-ranging with world-renowned universities in several disciplines that can support the growth of this dynamic sector.

The strong tech eco-systems which exists in many interesting locations across the region such as the vibrant regency town of Royal Leamington Spa (dubbed Silicon Spa), Nottingham’s Creative Quarter (home to the National Video Game Arcade) and Birmingham’s Custard Factory creative quarter, ensure the region has a rich and diverse tech community.

The region’s proximity to world-class research and design facilities is among its many advantages. For example, Coventry is home to the International Centre of Excellence in Serious Games which developed Europe’s first Masters’ programme and Doctoral school in Serious Games.

The Midlands region is renowned for creating and developing iconic brands. Some of the best-known characters and games have emerged from some of the most creative minds in the world from a Midlands base. Brands such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Forza Horizon, F1 racing, Angry Birds, Transformers, Worms & Warhammer are all products being created and released by our innovative, forward-thinking companies. The region’s strengths lie in console, mobile and pc game development with a diverse range of studios and publishers which include SEGA, Playground Games, Rare, Sumo Digital, Rebellion, Lockwood Publishing, Codemasters, Bet365, Team 17 and Ubisoft.

The diverse eco-system that has been established ranges from large 200 staff studios, medium studios and work for hire developers, through to communities of indie developers and micro-studios producing high-quality award-winning games. This range has created dynamic and vibrant clusters of activity across the region.

University Strengths

A number of universities within the Midlands offer courses within games design & technology. These courses range from undergraduate through to masters and doctorates. Of particular note are:

  • Staffordshire University – a leader in producing high quality graduates and endorsed by industry leaders. The university has entered into a dynamic partnership with Epic games which has led to a new PlayStation-led academic development programme and close working relationships with other industry leaders such as Rockstar North, Codemasters, Jagex, Naughty Dog and Kuju entertainment. At the heart of this partnership is the Epic Games Centre, the only Epic sponsored design centre in the world.
  • Birmingham City University’s Gamercamp – offering postgrad experience within the university’s in-house bespoke studio.
  • Confetti – Nottingham Trent University’s Institute of Creative Technologies.
  • Coventry University – home to the Serious Games Institute Centre of Excellence, and the Games Technology Lab.
  • University of Warwick – Digital Laboratory which offers Computer Science, Discrete Mathematics, Data Science and Physics alongside the international Institute for Product and Service Innovation (IIPSI).

Centres of Excellence

Centre of Disruptive Media (Coventry University): Research and analysis of disruptive media technologies affecting current markets and enabling new markets to emerge.

International Digital Lab (University of Warwick): The first digital research centre of its kind, providing an accessible centre of innovation and excellence in digital technologies to serve business, industrial, healthcare and educational needs. A multi-disciplinary centre, it combines expertise in underpinning sciences including medicine, computer science and mathematics. It uses the latest technology to create a platform for new collaboration to solve real world challenges and to provide knowledge transfer, education and training.

Incubators & Accelerators

The Midlands region offers a wide range of business incubation space for companies looking to invest in the area, from Venture Capital backed co-working spaces to dedicated tech campuses there is not only quality space but a dedicated tech ecosystem.

The Midlands region is also home to many tech and business incubators which offer the opportunity to work with some of the most important companies in the sector, such as Capital One’s Growth Labs, or the UK’s largest dedicated tech campus, Innovation Birmingham, which continue to deliver new products and services which are revolutionising the financial sector.

Incubator and accelerator costs range from free desk space in incubators up to £100 per sq/mt in accelerators and co-working spaces.

The availability and quality of support for new companies was underlined in January 2018 when ‘Start-Up Britain’ declared that the region had the highest number of start-ups in the UK outside of London.

  • Birmingham & Solihull

    Greater Birmingham’s reputation as an established tech hub is growing. The region is already home to 6,000 pure tech firms employing more than 32,000 highly skilled tech professionals, with tech firms boosting the economy by £2.3 billion every year. Birmingham provides exceptional technological infrastructure at an affordable cost, supported by a highly skilled talent pool and leading national universities –...

    Read more →
  • Worcestershire

    Worcestershire is strengthening its reputation as a key technology location, with the UK’s fastest growing workforce in terms of productivity and higher level skills. Worcestershire’s growing workforce skills is just one of the key factors that are enabling local businesses to innovate. Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s latest 2017 report shows that Worcestershire has once again achieved the strongest growth nationally in...

    Read more →
  • Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire

    Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire is the home of Britain’s billion pound start-ups. A place where innovation, creativity and enterprise drive business growth and attracts international brands. That same entrepreneurial spirit that created world-beaters like Spode, Wedgwood and Bass is alive and well here today. Some of Britain’s greatest success stories, like JCB and bet365, have all grown from garage start-ups into...

    Read more →
  • Nottingham

    Nottingham has a fast-growing tech sector that employs over 19,700 people across areas including Fintech, Gaming, Health-tech and Retail-tech and contributes £835m into the local economy. Access to a large talent pool, lower operational costs, and a close-knit tech community ensures there is an excellent business ecosystem for start-ups through to large-scale businesses. Nottingham’s Creative Quarter is home to a...

    Read more →
  • Leicester & Leicestershire

    Leicester and Leicestershire boast a young, diverse, multicultural City; thriving market towns and popular villages set in an attractive landscape; three strong universities; and a central location with good connectivity. Also, there are genuine opportunities for economic growth in the area, including those in sectors such as design, manufacturing, export-based businesses, innovation and technology, research and enterprise. Just one hour from...

    Read more →
  • Derby

    Derby has a rich history as the UK Capital for Innovation and is often at the forefront of groundbreaking technological advances – the Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK plant in Burnaston was the first place in Europe to mass-produce a hybrid vehicle. Derby-based Rolls-Royce has recently announced their plans to collaborate on a hybrid-electric test aircraft that will fly by 2020....

    Read more →
  • Coventry & Warwickshire

    Coventry & Warwickshire has a long tradition of creativity and Innovation: from the skills to craft the earliest surgical needles to the wit and wisdom of William Shakespeare, our celebrated playwright; the modern bicycle can trace its lineage back to the Starley ‘Rover’ safety cycle, a forerunner of the Land Rover brand; the jet age began here with the ingenuity...

    Read more →
  • Black Country

    The Black Country continues to be an attractive location for business to succeed. It is home to world-leading companies and major industry clusters. Benefiting from significant increases in foreign and domestic investment over recent years, the Black Country is a success story that offers lucrative growth potential. Located in the West Midlands, the Black Country lies at the heart of the UK’s...

    Read more →