TIGA, the network for games developers and digital publishers and the trade association representing the UK video games industry, has published new data showing that approximately 80 per cent of the game development sector’s workforce are employed outside of London, in a range of different regions.
London reclaimed its position as the region with the largest proportion of the UK’s development workforce, pushing the South-East back into second place.
TIGA’s research reveals the following information as of December 31st 2021:
|UK regions||2021 percentage share of UK development workforce|
|East of England||6.5%|
|Yorkshire & Humber||4.9%|
Dr Richard Wilson, OBE, TIGA CEO, said:
“London regained the top spot for headcount in the games industry in 2021, driving the South-East back into second place. London’s headcount growth has been supported by a massive increase in start-ups: 37 per cent of all UK game start-ups during the period April 2020 to December 2021 were based in London.
“Almost 80 per cent of all games development staff in the UK are employed outside of London. Approximately one-fifth of development staff are located in the South East of England, while the third and fourth largest centres of games development by headcount are the North West of England and Scotland, respectively. In percentage terms the strongest headcount growth over the period April 2020 to December 2021 was found in the three smallest regions: Northern Ireland (55 per cent growth), Wales (43 per cent) and the South West (65 per cent).
“The video games industry can contribute to the levelling up agenda. The sector provides high skilled employment in clusters throughout the UK. We can increase high skilled employment in games clusters across the UK by strengthening Video Games Tax Relief, introducing a Video Games Investment Fund, and developing industry-university links, including via TIGA University Accreditation .”
Jason Kingsley OBE, TIGA Chairman and CEO and Creative Director at Rebellion, said:
“TIGA’s research demonstrates how the video games industry is well positioned to support regional economic growth. My own experience at Rebellion confirms this point, with our studios contributing to economic growth in Liverpool, Oxford, Warwick and Yorkshire By enhancing Video Games Tax Relief, improving access to finance and augmenting skills, we can strengthen the UK’s video games clusters and therefore support the UK’s overall economy.”
Notes to editors
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, April 2020 and December 2021 of all known British games companies involved in the creation of games (including developers, publishers, publisher studios, service companies and broadcasters with games divisions). Assessments of every database entry are made on a company-by-company basis with strict vetting and verification rules to ensure each entry is discrete (to prevent duplication via subsidiary or parent companies) and confirmed to be active in games development. The survey counts staff working in development and development support roles in games studios, games publishers and development service companies. 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.
TIGA is the trade association for the UK 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. Our vision is to make the UK the best place in the world to develop video games. Our core purpose is to strengthen the games development and digital publishing sector. To this end, we focus on four strategic objectives:
- influencing Government policy via effective political representation;
- raising the profile of our industry to influence public policy;
- enhancing education and skills through our accreditation programme;
- the TIGA Games Education Awards and our education conferences; and
- promoting best practice through our membership services, including the TIGA STAR Employer Award and the TIGA Games Industry Awards.
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