UK Leave EU Indie Game Development and Gaming Hardware Price Impact

Written by Felix Nova on Fri, Jun 24, 2016 3:00 PM

This morning it was announced that the UK have voted to leave the European Union, by a tiny margin. 48% of the UK population voted to remain a part of the EU versus 52% to leave. There is a fair number of game development studios that reside in the UK. Obviously the real impact of this huge decision is yet to be seen but UK game industry representatives have released their first statements and I then go into a few areas where this could affect the average gamer and indie game developer.

First off, Dr Richard Wilson, the CEO of TIGA, which is the network for video games developers and digital publishers and the trade association representing the video games industry, had a statement ready this morning,

The UK video games industry is a high technology sector that provides high skilled employment for over 30,000 people, including approximately 11,000 development staff and which contributes £1.1 billion to UK GDP. It is also export oriented, with at least 95 per cent of studios exporting. Following the referendum in favour of ‘Brexit’, it will be more vital than ever to strengthen (and avoid harming) those sectors where the UK has a comparative competitive advantage: for example, aerospace, defence, high-value manufacturing and engineering, high technology industries, higher education, low carbon technology and the creative industries, including the video games sector.

There are a handful of serious points of interest covering the UKs EU exit, regarding the gaming industry and UK gamers.

Intellectual Property could be an important area for concern. With the UK being woven into the EU Trade Mark regime. This could make it much more difficult for game developers to maintain their IP across the globe. Having a solo UK trade mark could be less well recognised in other countries, compared to the EU trade mark. Normally things are getting serious when trade mark law is being called upon and you want to have as strong a claim as possible to defend your IP.

Anyone in the UK with EU trade marks (which cost a lot to acquire) would probably have to consider reapplying for their UK only trade mark.

Access to Game Developers and talent. The UK and any EU country will rely heavily on the free employee movement, that is available when part of the larger EU body. As borders close and foreign skill sets become less accessible due to new immigration rules put in place by the UK the UK may find a skill shortage.

Video Games Tax Relief and R&D Tax Relief. Over the past decade there have been times when the UK was considered a game development tax haven. The UK tax incentives could draw development studios to set up in the UK or give new studios the chance they need to make that first blockbuster indie hit. Recently major Studios discovered that Canada was one of the best places to set up and run a Game dev studio. Now that the UK have more control again over game industry tax incentives, it could be one of the few silver linings for the UK game development scene. That said, with tighter migration policy it might not be enough to pull new foreign studios into the country. See the Access to Game Developers and Talent point above.

UK Investors and Funding. With the UK pound plummeting overnight to the lowest it has been since 1985 (this is likely to drop further), UK investors will likely be sceptical about putting their money in to new ventures. With another UK recession possibly around the corner, Game Development investment is likely to be squeezed.

However, perhaps strong external countries might look at this devaluing in the UK currency as an opportunity. Where hiring UK talent becomes cheaper. But then that sounds more like UK talent would leave the UK to work in places where their income might be higher. Hopefully for the UK it actually means investors from overseas think that the UK becomes a better investment region as the pound devalues.

Gamer Tech prices. The UK is an island and does very little PC hardware manufacturing, as far as we have heard. Lets take an example of something UK gamers must all be thinking. If the new GTX 1080 (or any imported graphics card/hardware item) cost £620-£660 yesterday, and the UK pound has devalued overnight by 10%, does that mean that once UK shops can adjust their prices, the UK gamers would be paying £682-£726 for the same graphics card? Obviously that change could flow across the whole hardware purchasing industry.

Indie Developers. I have just spoken to a Danish national indie developer, Alexander Birke, who lives and develops his upcoming game here in the UK. Him and the UK company he set up has directly enjoyed the gaming grants provided by EU funding. I asked him for his early thoughts on today's situation.

Alex "I'm from Denmark and have lived in the UK and worked in the games industry over here for close to 3 years. Waking up today to learn that the UK will be leaving was not pleasant. Depending on when the exit is officially started I might have to leave the UK since you have to have lived here for 5 years before you can get permanent residency.

