Console Remains Largest Employer in UK Games industry, says TIGA

By December 2, 2020 Uncategorized

TIGA, the network for video games developers and digital publishers and the trade association representing the video games industry, today released new data showing that 13 per cent of UK studios’ primary platform focus is console. However, the console category remains the largest employer of development staff by far, representing 46 per cent of UK independent developer and publisher studios’ creative staff.

TIGA also released the following new information:

  • Mobile was the primary platform focus for 39 per cent of studios in 2020 (compared to 49 per cent in 2013).
  • PC (comprising retail and online PC games, social network games and massively multiplayer online games) was the primary platform category of choice for 36 per cent of UK studios in 2020 (unchanged from 2013).
  • Console platforms (comprising console and handheld retail and download categories) remain mostly confined to larger studios with 13 per cent of UK studios focused on developing for these platforms in 2020 (compared to 16 per cent in 2013).
  • VR/AR is the primary focus of 9 per cent of studios in 2020 (up from 2 per cent in March 2016).
  • The console category remains the largest employer of development staff by far, representing 46 per cent of developer and publisher studios’ creative staff. PC accounts for 28 per cent of development staff, mobile represents 21 per cent and VR/AR 4 per cent. Console’s dominance of development staff numbers reflects the UK’s long and successful history as one of the leading console games development nations, new opportunities as consoles upgrade or launch mid-cycle and the substantially higher average budgets and team sizes necessary for console games development.


TIGA CEO Dr Richard Wilson, OBE, said:

“13 per cent of UK studios are focused mainly on console development. This category remains the largest employer of development staff, employing nearly half of all UK development staff.  Console’s enduring dominance is due to a combination of the UK’s long history in console development, the significantly higher resources and teams required for console games development and the ongoing strength of the global console games market. With the advent of a new generation of consoles, no other games platform is likely to challenge console in respect of its role as the largest employer of development personnel in the UK for the time being.

“Mobile remains the most popular platform for UK games studios, but the proportion of UK development studios focused primarily on this category has been steadily falling,  from 49 per cent in 2013 to 39 per cent in 2020.  It is relatively easy to develop and launch a game on mobile, but the downsides are significant discoverability, commercial and competitive challenges.

“PC remains in second place, with 36 per cent of studios adopting it as their primary platform choice. The PC is is an attractive platform for independent developers with considerably less competition than that found on mobile, a broad digital distribution landscape with comparatively low distribution costs and a consumer base that is more welcoming of premium price models than mobile.

“The popularity of Virtual and Augmented Reality amongst UK studios has increased markedly over the last four years. 9 per cent of all UK studios are now primarily focused on VR and AR, up from just 2 per cent in 2016.”




Notes to editors

Research methodology

Games Investor Consulting in conjunction with TIGA and its partners conducted surveys concluding in July 2008, September 2010, November 2011, December 2012, December 2013, December 2014, March 2016, November 2017, November 2018 and April 2020 of all known British games companies involved in the creation of games (including developers, publishers, publisher studios, service companies and broadcasters with games divisions) The survey counts staff working in development and development support roles in games studios, games publishers, service companies, broadcasters, charities and grant schemes. A broad array of additional data is also captured including studio location, primary platform focus and company ownership structure as well as company start-ups and exits/closures


About TIGA

TIGA is the network for games developers and digital publishers and the trade association representing the video games industry. Since 2010, TIGA has won 28 business awards and commendations and has been successfully accredited as an Investors in People organisation four times. TIGA focuses on four sets of activities:


  1. Political representation
  2. Media representation
  3. University accreditation and recognising excellent employment practices via the TIGA STAR
  4. Membership 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 games trade media.


Get in touch:

Tel: 0845 468 2330

For further information, you can also contact:  Dr Richard Wilson, OBE TIGA CEO by email:




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