UK games industry expects strong 2019, expanding workforce

UK games industry expects strong 2019, expanding workforce
Editor at TechForge Media. Often sighted at global tech conferences with a coffee in one hand and laptop in the other. If it's geeky, I'm probably into it.

While resisting the ‘despite Brexit’ often accompanying positive UK stories, a study has found the British games industry expects strong growth in 2019.

Games trade association TIGA has released its latest Business Opinion Survey. Around 60 companies were questioned for the survey about their plans for the coming year.

The strongest indicator of growth is employment. Over three-quarters (77%) of businesses plan to expand their workforce in 2019, an increase of nine percent over last year. Two percent expect a diminishment in staff – while the remaining 11 percent foresee neither.

With figures unlikely to be a coincidence, 77 percent of businesses responded ‘very well’, or ‘well’ when asked how they’re performing. This has increased a huge 15 percent over last year; indicating UK games businesses have growing confidence in their future.

Dr Richard Wilson OBE, CEO of TIGA, said:

“The UK video games development and digital publishing sector is set for another year of expansion. 77 percent of respondents to our survey are planning to increase employment over the coming year.

62 percent of games businesses in our survey believe that the economic and business environment in the UK is favourable to the video games industry. 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.”

Only five percent of businesses feel the UK is an unfavourable location for games development. The belief the UK is a great place to do business is often shared outside the gaming industry.

The UK regularly tops league tables as the best country for business. Just days ago, data published found British tech firms accumulated £2.59bn worth of investment in total last year – the most in Europe, and more than France and Germany combined.

A small percentage of companies listed Brexit as a potential ‘obstacle to success’ in the survey, but far behind other priorities. 30 percent identified skills shortages and skills gaps among the main concerns.

Talent access could be improved or hindered dependent on post-Brexit immigration policy. A fairer system could improve access to talent outside Europe, while a more ‘closed border’ policy has the potential to cause shortages.

Jason Kingsley OBE, CEO and Creative Director at Rebellion, commented:

“2019 shows all the signs of being another great year for our industry. We should see more start-ups, expansion and innovation within the sector.

We can 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.”

The UK gaming industry is confident it will continue sailing through choppy waters. Rather than discover new worlds, it will build them.

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