In the short term it is also going to have an effect on my ability to get my games funded. I started my own company last year and got a publisher for my first game which has allowed me to not just work on it myself but also hire people as well. Getting funding for the next game is likely going to be harder because a lot of the government initiatives that have been put up to promote the UK games industry are affected by EU law or are run by EU grants. I actually moved to the UK because I got head hunted for a job over here and it is very common for game studios to look for talent overseas especially from Europe because the legal process is so easy. That's likely going to be harder for game companies to do after the exit. I think the UK is likely to lose a lot of talent in the games industry as a result.

If I can stay I'm not sure I want to live in a country where I'm not feeling welcome at the moment. It all depends on how the exit is going to proceed and right now no one knows how that is going to go down."

Thanks for your thoughts Alex and good luck. Please check out Alex's upcoming PC game, Laser Disco Defenders, that for the moment at least, is being developed in the UK. It will also be available on the PS Vita.

This is quite a shake up and a considerable time of uncertainty for the UK. Time will tell what this will mean to the UK game industry and the country as a whole. This is a passionate area of discussion so please be very mindful of your comments below, so as not to offend others, there is always someone who feels strongly the other way.

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10:52 Jun-25-2016

Not gonna lie. One of the first thoughts that went through my head when i woke up yesterday was how this was all gonna affect the price of my next rig :P

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10:53 Jun-25-2016

The dollar went way up compared to the pound (we lost 130 BILLION in shares overnight, thanks to the old farts) so...not very positively...

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11:03 Jun-25-2016

This is my worry. But on the other hand we are likely to make stronger trade agreements with the US and hopefully that meansbetter prices on pc imports from USA

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14:54 Jun-25-2016

That is what I think will happen in the long run, but the next couple of years may be rough.

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15:37 Jun-25-2016

The next 2 years will be rough-ish, but we will still be able to travel and shop in the EU while the severance process is undergo. The real sh*tstorm will begin when we actually finalize the leave as it will be an unstable blank slate for the UK (IF the UK still exists, because Scotland and Northern Ireland are likely to leave England to rot on its own).

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15:52 Jun-25-2016

They have two years to work outside deals and prepare. The question is will the UK officials take advantage of the available time to make fair trade deals around the world, or squander the time bickering about what was and what they think should be? There is a great opportunity available if the people can force their representatives to get off of their @sses & do something.

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16:07 Jun-25-2016

lol kinda same here i hoped the amd rx series was still going to be as affordable as its looked to be

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10:39 Jun-25-2016

Congrats UK!!!

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10:50 Jun-25-2016

You mean with the pound down on the floor, the world making jokes about it and wiping off 130 BILLION in 100-share index overnight? Yeah, thanks.


(to put things in perspective - this is worth -15 years of full EU contributions. Just wiped out. Gone. Done nothing good.)

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14:24 Jun-25-2016

I don't know much about this whole thing (I am not from EU) but I feel bad that Cameron has resigned. He appears to be a nice guy, or at least better than that Boris guy. But then again, I do not live there so I don't know what goes on Britain.

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15:39 Jun-25-2016

I'm all for Cameron, to be honest. Even as a non-UK-national I noticed that he has actually made the economy better over the years of his service while Labour party always leaves the country in the mess... Boris Johnson, however... He's done well with London as a mayor, but I don't trust him with the country.

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16:17 Jun-25-2016

He looks like Donald Trump 2.0 to me :/

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05:16 Jun-25-2016

I really just want to be optimistic about this for now, I mean sure it did shake the UK's and the whole worlds economy, I also see that there are many people say how dare the old people give the youth more issues, but on the other hand I do think with the UK no longer being in the EU Union would help them in the long run for better options/possibilities with trading with other nations, and how the EU Union will no longer have any say on what the UK should change/do with their policies, I may be talking out of my ass I don't really know, this is just what my buddies told me, but to be honest I just wanna watch how this will go out and remain hopeful, because quite frankly I'm just not 100% sure how it will affect the world.

