TIGA, the trade association which represents the UK games industry, has released new findings which shows record growth levels in the UK games industry.

TIGA’s report shows that the game development sector in the UK has grown to record levels during 2018, with studio headcounts, tax revenues, investment and wider industry employment blowing past previous records.

The headcount of developers in the UK rose to over 14,350 during the last year, an increase of over 1.8 percent, and the games development sector as a whole now contributes £1.8 billion to the UK’s Gross Domestic Product.

These findings are taken from the upcoming annual report into the state and health of the UK video games industry, making games in the UK Today, which is based around an extensive survey of UK games business, with further analysis by Games Investor Consulting.

TIGA’s research showed that, not only did creative staff in studios surge from 13,277 to almost 14,353 full time staff, but the total games development workforce grew from 15,851 people to 16,532 which is a record high.

The report also showed that the annual investment by studios rose from $737 million to £181 million, and that the game development sector’s annual contribution to the UK’s GDP had increased by £200 million, from £1.6 billion to £1.8 billion.

The CEO of TIGA, Dr Richard Wilson, OBE, said:

“The UK video games development sector surged forward in 2018, growing more than five times the rate of the UK economy. Employment and investment in the sector reached record levels in 2018 and the industry’s contribution to GDP reached an all-time high of £1.8 billion.

“Our industry is growing for three reasons. Firstly, the UK is one of the finest games development centres globally, with outstanding small, medium and large studios creating content that sell all over the world.

“Secondly, the prevalence of mobile and tablet devices, the launch of upgraded consoles,the popularity of PC games and the advent of Virtual and Augmented Reality are encouraging investment in games.

“Thirdly, and most significantly, Video Games Tax Relief (VGTR) is enabling our sector to grow strongly. TIGA played a critical role in the long battle to win VGTR, which effectively reduces the cost and risk of games development and is incentivising investment and job creation in the games industry. There is a clear connection between the advent of VGTR and headcount growth in the UK games development sector. The UK games industry declined by an annual average
of 3.1 per cent between 2008 and 2011, before VGTR existed. Since VGTR has been available, the average annual growth rate has been 7.5 per cent.

“The sector still faces serious challenges, particularly with respect in access to finance and in access to highly skilled people, to exploit this rapidly growing market in which the UK is a golobal success story. We should now reinforce our successful industry by introducing a Video Games Investment Fund (VGIF) to improve access to finance. We should also continue to strengthen industry-university links, enhance skils and training and enable UK games companies to recruit highly skilled workers from the EU and beyond. This will ensure that our sector continues to create more jobs, more investment and more video games.”

Source: TIGA

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