UK Game Developers Can Support Export Led Recovery

By June 14, 2010 Press Releases

TIGA, the trade association representing the UK games industry, said today that the video games industry could play a valuable role in supporting an export led recovery for the UK economy. TIGA made the comments to accompany the publication of a new research report entitled ‘The UK Video Games Industry: An Export Success Story’1, which confirms that the games development sector has a very high propensity to export.

The report presents research on the UK video games development industry’s main export markets and what percentage of turnover is generated by exports. The report also looks at which markets UK games developers consider to be most important emerging markets for exports in the future.

Richard Wilson, CEO of TIGA, said: “The UK economic recovery needs to be export led and investment driven. The video game development sector can play a valuable role in achieving this objective. TIGA’s research shows that 91 per cent of UK games developers export their products (games), compared to just one third of small and medium-sized enterprises generally2 . Additionally, on average, 62 per cent of a developers’ turnover is generated from the export of games.

“For 72 per cent of UK game developers, the USA constitutes one of their most important geographical markets. This is confirmed by the fact that leading UK games developers including Blitz Games Studios, Crytek UK, Eutechnyx, Kuju Entertainment, Iguana Entertainment Ltd, Firebrand Games, Relentless Software and Team 17 are attending E3 on June 15th – 17th 2010, the annual video game conference and show at the Los Angeles Convention Centre.

“Developers want to export more in the future. 35 per cent of UK developers want to expand their business in the USA; 31 per cent wish to increase their business in China, 23 per cent are interested in growing their business in Japan and 22 per cent have ambitions to grow within the European Union.

“If the Government is serious about reorienting the UK economy towards high technology, low carbon, highly skilled, export focused industries, then it should introduce Games Tax Relief in the Budget on June 22nd. Games Tax Relief will increase investment, expand employment and enhance the sector’s capacity to export. Games Tax Relief will more than pay for itself. TIGA’s research shows that over a five year period it will generate £415 million in tax receipts for HM Treasury.””

Philip Oliver, CEO of Blitz Games Studios, said: “UK games developers can play an important part in rebalancing the economy away from the over-dependence on public sector employment and financial services that we have seen in recent years. Games development is a high technology, low carbon, export oriented industry. My own business, Blitz Games Studios, generates a large percentage of its turnover through the export of games. If the UK Coalition Government invests in the video games sector by introducing a Games Tax Relief, our industry will generate more jobs, more investment and export more, benefiting both the industry and the wider UK economy.””


1 The UK Video Games Industry: An Export Success Story is available from the TIGA (contact This report is based on a survey of 78 game development businesses. The survey was commissioned by TIGA with the support of Train2Game and carried out by Wanford Fieldwork Partnership LLP. The majority of the businesses participating in this survey are small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), employing 249 or fewer employees.

2 According to a survey of 525 small and medium-sized enterprises by Lloyds TSB, just one third are exporting. See “Small businesses shun exports””, Financial Times, June 2nd 2010.


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