As predicted months ago, The state of the UK games industry is healthier than ever, according to the newly released TIGA annual report. The trade association that represents the British industry in this sector conducted an extensive survey of all known British games companies involved in the creation of games; the data has been analyzed by London-based firm Games Investor Consulting.
These are the highlights:
- the number of creative staff in studios surged by an annualized rate of 12.2 percent from 14,353 to 16,836 full-time and full-time equivalent staff. This is the fastest rate that the UK games industry has experienced since this research program began in 2007/8;
- the total games development workforce, including contractors, grew from 16,532 to 18,279, a record high;
- the number of jobs indirectly supported by studios rose from 26,241 to 30,781;
- the total studio population grew from 812 to 1,041;
- combined direct and indirect tax revenues generated by the sector for the Treasury are estimated to have increased from £747 million to £907 million;
- annual investment by studios rose from £818 million to £993 million;
- the game development sector’s annual contribution to UK Gross Domestic Product increased from £1.8 billion to £2.2 billion.
Jason Kingsley OBE, TIGA Chairman and CEO and Creative Director at Rebellion, commented:
As our economy recovers, we need to play to our strengths and invest in those sectors of the economy where we have a comparative advantage like the video games industry. We can reinforce our success by retaining and enhancing Video Games Tax Relief, establishing a Video Games Investment Fund to improve studios’ access to finance, continuing to strengthen education and skills and enabling studios to access highly skilled people from overseas.
Dr Richard Wilson OBE, TIGA CEO, also mentioned the importance played by the Video Games Tax Relief in this strong growth factor shown by the UK games industry.
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 introduction of VGTR and employment 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 8.9 per cent.
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