TIGA calls for Government to support growth at Westminster Media Forum

By February 27, 2024 February 28th, 2024 TIGA News

In a passionate address at the Westminster Media Forum, Dr Richard Wilson OBE, CEO of TIGA (The Independent Game Developers’ Association), has this morning painted a picture of a UK video games industry brimming with potential, yet facing hurdles that require Government support to propel it even further. 

A Powerhouse Under Pressure:

Dr. Wilson painted a compelling picture of the industry’s impact, highlighting that it:

  • Employs over 25,000 people, with 80% boasting degree-level qualifications.
  • Contributes nearly £3.7 billion to the UK GDP, with 95% of studios exporting content.
  • Generates £1.5 billion in taxes annually, demonstrating its significant economic footprint.

However, he acknowledged the current challenges:

  • Studio Size: A staggering 78% of studios have four or fewer employees, with many struggling to grow.
  • Funding Accessibility: Start-ups struggle to access finance, hindering innovation and expansion.
  • Skills Shortages: A persistent lack of skilled artists, designers, producers, and programmers hampers growth.

Investing in the Future: A Three-Pronged Approach:

Dr Wilson presented a comprehensive plan to address these challenges:

  1. Strengthening Investment:
  • Enhanced VGEC: Retain the Video Games Expenditure Credit (VGEC), which currently has a rate of 34%, and consider increasing it to 39%. This would incentivise investment, create high-skilled jobs, and boost regional development.
  1. Empowering Small Studios:
  • Supercharged UK Games Fund: Continue funding for the Prototype and Content Funds within the UK Games Fund. The Prototype Fund has already made 308 grants, supporting studios and fostering innovation.
  • VGIF: A Spark for Growth: Introduce a Video Games Investment Fund (VGIF) offering £150,000-£500,000 match funding. This, combined with commercial advice, mentoring, and investor readiness programs, would empower small studios to scale up.
  1. Boosting Skills Provision:
  • Global Talent Pool: Maintain competitive skilled worker visas to attract talent from overseas, ensuring access to the best minds in the industry.
  • Industry-University Connection: Enable universities to provide a steady stream of skilled graduates and encourage industry-education collaboration. Introduce an Industrial Secondment Programme for lecturers to enhance knowledge transfer and graduate employability.
  • TIGA’s Role: Utilise TIGA’s course accreditation and awards programmes to promote best practices across the industry.

Playing to Win: A Call to Action:

Dr Wilson concluded by stressing the vast potential of the global games market, valued at $190 billion and set for continued growth. He urged the Government to recognise this opportunity and act swiftly:

  • “We have nothing to fear but indecision and half-measures,” he said.
  • “By pursuing an agenda that strengthens studios, investment, and skills provision, we can unlock the potential of our industry, creating more jobs, driving innovation, and reinforcing our position as a global leader.”

About TIGA:

TIGA is the trade association for the UK video games industry.  Since 2010, TIGA has won 28 business awards and commendations. TIGA’s vision is to make the UK the best place in the world to develop video games. To this end, TIGA:

For more information contact TIGA:

Tel: 0845 468 2330
Email: info@tiga.org
Web: www.tiga.org
Twitter: www.twitter.com/tigamovement
Facebook: www.facebook.com/TIGAMovement
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/tiga


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