Brexit  Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Brexit  RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Riot Points Get a Price Increase in the UK Thu, 06 Jul 2017 09:23:15 -0400 eleccross

Over a year ago Brexit was passed, separating the UK from the European Union. As a result of this, the British pound dropped to the lowest value it's ever been. And the ramifications of that decision have already started to have effects on the video game industry as a whole. But now it's affecting players of one of the most popular games on the market -- League of Legends. 

For the past year now, UK LoL players who have bought Riot Points have technically been paying less for a lot more RP than anyone else in the world. After sitting back and waiting to see how the state of the British pound fairs with time, Riot Games finally decided it needs to act to make things equal again.

On July 25 at 23:59 BST, Riot will be increasing the cost of RP for UK players by 20%. With the price adjustment, here are the new values for Riot Points:

Price Point Old RP Amount New RP Amount
£5 975 RP 790 RP
£10 2,075 RP 1,650 RP
£20 4,200 RP 3,350 RP
£35 7,450 RP 5,950 RP
£50 10,700 RP  8,600 RP


Along with the price changes, will be adjustments to the price points. Realizing that with the price drop there's no price point to get just enough to buy certain skins, Riot has added a £15 price point that will get you 2,525 RP. The developer has also removed the £2.50 price point to balance it out (and because almost no one was buying that price point anyways).

What do you think about the price increase? Is it fair to UK players, or should Riot be waiting longer for the British pound to regain its value post-Brexit? Sound off in the comments below, and keep your eyes on Gameskinny for more League of Legends news.

BioShock and Brexit: The Timeless Relevance of Dystopia Sun, 14 Aug 2016 13:50:35 -0400 Richard Sherry

With news of the upcoming HD BioShock: The Collection hitting current-gen consoles on September 13th, my imagination swiftly returned to the unparalleled atmosphere of Rapture -- the setting for the first two games. This underwater city that imploded from utopia to dystopia is one of the most memorable landscapes in video games.

When BioShock came out in 2007 I was 15 and the game’s promotional material -- heavily featuring the iconic Big Daddies with their huge drills -- honestly terrified me. All I saw was gruesome horror that I didn’t have the guts nor basic desire to play, and so I overlooked the game. It was only in early 2016 that I finally got around to playing BioShock, and lo and behold, I became hooked.

BioShock achieves the heights of philosophical and social critique that made classic dystopian fiction such as Orwell’s 1984 so successful, and in the same way manages to transcend time to feel just as relevant today as when it came out almost a decade ago.

Thinking about the game in the context of current events, I began to notice interesting parallels to the UK’s recent political upheaval in the EU Referendum and the Brexit campaign.

It’s always dangerous to venture into politics; where emotions run high and opinions differ greatly. But that’s exactly where we’re headed, so be forewarned of contestable opinion and major spoilers for the entirety of BioShock throughout this article.

BioShock imagined an underwater city torn apart from within, prowled by deformed Splicers and left to decay beneath the sea. Apart from the dramatic apocalyptic warnings made by both sides of the EU Referendum campaign, none of this sounds too relatable to Brexit, right? Well, let’s look a little closer.


Rapture's Vision

No Gods Or Kings

“No Gods or Kings. Only Man.” Devised by Andrew Ryan, Rapture was founded as a safe haven. But a haven from what? Ryan envisioned Rapture to be a place free from the constraints of bureaucracy, government control and religion that he witnessed in both Soviet Russia and the USA.

One of the major arguments of the Leave campaign was that the heavy bureaucracy and regulations of the EU were damaging and constraining Britain’s economic growth and autonomy. Like Ryan in the face of increasing economic government control in post-1929 America, the Leavers sought an escape from what they saw as suffocating bureaucratic domination.

For many anti-Brexit opponents, this was emblematic of an isolationist policy for withdrawing Britain from the world stage. And you know what else smacks of isolationism? Building a secret city under the sea!


Andrew Ryan = David Cameron

Both the founder of Rapture and the British Prime Minister set in motion a plan that rapidly spiraled out of control and came back to bite them. Andrew Ryan began an extreme right wing capitalist society where selfishness was seen as paramount to the advancement of the economy and subsequently of humanity. Each egocentric individual pursuing their own happiness was to be a driving link in the “Great Chain” of industry that could not be controlled by governments or rulers.

However this very ideology of a completely free market would be the source of Ryan’s downfall. In the wake of increased business monopolies exerting power and smuggling rings forging contacts with the outside world, Ryan felt that the only way to protect Rapture was to cut off these contraband sources and place restrictions upon certain businesses that had gathered too much government-like influence for themselves.

This is the great paradox of BioShock. Ryan found himself forced to become a tyrant -- acting against the very ideals he’d promoted -- in order to prevent the tyranny of business monopolies that those ideals facilitated in the first place.

