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Economic contribution of Video Games

updated
March 2, 2021
Published on:
January 9, 2020
January 24, 2021

There are different figures available for the economic contribution (measured as Gross Value Added) of the UK video games industry, due to under-reporting and measurement difficulties.

The Official Department for Digital Culture Media & Sport figures, published in December 2020, estimate that the video games industry added £2.9bn of Gross Value Added to the UK economy in 2019. Computer games publishing is counted within the much larger category of IT, software and computing services.

According to industry body, Ukie, the UK video games industry was worth £5.35bn in sales in 2019, including £3.85bn in games software and £1.35bn in games hardware. Growth has come from spend on mobile and online games.

Ukie has also quoted a BFI report, the UK games industry provided 47,620 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) jobs in 2016 and contributed £2.87bn in Gross Value Added to the UK economy.  The same source also estimates that the UK games industry directly employs 20,430 FTEs in development, publishing and retail roles, which contribute ¬£1.52bn in direct GVA to the economy.

According to industry body, TIGA, UK games development contributed over £1.8bn towards GDP in the year to November 2018, and an estimated £747m in direct and indirect tax revenues to the exchequer.

An earlier separate study by Nesta and Ukie has estimated that GVA from the UK games industry could be £1.72bn. The study counted 1,902 video games companies in the UK, employing approximately 9,200 creative staff and indirectly support more than 16,800 jobs.

A September 2018 report by Funding Options, a site which provides business finance, estimated that the turnover of the UK’s computer games industry increased by over a third in the last year, rising 34 per cent to £697m, from £522m the previous year. The research claimed that growth in the industry had accelerated, following a period of little or no growth. It estimated that turnover in the industry grew from £439m and £415m in 2013 and 2014 respectively to break the £600m barrier in 2017.

According to TIGA, a games industry body, 95 per cent of UK games businesses export at least some of their games/services to overseas markets. On average, 45 per cent of a UK games company's turnover is generated from the export of games.

Sources:

Ukiepedia

BFI Screen Business report, October 2018

A Map of the UK Games Industry

Funding Options

TIGA

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