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05:53 Jun-25-2016

not talking out your ass at all lol, from previous comments its pretty clear i wanted to stay, but leaving has its own set of opportunities for example leadstardude mentioned below it could create a really good chance to have a stronger partnership with the us which in its self is something to be optimistic about so it definitely isn't a doom and gloom situation :)

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10:15 Jun-25-2016

Agreed. It's not all DOOM and gloom :)
I personally care about whether or not I'll be kicked out of this country as an EU citizen within the next 2 years - that's my biggest concern (apart from the economic CRYSIS that's about to happen). If the UK manages to strike a good deal with the US (and I mean a proper deal where we don't get shafted by customs every time we shop from the US) - that would be very cool!

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16:09 Jun-25-2016

cant plus this up enough :)

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04:42 Jun-25-2016

Leaving the EU will affect UK in everything, not just game prices. They dug their own hole, now let's see if they can get out of it in the long run.

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01:23 Jun-25-2016

" by a tiny margin. 48% of the UK population voted to remain a part of the EU versus 52% to leave" Uhhh, a by a "tiny margin", you mean 1 million people?

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03:41 Jun-25-2016

4% difference is pretty tiny but its all relative :p 4% of 60fps for example is only another 2.4 frames a second so is that tiny? ill let you decide :)

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06:50 Jun-25-2016

It is tiny, but in voting it is not tiny and it made all the difference.

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07:42 Jun-25-2016

it is a strange word to use for 4% of like 30M, be like saying 4% the distance to alpha centauri isn't that far lol (sorry i just noticed i voted down i meant to vote up . . . sorted that now) . . . . give who said that 4% of £30M and see if they think its a tiny amount of money lolol :D

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00:48 Jun-26-2016

The primary issue is that the Leave Campaign didn't win by a overwhelming majority. They won with a slim majority. This means the country is torn on what they actually want. This should call for a revote, where each campaign actually tells the truth, and anybody deemed racist should be excluded from voting.

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02:55 Jun-26-2016

in Wales 48.3 vs 51.7, (3.4dif to leave) in England 46.8 vs 53.2, (6.4dif to leave) in Scotland 62 vs 38, (24dif to stay) and ireland 55.7 vs 44.3, (11.4dif to stay). . . if you break it down by country with the exception of Wales its actually not that close (don't agree with racism but even racists have rights)

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04:02 Jun-26-2016

I agree with B166er. Deeming someone "racist" and taking away their right to vote is "racist" in itself. You do know that there is a difference between Nationalism & Racism right? Being a Nationalist & wanting to preserve your way of life is not the same thing as being a Racist where you actually treat people of a different culture unfairly. Those are two completely different things & it seems like too many people are confused about the subject.

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04:52 Jun-26-2016

very well said leadstar :) . . . . i found the petition you could sign hydraclone https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/131215 its to hold another referendum on the eu, personally wont be signing, im unhappy with the leave vote but feel the decision is made now just thought maybe you would want to

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01:03 Jun-25-2016

Article is about game price... Comment section, political discussion. As an Asian, I know nothing about what happen there.

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01:13 Jun-25-2016

The article is about how videos games will be impacted by the UK leaving the EU.

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22:45 Jun-24-2016

Sounds like the UK wants the same thing that the USA wants which is National Sovereignty. We have been hijacked in the USA by the UN's globalist policies the same way that the UK has been hijacked by the EU's globalist policies. Perhaps this will make for stronger UK & USA trade relations in the future. Both nations look to have a rough road ahead to get things back under control so maybe we can work together to easy the severity of the times ahead.

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23:37 Jun-24-2016

will u be voting for Trump or Hillary ?

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00:06 Jun-25-2016

I am not going to take up for any of the candidates here, but I can say that I will never vote for Hillary. I actually knew the Clinton's when I was a kid because I was Bill's (Uncle Willie as he liked to refer to himself) hunting guide when he was in my family's hunting club in Arkansas while he was Governor. Lets just say that those people are not right for positions of power. Too much corruption...

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10:05 Jun-25-2016

Clinton: My medallion's humming...Place of Power... Gotta draw from it! xD

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10:20 Jun-25-2016

personally, and i dont mean to offend anyone (it's only a personal point of view), i completely agree and i dont get a good vibe from either Hillary or Trump. i hoped for Bernie Sanders for this election, as I hoped for Ron Paul earlier, but sadly, and again in my point of view, the most popular candidates for the common man (Paul and Sanders) are sidelined for stooges of corporations and the 1%

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07:39 Jun-25-2016

Why did Tytee7 get downvoted so much?