Meanwhile in the hopes of uniting his divided Conservative party, solidifying his power and drawing more support from voters, David Cameron instigated a referendum on Britain’s place in the European Union. It was a choice that many Brits believe should not have even been brought to the table in the first place, and public sentiment turned out to be much less predictable than he might have expected.

In both cases the original plan was ill-conceived and poorly executed, leading to the inevitable downfall of its leader.


Boris Shrugged

If Andrew Ryan is David Cameron, then Atlas (Frank Fontaine) bears many similarities to Brexit “Leave” campaigner Boris Johnson. Atlas is a man whose intelligence, selfishness and true agenda are expertly hidden behind a constructed persona that endears and disarms the public.

In Rapture’s objectivist free market society, more and more people found themselves destitute and disenfranchised -- alienated from Ryan’s “Great Chain” ideal and promises of utopia by their very real poverty. In Britain, it’s clear that the working classes similarly felt betrayed by their leaders whose lofty policies showed them to be out of touch with the people.

Atlas stirred unrest in this volatile community, playing on the people’s anger at the way things were currently being run, in order to make a power play for himself. Throughout the game Atlas manipulates the player into believing his rhetoric and ultimately orchestrates the downfall of his nemesis, Andrew Ryan. Of course as soon as his opponent is deposed, Atlas’s mask is lifted and we realize the extent of his nefariousness in one of the most memorable plot twists in video game history.

This is the way that many people see both Boris and then-UKIP leader Nigel Farage: making false promises and claims (such as the £350 million NHS fiasco) to gain support and win the referendum. As soon as Brexit was actually achieved, the curtain lifted and the untenable nature of these claims fell into sharp focus.

Much like Atlas, Boris Johnson didn’t last long in the top leadership position after his opposition was defeated. Where Atlas was killed by his enlightened slave, Boris was undermined by his apparent ally Michael Gove.


It's All In The Slogan!

Catchy phrases and slogans have long been used to persuade and influence people in all walks of life, from politics to commercial advertising, and they’ve been proven to be very effective at doing just that.

It’s no wonder then that slogans such as Brexit’s “Take Back Control” and Remain’s “Stronger In Europe” took center stage in debates, speeches and advertising throughout the Referendum campaigns.

In Atlas’s case this influence is extremely literal: the very words “would you kindly” are a psychological trigger through which to control the protagonist and force him into performing whatever task he’s given. This exaggerated manipulation could be taken as a commentary upon the power of political slogans in real life.


Scary Similarities

Of course the analogy’s not perfect. After all this is a game with heavy steampunk and horror influences where the use of superpower-like plasmids is core to the gameplay. But essentially, BioShock represents so many classic political ideologies and established political practices that we can always draw parallels to numerous current examples. That very flexibility is testament to the philosophical and narrative feats of BioShock and writer Ken Levine.

Now what’s all this talk about Donald Trump?



 Image Sources

Andrew Ryan:

David Cameron:

Boris Johnson:

Take Back Control:

Would You Kindly:

TIGA Publishes Brexit: Priorities for the Video Game Industry Fri, 22 Jul 2016 05:28:46 -0400 Joe Passantino

The news of the United Kingdom's vote to exit the European Union (EU) shocked the world nearly a month ago. The referendum is likely to impact many industries, one of them being video gaming. As such, TIGA, the trade association which represents the gaming industry, has published a 20-page report entitled Brexit: Priorities for the Video Game Industry.

TIGA CEO Dr. Richard Wilson commented on the report:

“TIGA’s Report sets out a practical, pragmatic and positive agenda for ensuring the UK games sector is a leading player in an industry that is predicted to be worth almost $100 billion by 2018. If the UK creates a favourable tax environment with an enhanced Games Tax Relief and R&D Tax Credit, increases availability of finance and improves access to talent, then the UK video games industry has everything to play for.”

The report features several suggestions for the UK, including:

  • Reducing the rate of corporation tax to 17 percent in 2017
  • Introducing a Video Games Investment Fund to enable more studios to grow
  • Negotiating an EU-wide measure to exempt small businesses from European Union Added Value Tax (EU AVT) regulations

Those who desire a copy of the report can contact More information about TIGA is available at the organization's official website.

TIGA on Brexit: Asks UK Government to Protect EU Worker Rights Tue, 05 Jul 2016 16:08:42 -0400 Pierre Fouquet

The Independent Games Developers Association (TIGA) is a network for game developers, digital publishers, and trade association representation within the games industry. TIGA has as focus on 3 main aspects: political representation, media representation, and business services.

Each these focuses is coming into play following the historic UK Brexit vote, as TIGA has reached out to the UK government and urged them to keep the rights of EU workers as they are -- protecting them from a possibility of being asked to leave the country. TIGA has also asked for clarification on what the status is for EU workers entering into the UK post-referendum vote.

