TIGA, the trade association representing the video games industry, has responded to The Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee’s inquiry into the coronavirus outbreak and its impact on culture, creative industries, heritage, communications and sport.
TIGA addressed the following principal subjects in its response:
- The key impact of coronavirus on the video games industry in the short and long term, including: the cancellation of big events, declining incomes for businesses, risk to venture capital investment into the industry and the transition to remote working.
- How effective measures by the Welsh and UK Governments have been in addressing the industry’s needs, such as the effectiveness of the Creative Wales’ Emergency Digital Development Fund (EDDF) and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.
- How the Welsh Government can support innovation to deal with future challenges, including: making remote working more effective, highlighting the importance of identifying market trends and sharing knowledge amongst creative teams in Wales so that businesses and creatives can focus their product development on capturing new player populations, and taking advantage of future increased consumer demand for games by allowing operating capital to be accessed in the short term.
Dr Richard Wilson, CEO of TIGA, said:
“TIGA’s Coronavirus Report shows that the video games industry is relatively resilient to the Coronavirus engendered lockdown in comparison to some other economic sectors.
“However, the coronavirus pandemic has had negative effects on many studios. Games development is a collaborative process and remote working inevitably impacts upon this operation. Additionally, some games businesses have experienced financial challenges, including lost contracts and lost investment.
“The video games industry and the wider creative industries sector are a huge contributor to UK GDP. Games development contributed over £1.8 billion towards GDP in the year to November 2018, as well as an estimated £747m in direct and indirect tax revenues to the Exchequer. Therefore, as the UK begins to enter a period of ‘new normal’ it is vital that the industry continues to be supported in making the adjustments necessary to work safely and effectively. This is necessary to ensure that the industry continues to thrive and grow in the years ahead.”