The UK Video Games Development Sector Breaks Records Left, Right and Centre

By June 23, 2015 Press Releases

The UK Video Games Development Sector Breaks Records Left, Right and Centre

TIGA, the network for game developers and digital publishers, released new findings today which show the UK video games development sector grew to record levels in 2014, with studio headcounts, wider games industry employment, tax revenues and investment smashing previous records. The UK’s games developer headcount reached 10,869 in 2014, a huge 9.8 per cent increase on 2013. The games development sector also now contributes more than £1.1 billion to the UK’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The findings come from TIGA’s definitive annual report into the state and health of the UK video games industry Making Games in the UK Today: June 2015 which is based on an extensive survey of UK games businesses, with analysis by Games Investor Consulting 

TIGA’s research shows that between December 2013 and December 2014:

  • the number of creative staff in studios surged by almost 10 per cent from 9,896 to 10,869 full-time and full-time equivalent staff (a record);
  • the number of jobs indirectly supported by studios rose from 18,093 to 19,872 (a record);
  • combined direct and indirect tax revenues generated by the sector for the Treasury increased from £419 million to £460million (a record);
  • annual investment by studios rose from £458 million to £503 million (a record); and
  • the game development sector’s contribution to UK Gross Domestic Product increased from £1,016m to £1,115m (over £1.1billion – another record).


Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO, comments:

“The UK video games development sector is breaking records left, right and centre. Employment and investment in the sector surged to record levels in 2014 and the industry’s contribution to GDP soared to an all-time high of £1.1 billion.

“The industry’s growth over the last year has been driven by three factors. Firstly, the increasing prevalence of mobile and tablet devices, the growth of PC gaming and the new console generation have combined to stimulate investment and job creation. Secondly, a rise in start-ups has been mirrored by an expansion amongst many existing studios. Thirdly, Games Tax Relief (GTR), which TIGA played a critical role in achieving, is fuelling growth. GTR effectively reduces the cost and risk of games development and it incentivises investment and job creation in the games industry. GTR will create more jobs, more investment and more culturally British video games in the years ahead.”

“Our industry still faces challenges. 10 per cent of all studios closed down in 2014. Yet the UK games industry is growing. We now need to capitalise on this success by improving studios’ access to finance, promoting regional games clusters and continuing to enhance education and skills.” 

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

 “The UK video games development industry grew to record levels in 2014 reinforcing its status as a creative and economic success story. This is good news for consumers, students and developers. The UK video games industry is creating great opportunities for work, business and education.”




Notes to editors

 Research methodology

The data used in Making Games in the UK Today: May 2015 is the product of six censuses undertaken over the last seven years. Games Investor Consulting conducted four censuses concluding in July 2008, September 2010, November 2011, December 2013 of all known British games companies (including developers, publishers, publisher studios, service companies and broadcasters with games divisions) by telephone and email, asking as many as possible extant studios for their development headcounts (excluding HR, admin, sales, marketing and commercial staff), growth expectations and freelancer count / usage. GIC conducted similar censuses concluding in December 2012 and, most recently, December 2014 in conjunction with TIGA and third party researchers. Distribution, manufacturing, peripheral device, marketing and retail companies were not profiled.

GIC takes the latest data on development headcount to scale total development expenditure, and then uses Oxford Economics’ calculations from their report, “The economic contribution of the UK Games Development industry”, to establish estimates of the development industry’s GDP and tax impact.

About TIGA TIGA is the trade association representing the UK video game industry. We help developers and digital publishers build successful studios, network with the right people, save money and access professional business advice. We also have traditional publishers, outsourcing companies, technology businesses and universities amongst our membership. TIGA is 90% funded by independent UK businesses. 80% of our board members are developers and/or from UK owned businesses, and 50% of our board are UK business owners themselves. Since 2010, TIGA has won 24 business awards and commendations. TIGA focuses on three sets of activities:

  • Political representation
  • Media representation
  • Business services

This enhances the competitiveness of our members by providing benefits that make a material difference to their businesses, including a reduction in costs and improved commercial opportunities. It also means our members’ voices are heard in the corridors of power and positively represented in national, broadcast and UK video game trade media.


Get in touch:

Tel: 0845 468 2330







For further information, you can also contact:  Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO on: 07875 939 643, or email:




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