With around 3 million EU immigrants, of the 64.1 million people living in the UK, and around 15% of the game development workforce being EU immigrants this is a preemptive move by TIGA while the legislation is still being written.

What is Brexit?

Short for "Britain exit," Brexit was a referendum voted on by UK citizens on June 23rd, 2016. The question was simple -- citizens were asked to decide whether the UK should leave the EU, or remain a part of it. ~52% of the votes wanted to leave, with ~48% voting to remain. While a referendum is not legally binding, democracy wins out, and it's likely that the UK will be leaving the EU in the future. The Prime Minister, David Cameron, announced he would step down by October following the vote, so it's likely the UK will start negotiations with the EU shortly.

What is TIGA asking?

Dr. Richard Wilson, TIGA's CEO, has said that allowing EU workers to keep their workers rights "is just, reasonable, and practical." Wilson goes on to say that TIGA understands that as the UK has voted to leave, and due to the stance the EU will take in any negotiations, "it may be impossible to preserve free movement rights in their current form." So TIGA asking the UK to implement an "effective and efficient migration system."

Wilson is very direct, clear, and concise with what he wants to see, going on the offensive with:

“Firstly, the existing immigration cap that applies to skilled, sponsored workers will almost certainly need to be increased from 20,700 in order to accommodate the needs of UK employers in the future."

Continuing the attack, Wilson says that as there is already a shortage for specific skills, like Engine Programmer, Game Analyst, or Senior Game Designer, these types of roles will need to be added to the Shortage Occupation List to "ensure that employers can recruit the employees they need" without any "undue delay."

Wilson then goes on to talk about the immigration system, and its high level of complexity:

“Thirdly, any new immigration system must minimize some of the costs and complexity of the current points based immigration system as it is likely that any replacement will need to deal with work permits on a far larger scale than it is used for at present. It is vital that any new arrangements are not onerous or complex and that industry is not held back by skills shortages.”

Jason Kingsley OBE, TIGA Chairman as well as CEO and Creative Director at Rebellion, also weighed in with a heartfelt appeal, to not only the UK government, but also other UK employers by saying:

“It is decent, fair, and sensible from a business perspective, that EU workers already present and working in the UK are protected so that they can continue to live and work in the UK and contribute to our creative sector.  UK employers in all sectors of the economy must redouble their commitment to skills, training, and workforce development.”

These arguments, being as professional and direct as they are, put a good face on the games industry as a whole for the UK government. Many of the people who are writing the legislation that affects game developers are not gamers themselves, and the only information they really have about the industry comes through the mainstream media.

So rather than being a complex, nuanced industry filled with talented artists and designers, it may seem to them like a bunch of teenagers playing Call of Duty and ultra-violent, promiscuous games like Grand Theft Auto. It's a rather immature understanding of the industry -- one that ignores the level of professionalism with the games development sector. So TIGA is making these demands to make sure that the government's poor understanding of the industry doesn't hurt those working in it.

Will these arguments be heard by the UK government? Only time will tell.

TIGA Releases Statement Regarding the UK Games Industry After the UK Vote to Leave EU Fri, 24 Jun 2016 04:15:20 -0400 ESpalding

TIGA, a UK-based network for game developers and the trade association representing the video games industry, released a press statement today after the UK voted to leave the European Union. It outlines proposals which could protect and allow for continued success and growth in the games industry in the UK.

The statement goes on to suggest that there are some major issues facing the games industry following the result of the EU referendum, which must be highlighted to the UK Government.

Access to funding

A lot of EU initiatives help UK game developments, such as Creative Europe and Horizon 2020 -- and without this vital backing, a lot of UK studios would not have been successful or funded at all. TIGA is calling for the active promotion and support of already existing schemes such as the Video Games Prototype Fund and the possibility of creating a Games Investment Fund to help support start-up studios.

Continued tax relief

In 2000, the UK Government introduced the Research and Development Tax Relief, and then in 2014 introduced the Video Games Tax Relief. These have played a crucial part in allowing small UK-based developers to play and survive up against their international competition. For sustainability, these must be maintained and improved to ensure future investment.

Access to Talent

It is vital that there still be access to European talent. The result of the referendum will no doubt greatly change immigration laws and the once "freedom of movement" between EU countries will no longer apply to the UK. TIGA wants the new restrictions to be complex and promotes movement to prevent industries not being held back by skill shortages.

Safeguarding Intellectual Property

This is going to be one of the most significant areas to be affected by the UK leaving the EU. A lot of rights and regime stem from a European foundation. Things like EU Trade Mark regime and Registered Community Design regime. The implications of leaving the EU means that any rights currently held under EU directives lose their validity. So for those in this position, they would need to apply for UK trademarks which could already exist in the UK.

For a more detailed read, you can visit TIGA's website for the press release in full.