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07:48 Jun-25-2016

think people maybe feel you shouldn't really ask who another voted for in public as its meant to be anonymous and is kind of a personal thing some may not really want to share openly

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10:24 Jun-25-2016

i'm also trying to understand what the point of downvoting was. don't think my question was offensive. if the guy didn't want to answer he could've simply said so. i fail to understand why some people get so sensitive - if you believe in something you shouldnt be afraid to say so. downvoting should be left for rude or ridiculous comments etc.

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10:36 Jun-25-2016

maybe some people just feel it's a gaming forum and that question was purely political and were upset that politics was filtering into a gaming forum. i apologize for that. maybe i should've asked the guy in a personal msg.

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11:10 Jun-25-2016

Glad that all of that was sorted out. People get too sensitive sometimes. Atleast its not like YouTube, where you'd be lucky to get good replies in the first place.

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15:04 Jun-25-2016

So yeah voting is supposed to be anonymous so I will not say who I am voting for. However I take no offense to Tytee7 asking.

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21:08 Jun-24-2016

now the UK will give Ireland back to my family right? i know they would like to go home especially my grandfather

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21:47 Jun-24-2016

Scotland is most likely gonna have a "leave UK" referendum, I would suspect Ireland might have one too. Hell, even London wants to become the Vatican 2.0 and join the EU separately :D

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22:43 Jun-25-2016

So if that happens, the UK's gonna rename into... England (& Wales)? :)

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00:51 Jun-25-2016

the Scotland-uk situation is a pretty interesting one as it does have so much in common with the uk-eu one, Scotland voted to stay in the uk last year and voted to stay in the eu this year, looks like now there will be a Scottish vote again to stay or leave the uk within the 2 years to enable them to stay in the eu through gaining there own independence, personally i want to stay a union but thats

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00:56 Jun-25-2016

. . . not to say i don't want change. both the uk and the eu have a lot of problems with the way it regulates to its respective constituent nations, think that's pretty clear. Ireland also voted to stay in the eu altho not as strongly so cant see any reason why they wouldn't also want an independence vote to pursue there own future

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17:59 Jun-24-2016

This man makes some valid points on why it was good for the UK to leave the EU. Now I like many are not sure on how this will end up affecting the UK, EU, the World, and most importantly gaming. I do however hope it is for the better.

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00:31 Jun-25-2016

really good video even for stay voters like me, the eu is far from perfect and if those imperfections aren't made known it will never get any better

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01:14 Jun-25-2016

yep, I helped my friends in the UK decide on what would be best, some of my friends are over 40 and others are under 30 and while it may sound bad now with the 10% lower in the pound they will see more trade opportunities with the US, Russia giving more opportunities to increase their wealth, look what just happened a few hours when the poll showed they left, Gold Went Up while the currency went down. Gold is true why fake money is dropping

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01:39 Jun-25-2016

here is one thing I have noticed about the remain and the leave group. Age difference, the people that lived in Britain before the EU knows the good and the bad of EU, and The younger were born into the EU that regulated everything (pretty sure education too). here is poll leave vs remain age difference remember most of the young have barely started to pay taxes while the old knows more of the effects and practices of the EU. Remember sometimes the Elder's are right and sometimes they are wrong. I myself felt like the best option was to leave the EU before it gets worst. It was a good experiment that has gone to awful positions.

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01:59 Jun-25-2016

do you have the same charts for just Ireland and Scotland who both voted stay, that's basically a chart of the English vote who voted leave, just curious how they would look as taking the uk stats as a whole isn't representative of those countries at all due to them not having nearly the same population

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02:12 Jun-25-2016

just to note as well every single area in Scotland voted to stay, not 1 wished to leave and nearly all of northern Ireland, i think the average age in both is around 40 with them having an ageing population (could be wrong) not sure tho how that ties into your chart :)

