American games company chooses Wales for its new European HQ
A US specialist games company with offices in New York and Texas is to set up its new European headquarters in Wales thanks to Welsh Government support, Deputy Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, Dawn Bowden has announced.
Rocket Science will set up its new studio in Cardiff, creating 50 highly paid and skilled jobs for games industry graduates and professionals, working directly on, and solving some of the hardest technical projects for the biggest video games in the world.
This inward investment project was secured following a successful Welsh Government-led trade mission to the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco in 2022. Here, Rocket Science’s Welsh co-founder, Tom Daniel, who is originally from Bridgend but now based in Austin, Texas along with Brian Corrigan, connected with Creative Wales, the Welsh Government’s creative agency, to discuss his company’s ambitious plans for growth.
Rocket Science plans to establish a presence in Wales, to mirror its already successful operation in New York, with the Welsh studio positioned to support the company’s European clients.
The new studio in Cardiff will work on the world's biggest and most popular video games of today, played by millions of people daily, while also building and supporting AAA clients to create the the biggest and most ambitious games of tomorrow.
The company will receive support from the Welsh Government’s Economy Futures Fund (EFF), which supports businesses to invest, grow and build the Welsh economy.
This represents a significant step-change for the games sector in Wales as the country aims to take a larger slice of the global games market, which is projected to grow to over $200bn by 2025.
Announcing the news, Deputy Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, Dawn Bowden said:
“This significant investment will support the Welsh Government’s strategic objective of developing the games industry in Wales.
“This new studio by Rocket Science has the potential to be a real game-changer for the sector, creating 50 well-paid jobs, driving economic growth and further develop Wales’ growing gaming sector, providing high quality employment opportunities for current and future generations.
“The Welsh Government is committed to working in partnership with the industries of the future to create new, high quality skilled jobs, while supporting its staff already working in these sectors to further develop their skills. Wales is a great place to live, work, visit and invest in. So, I urge creative businesses to get in touch with Creative Wales to find out how we can support them build a successful enterprise here in Wales.”
Commenting on the announcement, Tom Daniel, Co-Founder and Co-CEO from Rocket Science said:
“We see Cardiff as a fantastic opportunity for Rocket Science to establish its European base and really take advantage of this fantastic city.
“For years, I have personally felt Cardiff has a huge amount of potential to offer to the global video games industry and I am over the moon that with the help of the Welsh Government and Creative Wales we have finally been to make this a reality.
“Living in the United States, but being from Wales myself, it makes me extremely proud to be opening this studio back home. I hope that we can play our part in enticing many more international games companies to come join us here in Cardiff in the not-too-distant future and make Cardiff the next great UK gaming hub, which I believe it can be.”
Notes to editors
- The Economy Futures Fund (EFF) is a streamlined and flexible finance package for businesses, delivered against five calls to cation as set out in the Welsh Government’s Economic Action Plan.
- Creative Wales has a capital budget available to support economic development and job creation opportunities within the creative sector.
- This support package was agreed in early Summer 2023, and the investment will drive economic growth and further develop Wales’ growing gaming sector, in a global gaming market worth nearly $200bn.
- A new Economic Contract has been between the Welsh Government and Rocket Science agreed to promote fair work, wellbeing, low carbon and climate resilience.
- The project aligns with the Programme for Government, in which the Welsh Government commits to building an economy based on the principles of fair work, sustainability and the industries and services of the future.
- The project aligns with several of the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act objectives by supporting people and businesses to drive prosperity and help equip people with the right skills for a changing world.
- In Wales, findings from the Clwstwr Games Survey Wales 2021 identified 69 registered-active companies in Wales, nearly double the figure in 2014. These companies are located across two significant clusters, in southeast (concentrated in the Cardiff City Region) and northeast Wales, and a third smaller cluster around Swansea.
- TIGA’s report on the Games industry in Wales 2022 reports a headcount growth from 98 developers in 2020 to 140 in 2022, with a growth of 43%. (Source - GIC/TIGA Making Games in the UK 2022).
- In 2023 the Welsh Government attended the Games Development Conference in San Francisco with 18 companies. This gives the best possible exposure of these companies to the international market. Attending representatives are given access to investors, local senior industry leaders and receive the support of Creative Wales and US based Welsh Government staff.