Leamington Spa: A Growing Gaming Hub in The UK
Leamington Spa, a picturesque town in Warwickshire, is known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and beautiful gardens. However, what you might not realise is this charming town has quietly but steadily established itself as a gaming powerhouse. One that rivals other cities like Los Angeles, Tokyo, and Seoul. Known as ‘The Silicon Spa’, Leamington Spa has produced some well-known games including Sonic the Hedgehog, Dirt, Formula 1, and Guitar Hero Live.
Take a read of our blog to discover how Leamington Spa became a growing hub for gaming and what the top 5 gaming companies are that call this town home.
How It All Started: A History Of Gaming in Leamington Spa
Leamington Spa’s journey began in the 1980s when several talented individuals decided to pursue their passion for game development. When you talk to local gaming studios one name comes to the forefront every time: Codemasters. They were the pioneers that established Leamington Spa as a world leader in the gaming industry.
This quaint British town in the West Midlands also benefited from its proximity to prestigious universities which produced a steady stream of young talent in fields like computer science and game design. This huge talent pool has attracted both indie and established gaming companies to set up shop in Leamington Spa. There are now over 34 gaming companies in the area, making it the third largest gaming hub in the UK, together employing almost 1,000 people.
One of the key factors behind Leamington Spa’s success is the strong sense of community among its game developers. Networking and working collaboratively have led to numerous successes driving the growth of the local gaming scene. It’s also not limited to just one genre. Studios within the town have worked on a wide range of games, from racing simulations to action-adventure titles and everything in between.
It’s not just gaming companies working together that have solidified Leamington Spa’s gaming growth. The town’s local government have also been supportive, providing tax incentives and grants for game developers. This in turn has encouraged investment and expansion within the area. What was once a small town known for its mineral springs, regency architecture, and picturesque gardens, is now a slowly growing hub producing some of the best games everyone plays.
Top 5 Gaming Companies in Leamington Spa
Known as ‘The Silicon Spa’, Leamington Spa has paved the way for gaming in the UK over the past few decades. Here are some of the top 5 gaming companies that have produced much-loved games for computers, game consoles, and mobile phones:
1. Playground Games
Playground Games, founded in 2010, is arguably the most prominent gaming company in Leamington Spa. The company is known for producing the popular Forza Horizon series and has gained a reputation for creating stunning open-world racing games. In 2018, Playground Games was acquired by Microsoft and has since been working on projects for Xbox, including the highly anticipated Fable reboot.
Established in 1986 in Southam, just a stone’s throw from Leamington Spa, Codemasters is another world-renowned gaming company and one that put Leamington Spa on the map. They have produced some of the most iconic racing games in the industry, such as the Dirt and F1 series. Their success and commitment to delivering high-quality racing titles have garnered them a dedicated fan base and multiple awards over the years.
3. Supersonic Software
Founded by former Codemasters employee, Peter Williamson, Supersonic Software is one of the oldest gaming companies in Leamington Spa. They have contributed to various successful titles across multiple platforms, including the popular Micro Machines series. Their long-standing presence and versatility have solidified their reputation in the gaming world. In 2021 they were acquired by Miniclip along with AppyNation.
4. Third Kind Games
Founded in 2016, Third Kind Games is one of the largest independently owned game development studios in the UK. They work with some of the biggest names in the industry such as Microsoft, Amazon, Blizzard and Mythical Games. They are all about pushing the boundaries for the next generation of gaming.
Founded by SEGA, HARDlight is best known for bringing Sonic the Hedgehog and Crazy Taxi to mobile devices. The company was founded in January 2012 and has played its hand in producing some of the much-loved games you play today. HARDlight is in an exciting phase of growth and is set to double in size over the next couple of years to support multiple new projects across a variety of platforms.
Accommodation in Leamington Spa
Looking for accommodation in Leamington Spa? At Short Let Space, we’ve got a wide range of properties for your every need. Whether you’re looking for a cosy flat within walking distance of the city centre, a townhouse with easy access to public transport, or a quirky property close to major gaming companies, we’ve got it all.