Gaming sector

UK gaming sector booms despite pandemic and Brexit

The UK’s gaming sector has boomed in the last twelve months despite the pandemic and Brexit, according to The Independent Games Developers’ Association (TIGA).

In the last twelve months, more than 1740 jobs were created in the gaming sector, generating £907m in additional tax revenue and contributing £2.2bn to UK GDP.

Chief executive of games studio Rebellion, Jason Kingsley, said that things were continuing to grow despite the pandemic.

The good news is that everybody is up and working well, mostly from home, but some from the offices where it can be done safely.

Game productivity is looking good for new titles like Zombie Army 4 and Evil Genius 2 which will be released early next year. Most people seem to be coping well, with video calls and family interruptions being the norm now on calls!

Although the gaming sector is booming, TIGA did issue a warning

Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA’s chief executive, said:

The sector still faces significant challenges, particularly with respect in access to finance and in access to highly skilled people.

He said that 73% of the UK’s games studios were small, having four or fewer full-time staff, and 40% of studios have closed down over the last decade.

We should introduce a Video Games Investment Fund and strengthen the UK Games Fund to improve access to finance, Dr Wilson added.

Speaking about the potential challenges ahead, Dr Wilson called for the government to strengthen industry-university links, enhance skills and training and enable UK games companies to recruit highly skilled workers from the EU and beyond.

He also warned that Brexit could mean that UK companies could lose access to talented European workers, who account for a big proportion of the sector’s employees.

Dr Kingsley concluded:

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.

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