Four studios at the heart of Manchester’s Digital Production hub

Following on from our featured blog, Manchester’s Digital Production Hub, we’ve decided to list some of our favourite examples of other Manchester-based companies working within the digital production space.

From innovative technology to game development, these four examples are just a sample of the ever-expanding industry in the city, shining a light on the growing influence Manchester has on the digital world.

Cubic Motion

Digital Humans and AI have been a hot topic in the tech world, with a rising public interest in the realism of digital personalities. Cubic Motion’s (recently acquired by Epic Games) facial capture technology is helping drive this interest – the company created one of the world’s first digital humans, Siren. Mapping an actor’s facial movements in real-time, the technology can be used to produce digital characters in games too, with the company’s facial capture and animation used in triple-A titles such as Call of Duty, Spiderman and God of War


Cloud Imperium Games

Based in Greater Manchester, Cloud Imperium is a games developer that’s recognised on the global stage. Its flagship title, Star Citizen – a massive, multiplayer online game – secured the world record in crowdfunding to be produced, and now boasts over two million players. With 66 game developers now in Greater Manchester alone, the district is now the 4th largest area in the UK in terms of company numbers. 


Mackinnon and Saunders

Mackinnon and Saunders has worked on some of the UK’s much-loved animations, utilising both digital and puppetry in production. From Tim Burton’s, The Corpse Bride, to Fantastic Mr. Fox, the studio has established itself as one of Manchester’s most recognisable production houses. While the company’s signature style comes in the form of physical puppets the digital animation branch of the company recently recreated the adventures of Wanda and the Alien in animated form based on the original children’s books.



Founded in 2010, Playdemic is a frontrunner for mobile game development in Manchester. The company developed the hit Mobile Game of the Year, Golf Clash – the game hosts large online tournaments and in 2018, passed the $220million mark. The studio has also published the Android, Lego Star Wars game, Battles. As of 2017, the UK had the largest mobile gaming workforce in Europe, with 1,483 active mobile game companies.


Manchester’s growing creative tech sector holds promising signs for the future of the city, with a greater and greater incentive for homegrown talent to seek careers in the North of England. For new businesses, the cheaper renting and production costs can provide a stable base for startups to flourish, all whilst offering the same level of output for lower prices. 


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