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Video Games Industry set to Grow in 2018

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TIGA, the network for game developers and digital publishers and the trade association representing the video games industry, released a Business Opinion Survey today which shows that the industry is set to grow in 2018. 68 per cent of respondents plan to grow their organisation’s workforce over the course of 2018. 70 per cent of respondents believe that the economic and business environment in the UK is favourable to the video games industry (up from 64 per cent a year ago). However, a smaller proportion of games businesses plan to increase employment and investment in 2018 in comparison to last year’s survey.

TIGA’s Business Opinion Survey 2018 was carried out at the end of 2017. The survey is based upon a representative sample of 63 games businesses including small, medium and large firms, developing games across mobile/tablet, VR, PC and console.

TIGA’s Business Opinion Survey 2018 includes the following key findings:

  • Employment: 68 per cent of respondents plan to grow their organisation’s workforce over the next year (compared to 88 per cent of respondents in 2017). 30 per cent expect to keep their organisation’s workforce at current levels and 2 per cent think that their organisation’s workforce will diminish a little.
  • Economic environment: 70 per cent of respondents to the TIGA survey believe that the economic and business environment in the UK is favourable to the video games industry (up from 64 per cent a year ago). 20 per cent consider that the environment is neither favourable nor unfavourable to the sector, 6 per cent feel that it is unfavourable and 4 per cent do not know.
  • Investment: 48 per cent of respondents to the TIGA survey said that the outlook for investment in their business (for example, in R&D, training, new games development, etc) was more optimistic than compared to 12 months ago. 30 per cent said that the outlook was unchanged. 22 per cent said the outlook for investment was less optimistic.
  • Performance: 62 per cent of respondents reported that their company was performing either ‘very well’ or ‘well’ (compared to figures of 72 percent in 2017). 32 per cent said that their company was performing ‘neither well nor badly’. Just 6 per cent reported that their company was performing ‘badly’ or ‘very badly’.
  • Prospects: 46 per cent of respondents said that they were more optimistic about their company’s prospects compared to 12 months ago (down from 50 per cent a year ago). 29 per cent reported that they were neither more nor less optimistic, while 25 per cent said that they were less optimistic about their organisation’s prospects.
  • Obstacles to success: 38 per cent of the respondents to the TIGA survey said that the principal obstacle holding back their businesses was limited access to finance. A further 34 per cent cited discoverability as the biggest obstacle. 22 per cent identified skills shortages and skills gaps.4 per cent referred to difficulties accessing development tools, games engines and middleware, while 2 per cent referred to the slow growth of the virtual reality (VR) market.

Commenting on the survey findings, Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO, said:

“The UK video games development and digital publishing sector is set to embark on another year of growth. 68 per cent of respondents to our survey are planning to increase employment over the coming year. Significantly, 70 per cent of games businesses in our survey believe that the economic and business environment in the UK is favourable to the video games industry (up from 64 per cent a year ago). Video Games Tax Relief, which TIGA was instrumental in achieving, is fuelling growth in the sector. Games Tax Relief effectively reduces the cost and risk of games development and incentivises investment and job creation in the games industry.

“However, the clouds of Brexit and the UK’s relative economic slowdown are beginning to cast shadows on our games industry. A smaller proportion of games businesses plan to increase employment and investment in 2018 in comparison to last year’s survey. While 62 per cent of businesses believe that they are performing well, this is down from 72 per cent in 2017.

“The Government can help to drive our industry forward by improving our access to finance and to highly skilled people. On finance, the Government should consider introducing TIGA’s proposal for a Games Investment Fund (GIF). The GIF would make grants or loans of between £75,000 and £500,000 available to games businesses on a matched funding basis (see: http://tiga.org/news/tiga-calls-for-the-launch-of-a-games-investment-fund-2).

“With respect to skills, the Government’s emphasis on boosting STEM skills is welcome (see: http://tiga.org/news/the-budget-maths-computer-science-and-the-uk-games-fund). However, our industry needs to have access to highly-skilled employees from the EU, EEA and beyond. Currently, EU workers make up 15 per cent of the UK games industry, while 5 per cent come from countries outside the EU. In order to grow and thrive, the UK video games industry will need to continue to recruit talent on a global level.”

Jason Kingsley OBE, TIGA Chairman, and CEO and Creative Director at Rebellion, said:

“2018 is set to be another positive year for our industry. We will see more start-ups, growth and innovation the sector. The opportunity exists to strengthen our industry still further by improving access to finance and skills and ensuring that the UK has a migration policy post-Brexit that is favourable to growth. TIGA looks forward to working with the Government in 2018 to ensure our industry’s continued success.”

Source – PR Newswire

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Eric T. Tung

Eric T. Tung is the director of digital communications for GoTo Marketers, a top-rated social media strategist and consultant, and dad. He has worked with some of the leading companies in the world on digital communications and employment branding, and makes a mean smoked brisket. Eric is based in Houston, Texas, and you can find him on most channels as EricTTung.