The Scottish Video Games Industry Rockets by 27%

By January 31, 2018 April 12th, 2019 Press Releases

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 Scotland is the second fastest growing cluster in the UK games industry with headcount growth of 27 per cent between March 2016 and November 2017 (the North West was the fastest growing, with the region enjoying 32 per cent year on year growth). Scotland remained the third largest games cluster in the UK (after London and the South East).

TIGA’s research shows that:

  • Scotland has 1,540 permanent and full-time equivalent creative staff working on games development[1] in 91 companies (up from 1,290 staff in 85 companies in 2016). Scotland is home to 8.9 per cent of the UK’s total games companies and 11.6 per cent of its developer headcount (up from 9.8 per cent in 2016).
  • Scotland’s games development sector supports an additional 2,814 indirect jobs (up from 2,408 indirect jobs in 2016).
  • Annually, Scottish games development companies are estimated to invest nearly £77 million in salaries and overheads, contribute £71 million in direct and indirect tax revenues to HM Treasury, and make a direct and indirect contribution of nearly £172 million to the UK’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). (The comparative figures for 2016 were £62 million, £56 million and £138 million, respectively).

TIGA CEO, Dr Richard Wilson OBE, said:

“The Scottish video games industry is rocketing away. TIGA’s latest research shows that the Scottish video games industry grew by a remarkable 27 per cent in 2016-17. The Scottish video games industry remains the third largest games cluster, after the South East and London. The Scottish games sector is diverse, with companies working in games for mobile, online, educational and console markets.

“If the industry is to continue to grow then we need to ensure that more Scottish games companies benefit from Video Games Tax Relief, a measure which effectively reduce the cost of games development.

“We also need to provide start-ups and small studios with better access to finance, business advice and access to a highly skilled workforce. We should introduce a Games Investment Fund (GIF) to make grants or loans available to games businesses on a matched funding basis. The GIF would also provide a commercial mentoring business advisory service, staffed by industry veterans, for games companies that access its grants or loans. The GIF could be managed by a new British Games Institute. We should also ensure that the Scottish and UK video games industries can continue to access highly skilled people from the EU and the wider world post-Brexit.”




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] Definition: This includes all production staff, QA, support, localisation and technical staff but excludes admin, finance, sales, marketing and commercial staff not directly involved with games production. Full-time equivalent staff comprise multiple part-time staff aggregated based on typical usage throughout a year to represent a single full-time employee.


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