Last night, the people of Britain made a historical decision to leave the European Union, leading to massive and almost instantaneous repercussions around the world in the financial sector. While the most consequential effects of the referendum started to explode immediately, like the fall of the British Pound, there may also be long term issues that face the entertainment and tech industries, including the production of HBO's flagship series Game of Thrones.
Game of Thrones, which is filmed throughout Europe, and movies like Star Wars, which are mainly filmed in London's Pinewood Studio location, may find it tougher to not only film in different locations — like Spain, for example — but may also face increased problems in hiring talent from across Europe and could face larger tariffs on future productions.
In a statement issued by Michael Ryan, the chairman of the Independent Film & Television Alliance in England, it was suggested that relationships with co-financiers, producers and distributors will be impacted. Ryan also said that this left future involvement from European investors questionable, and the lack of funding that they may receive in the future could devastate the industry.
Prior to the vote, British analysts suggested that a decision to leave could lead to a recession — a statement made all the more believable following the British Pound's historic drop in the market to the lowest it's been since 1985 — and that would cause an abruption in advertisement deals, leading to even more financial woes in both industries. Without support from the European Union, advertisers were less likely to invest in television and film programming, which means even more cuts in funding for network productions.
Despite the concerning ramifications the vote to leave has caused in Europe, and around the world, HBO told Entertainment Weekly that Game of Thrones would continue production in Northern Ireland. The network said that despite additional funding that has been offered to the network to film in Ireland and other parts of Europe, HBO hasn't taken any of it for the past couple of seasons, instead choosing to fund the entire production itself. Still, the network didn't comment on what this meant for its crew members and whether it would affect their placement on the show.
Other services, like streaming on Netflix and Amazon, may also feel the ramifications of the vote. Just last month, the European commission asked Netflix and Amazon to allow for 20 percent of European-created content. Amazon and Netflix appeared to be okay with the request, looking into changes on the platforms, but with the vote, the question remains whether or not choices on the service will have to be altered for the United Kingdom and the rest of the continent. Polygon has reached out to Netflix and Amazon for comment.
For the most part, however, the industry has been pro-Remain, with a variety of British actors including Idris Elba and Patrick Stewart signing a letter asking citizens to vote no in the referendum. Despite their pleas, more than 50 percent of British voters favored an exit from the European Union. The final decision on whether or not the U.K. will remain as a part of the larger body will occur later this year in Parliament. British Prime Minister David Cameron has formally announced his decision to resign following the vote and it appears that former London Mayor Boris Johnson, who was firmly in the pro-Exit category, is most likely to succeed him.
For more coverage on how Brexit has affected game developers in England and Europe, check out Polygon's reporting on it here, and for more coverage on what Brexit means financially, socially and politically, check out coverage on Polygon's sister site, Vox.