Employment in the UK’s games development sector has surged by 11.4 per cent, while studio numbers have increased by almost 18 per cent, according to new figures released today by TIGA, the trade association representing the UK video games industry.
During the period from December 2021 and April 2023, wider games industry employment, tax revenues and investment also grew markedly.
The findings come from TIGA’s, 'Making Games in the UK' report on the state of the UK video games industry, which is based on an extensive survey of UK games businesses, with analysis by Games Investor Consulting.
TIGA’s research shows that in the period from December 2021 to April 2023:
The number of creative staff in studios surged by 15.2 per cent and at an annualised rate of 11.4 per cent from 20,975 in December 2021 to 24,155 full-time and full-time equivalent staff in April 2023.
The total workforce including freelancers grew to 25,026, while the number of jobs indirectly supported by studios in the supply chain rose from 38,348 to 44,162.Studio numbers grew from 1,528 to 1,801, an increase of 17.8 per cent.
Combined direct and indirect tax revenues generated by the sector for the Treasury are estimated to have increased from £1.2 billion to £1.5 billion. Annual investment by studios rose from £1.3 billion to £1.66 billion. The game development sector’s annual contribution to UK Gross Domestic Product increased from £2.9 billion to £3.68 billion.
Dr Richard Wilson, OBE, TIGA CEO, commented: “Our sector’s outstanding long-term prospects are underpinned by strong consumer demand, rising Foreign Direct Investment which is attracted by our highly skilled workforce and Video Games Tax Relief, which reduces the cost of games development."
Meanwhile, the TIGA report has highlighted that almost 80 per cent of the UK’s games development workforce is located outside of London.
While London employs over 22 per cent of the games development workforce across 587 companies, 77 per cent of all games development staff in the UK are employed outside of the capital.
The third, fourth and fifth largest centres of games development by headcount are the North West of England, the West Midlands and Scotland, respectively.