Working in Games City Guides: Barcelona

Working in Games City Guides: Barcelona

It’s no secret that when working in the games industry, relocation is often just a part of the package. If you’re keen to work on the best games with the best team, then moving around the country, and world, is something you might just get used to! So, to best prepare you for your next potential move, we want to make sure you have all the information you need to know about your new city. 

So, why should you consider Barcelona as your next career move? 

Considered the fourth most creative city in the world, and Europe’s most innovative, Barcelona is an attractive place for the video game sector. According to Catalan News, the games industry in the region has boomed over the past ten years and is now considered a global hub for game development. 

 Barcelona Aerial

Source: 10Best 

As the driving force for the digital economy in Catalonia, the industry has great job prospects in the region, with both local start-ups and huge multinational studios all finding success from being based in Barcelona and with the games industry as a whole in Spain enjoying a huge 1.747M Euro turnover in 2020, it’s certainly not a bad time to get in on the Spanish games industry.

At Skillsearch we’re lucky enough to have some incredible clients out in Barcelona, one of which is Bandai Namco Mobile. Home to some iconic games and seen as a global gaming powerhouse, Bandai Namco Mobile offers some great Barcelona-based opportunities for those looking for a new challenge in games. We chatted to Max Stuart who is the Talent Acquisition Manager over at Bandai Namco Mobile to get his top tips on what makes Barcelona a great place to be - look out for his words of wisdom in pink throughout this article!

 

Gaming Events in Barcelona 

If you want to keep up with all things games in the city, start making a list! There are some great opportunities to get involved with games outside of the office, if that’s what you love doing in your spare time. 

The city has several bars and cafes focused on gaming, offering the chance for games lovers to enjoy relaxing in an atmospheric environment with delicious drinks whilst they delve through libraries of games. These include: 

  • Afterlife – an Esports gamer bar offering a gathering spot for those who love competitive online games. Super atmospheric and combines cocktails and comfort food to keep you energised whilst you play 
  • Meltdown – a fully-fledged Esports venue that feels like a proper gaming den. There’s also a conventional bar with amazing cocktails
  • Checkpoint Gaming Lounge – more of an old school venue with a mixture of consoles, arcade machines and leaderboards, offers a very nostalgic feel and of course comfort food and drinks
  • Bar Quimada Nivell Q – one for the board game lovers! The games are the priority here, with refreshments taking a back seat to let the games shine

 Meltdown Bar

Source: Timeout 

Getting Around 

As with all major European cities, Barcelona offers great public transport, which is easily the best, most efficient way to get around. You have plenty of options with the metro, tram, GC, Bus and bike all available to you. 

The metro, unsurprisingly, the quickest way to get across Barcelona. The eight lines run regularly, and you will rarely have to wait more than five minutes for the next train. As long as you don’t leave the city, the tickets you buy are valid across the metro, tram and train, offering a not only convenient but cost-effective solution to intra-city travel. 

 Barcelona Tram

Source: GMV 

The bus is similarly a great option, especially if you want to see the city as you travel. Offering one of the cleanest fleets in Europe and a hugely extensive network running both horizontally and vertically across the city, you can be sure to rely on this city’s bus service.

If cycling is your preference for getting around, Barcelona is the city for you. With more than 200km of cycle lanes,  a huge number of bicycle parking spots and a cycling service called Bicing, it’s safe to say that this is a very cycle friendly city.

 Barcelona Cycle Lanes

Source: Driftwood Journals

How to Enjoy The City 

There is so much to love and enjoy in this beautiful, sunny city. The weather is glorious, there is a ton of amazing architecture, wonderful food, fun activities and festivals, friendly people and a whole lot more.

There’s an appropriate neighbourhood for whatever you’re looking for in Barcelona, from family-friendly to vibrant nightlife to quieter and picturesque green areas, everything is on offer here.

 Barcelona Grid Aerial

Source: Travel Off Path 

Barcelona is of course known for its tourist sites, art and architecture, with tourists flooding to certain areas to enjoy the incredible works of Gaudí and others. Besides the Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, Casa Battló and all other Gaudí works around the city, there are a load of lesser-known attractions which are a great way to spend your time in the city. 

Food markets are one popular thing to spend time exploring in Barcelona. Although the most famous and busy one is La Boqueria which dates back to 1217 and now has more than 200 stalls, there are plenty of other, less touristy options which offer delicious fresh produce from the region and are great for new locals to discover – Mercat De Santa Caterina being one.

 Barcelona Food Market

Source: Pinterest 

One of Barcelona’s many assets is its coastal location. There are a lot of beaches to explore right on the doorstep of the hustle and bustle of the city centre where you can enjoy water sports and welcome refreshments, in the beautiful weather. Barceloneta beach is understandably a busy place due to being the closest to the city, so if you’re looking for a more tranquil beach day, it’s recommended to head a little way along the coast where you can find less crowded and touristy and equally as beautiful beaches such as Platja de Nova Bella.

 Barcelona Beach

Source: Planet Ware 

Finally, Barcelona is known for its many festivals and events that can be enjoyed throughout the year. From music festivals such as Sónar where you can enjoy electronic music and urban art to traditional festivals held throughout the city such as Sant Joan which brings fireworks and bonfires, Festa Major de Grácia offering street competitions and other activities, and these are just those which happen in the summer months! In winter, you can enjoy the Fira de Santa Llúcia, a traditional Christmas fair and Carnival which is the last hurrah before Lent, just to mention a few!

 Festival Saint Joan 2

Source: Derby Hotels 

 

Housing and Living 

If you’re considering relocating to Barcelona, the news about housing and living here will be music to your ears. With significantly cheaper cost of living than the UK, rent prices well below the British average and Spain being notoriously more affordable than other European countries, this city is a very reasonable option when considering the cost of life in a new city. Despite the fact that Barcelona is the second most expensive city in Spain, it is still a relatively cost-effective place to put down new roots.

Barcelona CoL Table

NB: 0.5L domestic beer; 1L petrol; preschool private monthly childcare; rent of 1 bedroom apartment in city centre. Figures taken from Numbeo in May 2021 

Want to compare the cost of living in London to your city? Numbeo can do this for you!

Another top tip from Max is that a lot of people aren’t aware of the tax breaks offered to highly skilled expats in Spain. Tax is capped at 24% for those earning up to €600,000pa, which is an amazing bonus if you’re relocating to Spain for a new job.

Relocating to Barcelona for Work 

Known for its jaw-dropping landmarks and architecture and enjoying huge economic success within creative industries, you could choose many worse places to relocate to for a job in games than Barcelona! The city offers fantastic expat communities to make you feel at home and lots of games studios offer amazing relocation support and language classes which also make a big difference to newbies in the city.

 

It’s important that if you’re relocating for a job in the games industry, you research the studio in detail, as well as the city, to get a feel for their culture and how well you match their values. Have a read of our blog: Researching your Relocation in Games to find out more about what to consider if you are thinking of moving for a new job! 

And if we've convinced you that this is the city for you... check out our latest games jobs in Barcelona

Social Media Administrator Freya Simmons

Freya is our word wizard and seems to have beautiful words stored in her hands just ready to fall out onto a page. Lucky for us she has chosen to share her skill with us to write job descriptions, blogs and social media posts to make everything you see as enjoyable as possible. Her favourite things to do around Brighton are visits to Devils Dyke and Ditchling Beacon to enjoy the wonderful scenery so with this and her love of words we imagine that in another life she would’ve been the heroine in a Jane Austin novel or Belle from Beauty and the Beast.

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