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03:09 Jun-25-2016

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0ktojE6WQA . . . . . . https://fullfact.org/europe/our-eu-membership-fee-55-million/ just to balance some of the monetary claims of the 350M given to the eu each week made in your video, :) he also says the only jobs lost will be euro politicians which is blatantly wrong, for one uk universities will have research funding cuts leading to job loses

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17:17 Jun-24-2016

can someone explain to a clueless simpleton like myself, what this actually means and what the differences are from being IN the EU to OUT of the EU. and also explain how this affects both EU and UK. and what are the possible reasons for people wanting out

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17:43 Jun-24-2016

In EU:
You are forced to accept regulations, have some laws changed, accept everybody(refugees, immigrants)
Out of EU:
You can do whatever the **** you want

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20:04 Jun-24-2016

Not really the case. If the UK wants to continue trading properly with EU member states, they will have to abide to certain legislation regardless of the country belonging to the EU or not. They could of course arrange a trade agreement with NA, but they'd still lose a significant market.

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20:51 Jun-24-2016

Well, even though I would have voted remain (I'm an European living here in UK) I have to say that from what I've seen the EU might actually collapse. One of the "big 3" (Britain, France & Germany) has essentially decided to leave the EU. Another one, France, has now stated they want a referendum too, which may potentially result in a leave, following Britain's footsteps. Italy and Netherlands have also stated they want a vote soon. Germany won't do it alone without the other powers so the EU as an entity may collapse. Is this bad? Yes. I like travel and not getting hit by massive customs. But also this may mean we'd actually strike some decent trading deals with the European countries.

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20:54 Jun-24-2016

What's gonna happen is anyone's guess, but either way things aren't going to be as easy as they are now. Obviously for a good while the Pound will be down on the floor and we'll hit a recession either within the 2 upcoming years that we have to finish up and leave by or immediately after that period. The stock market doesn't like uncertainty and its response is always selling off the risky assets, which means Britain will become a liability and therefore unattractive to the investors. At least for a while. Let's just hope that at that time we will have some smart heads in the parliament who are able to strike good trading deals to get us out of the crapper...

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16:26 Jun-24-2016

Isn't GD based in Bristol, Britain? How does the GD team feel about this?

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16:23 Jun-24-2016

This topic is a bit deep for game debate.

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15:30 Jun-24-2016

My sympathies to all affected negatively :(. At least the UK produces a lot of basic stuff on its own and will be able to sustain itself. When the "Grexit" (Greece is where I am from) it was an even more scary prospect since Greece is nothing like the industrial collosus that the UK are. Its economy is heavily based on tourism and services, not production. We are heavily dependent on imports of various things. Knowing this fear I can understand what the UK might go through and I hope it wont be damaged heavily.

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15:08 Jun-24-2016

I think UK did the strategically right thing. Stay in the union as long as it benefits you, leave it once cons outweight pros. It was very rude against Germany though.

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15:15 Jun-24-2016

that's such a selfish view point basically saying ill be your friend as long as it benefits me but if you ever need my help il leave, sorry but don't agree with that at all and if people treated you that way in life would you even want to associate with them ?

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15:28 Jun-24-2016

But most of the world works that way...

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15:29 Jun-24-2016

doesn't make it right

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16:06 Jun-24-2016

Poor Germany though, they are trying to unite Europe in one way or another since 10th century.

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15:58 Jun-24-2016

well as someone who lives in the UK I can tell you it was a stupid move. In the last day the stock market has crashed, our prime minister has resigned and the pound has depreciated in value by about 20%.

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22:51 Jun-24-2016

Better to take your medicine now while you can still survive the cancer of globalism. Hard times ahead, but the UK can overcome. It is a bitter pill, but it is better than a total collapse when the EU itself fails from all of it's ludicrous policies.

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16:05 Jun-24-2016

"STRATEGICALLY" right, not "MORALLY". If you care about morals in politics you are doing something wrong.

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16:41 Jun-24-2016

Morally is a subjective term. The British, by popular vote, want out to care for their own people; to be able to take care of their problems under their own laws. There's nothing morally corrupt about a people wanting to exercise their sovereignty over their own affairs.

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16:45 Jun-24-2016

I was answering B166er. He said leaving union to not help those in need was selfish, i replied it is not about morality. I think you understood my comment wrong. I was talking about benefits and cons, not morals.

