Video games firms set for growth

The UK video games industry will grow strongly this year, with a majority of businesses saying they plan to increase their workforce.

TIGA, the network for games developers and digital publishers and the trade association representing the games industry, revealed the anticipated increased investment and employment in its annual business opinion report.

It is based on a survey of 50 games businesses including small, medium and large firms, developing games across mobile/tablet, VR, PC and console.

The survey found that 88% of respondents plan to grow their organisation’s workforce over the next year (up from 72%  a year ago); 50% said that the outlook for investment in their business was more optimistic than compared to 12 months ago (30% said that the outlook was unchanged), and 64% forecast that the trend in their company’s net profits over the next 12 months would be upwards.

Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA’s chief executive, said: “Growth is being driven by three factors.

“Firstly, the consumer market for games is big, broad and burgeoning. The UK is the sixth largest market for games in the world and 31.6 million people in the UK play games.

“Secondly, the spread of mobile and tablet devices, the new console generation, the popularity of PC games and the advent of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are prompting investment in games.

“Thirdly, video games tax relief, which TIGA played a decisive role in achieving, is fanning the flame of growth. [It} reduces the cost and risk of games development and it incentivises investment and job creation in the games industry.”

He said tax relief is predicted to create 2,800 new development jobs and £331m in investment between 2016 and 2020.

Jason Kingsley, TIGA’s chairman and chief executive of games developer Rebellion, added: “We will see more start-ups, more existing firms expand and more innovation and growth in the sector.”