Following on from the news that the UK film and television industry had broken records over 2017, news has broken that the video games sector is following suit.
In a press release put out by video games industry trade association, TIGA, it is revealed that “studio headcounts, wider games industry employment, tax revenues and investment” all passed previous records.
The findings will be released in full within TIGA’s forthcoming annual report, titled Making Games in the UK Today, which shall look at and examine the “state and health of the UK video games industry”.
Also of note is that the sector contributed nearly £1.5 billion to the UK’s GDP in 2017, a huge figure for a sector that was shunned by politicians and mass media alike for so long.
Commenting on the figures Dr Richard Wilson, OBE, TIGA CEO said:
“The UK video games development sector powered forward in 2017, growing more than four times the rate of the UK economy. Employment and investment in the sector surged to record levels in 2017 and the industry’s contribution to GDP reached an all-time high of £1.5 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 products that sell across 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 perhaps most importantly, Video Games Tax Relief (VGTR) is powering growth. TIGA played a critical role in the long battle to win VGTR, which effectively reduces the cost and risk of games development and is incentivisising investment and job creation in the games industry. There is now a clear causal link 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. Since the announcement that VGTR would be made been available, the average annual growth rate has been 7 per cent.
“The sector still faces serious challenges in access to finance, cultural recognition and cutting-edge skills 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 Games Investment Fund, improving skils and training, enabling UK games companies to recruit highly skilled workers from the EU and beyond, and establishing a British Games Institute. This will ensure that our sector continues to create more jobs, more investment and more video games.”
It will certainly be an interesting read once the full report has been published, but much like the recent news coming out of the film and television sector, it is certainly promising to see the UK embracing modern market sectors and becoming a hub for “pop-culture production”.