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16:47 Jun-24-2016

look at what happened to the currency for example you cant even claim it to be strategically right and saying if you care about morals in politics your doing something wrong is a way of thinking that is part of the problem in the first place

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01:46 Jun-25-2016

""He said leaving union to not help those in need was selfish"" i didn't say that exactly, i said taking what you can with no desire for giving was selfish, being one of the richest eu nations tho what did they expect when they joined? of course there was going to be more give than take when you have more in the first place if everyone just took who would be there to give?

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16:37 Jun-24-2016

It seemed to me that the UK always had one foot in the water anyway. Since they didn't convert to the Euro, adding their considerable financial power to its value, it appears that the UK joined the EU mostly for political influence more than the "one Europe" vision. As an outsider I can't claim to know what the everyday life of the British was like under EU laws, but enough people weren't happy with the existing state of things to want out. Exiting may be best in the long run

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16:39 Jun-24-2016

Friends are always mutually beneficial, that is why we have them. It is when the friendship turn into tenant and renter that things begin to fall apart. The UK is obviously taking back a lot of its freedom, such as boarder control...

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16:42 Jun-24-2016

They will be able to control who enters, be they citizens from the EU or perhaps terrorists. They have less boarder control when it comes to people entering from the EU.

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15:27 Jun-24-2016

just to say i voted YES! to stay, to me the eu isn't about taking all you can for your local area its about helping the larger community and that doesn't involve bailing out when things get a little tough it involves staying the course and helping those less fortunate, i realize my opinion is biased but not all of the uk voted to leave so it must be one some people at least do share

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16:25 Jun-24-2016

EU was never about helping larger community, it was always about taking as much as you can without angering others, like every single alliance, union, pact whatever you call. It was about getting benefits, not about helping others or doing the right thing. It is just benefits used to be mutual and now they are mostly one sided. If you think EU is about helping larger community you are a little naive. If one day joining EU becomes profiable again then you can rejoin, no sane European would reject a powerful ally like UK.

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16:45 Jun-24-2016

i said "to me" was describing what i like about the ideal of it

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16:48 Jun-24-2016

I congratulate you for your views, i hope one day someone forms such union. Then i will change my selfish opinion.

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17:03 Jun-24-2016

thank you and i do respect your view and understand you want what you feel is best whether i agree with that or not i still respect it

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17:05 Jun-24-2016

So we cool? :D
This is my last comment under this topic, no need for further bloodshed :D

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17:12 Jun-24-2016

lolol definitely cool like i always say the site has debate in the title not dictatorship :D

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17:03 Jun-24-2016

Apparently the "Leave" vote is not only applicable to the EU status. [Scotland] (https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/after-brexit-the-uk-could-disintegrate/2016/06/24/5e7d2b03-81b4-4149-a138-8bd11953281c_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_scotland-650a-top%3Ahomepage%2Fstory) wants sovereignty over its affairs and this opens an opportunity again. If this happens I wonder what additional effects will happen in the game industry logterm.

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17:11 Jun-24-2016

scotland had the independence vote and they voted no, the eu vote is similar to that uk vote in many ways, im actually in favor of there independence from the uk as people want the uks independence from the eu, i don't think sovereignty has to exclude and individual nation from working within a fuller collective tho

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16:56 Jun-24-2016

i can completely understand the vote to leave, look at Scotland 62% voted to stay and they get branded with the same brush as those wanting to leave because they are a part of the uk so don't have the freedom of choice a truly free nation would have and whose to say the eu would even want the uk back one day after doing this

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17:00 Jun-24-2016

irrespective of what you say or think it is clearly a vote to leave in a sense of protecting your own freedom of choice and what happens within your own borders, what im saying is tho you cant just take with no give and join when you want something and leave when you don't want to give, that is selfish

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17:04 Jun-24-2016

Taking without giving and being selfish is basically history of human race though. It is not ideal yet it happens. Most of us humans are not decent beings, sad but true. The sooner one would accept this fact the better.

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01:14 Jun-25-2016

don't really know how to respond to whether most people are good or bad, guess im undecided as i see a lot of both lol

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