South East and London the Largest Centres of Games Development in the UK

By February 5, 2018 Press Releases

TIGA, the network for games developers and digital publishers and the trade association representing the video games industry, has published new data showing that the South East of England and London remain the largest centres of games development in 2017 based on the number of development staff.[1]

Together, London and the South East employ 43.3 per cent of those who work in the video games industry, up from 40 per cent in the last coverage period. Meanwhile, 50 per cent of the UK’s video games start-ups between March 2016 and November 2017 were based in London and the South East.

The data from TIGA’s forthcoming report, Making Games in the UK 2018 includes the following information:

South East 2,959 22.3%
London 2,788 21.0%

Video games start-ups in the South East and London are located close to Europe’s largest financial centre in the City of London, and benefit from the high quality of universities in these regions, and the attractiveness of these regions to incoming talent from the European Union.

Dr Richard Wilson, OBE, TIGA CEO, said:

“The South East is the largest centre of games development in the UK. The South East benefits from a number of important games clusters, including Oxford, Brighton and Portsmouth. Excellent universities provide these clusters with first rate graduates. The region also boasts some iconic and innovative games studios including nDreams, Rebellion and Supermassive Games.

“London remains a games development powerhouse. The capital is home to leading games companies, including Sony and Space Ape Games and has good access to highly skilled developers, leading universities and finance providers.

“Although London and the South account for over 43 per cent of employment in the games development industry, the sector differs from other UK media sectors in being spread very widely across the UK: the third and fourth largest centres of games development by headcount are Scotland and the North West of England, respectively. We need to strengthen local, regional and national games clusters across the UK by encouraging the takeup of Video Games Tax Relief, introducing a Games Investment Fund to improve access to finance, enhance access to high skilled developers, establish a British Games Institute and strengthen industry-university links in order to nurture and promote local, regional and national games centres.




Notes to editors

 Research methodology

Games Investor Consulting (GIC) continuously maintains a database of all extant, closed and exiting British games companies. Between September-November 2017, TIGA and GIC conducted an email and telephone survey of British games companies involved in the development of games including studios, publishers, service companies and broadcasters with games divisions. Distribution, manufacturing, peripheral device, marketing and retail companies were not profiled. Companies were asked how many staff worked full time in development. HR, admin, sales, marketing and commercial staff were excluded. 566 companies responded or publish up to date data on headcount, representing 70% of the UK’s total headcount. Estimates for the remaining companies were established by desk research from a variety of other public data and GIC sources. 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 network for games developers and digital publishers and the trade association representing the video games industry. Since 2010, TIGA has won 24 business awards and commendations and has been successfully accredited as an Investors in People organisation three times. 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 games trade media.


Get in touch:
Tel: 0845 468 2330
For further information, you can also contact:  Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO by email:


[1] Regional headcount includes full time and full time equivalent staff.


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