UK video games industry to see strong growth in 2017
January 3, 2017
TIGA, the network for video games developers and digital publishers and the trade association representing the games industry, predicts that the UK video games industry would increase investment and expand employment in 2017. TIGA made the comments in its latest Business Opinion Survey 2016/17. The report was based on a survey of 50 games businesses including small, medium and large firms, developing games across mobile/tablet, VR, PC and console.
TIGA’s Business Opinion Survey 2016/17 includes the following key findings:
- Employment: 88 per cent of respondents plan to grow their organisation’s workforce over the next year (up from 72 per cent a year ago).
- Investment: 50 per cent of respondents to the TIGA survey said that the outlook for investment in their business (for example, in R&D, training, new games development, etc.) was more optimistic than compared to 12 months ago (down from 54 per cent a year ago). 30 per cent said that the outlook was unchanged. 20 per cent said the outlook for investment was less optimistic.
- Performance: 72 per cent of respondents reported that their company was performing either ‘very well’ or ‘well’ (up from 67 per cent a year ago). Just 6 per cent reported that their company was performing ‘badly’ or ‘very badly’.
- Prospects: 50 per cent of respondents said that they were more optimistic about their company’s prospects compared to 12 months ago. 26 per cent reported that they were neither more nor less optimistic, while 24 per cent said that they were less optimistic about their organisation’s prospects.
- Profits: 64 per cent of respondents to the TIGA survey forecast that the trend in their company’s net profits over the next 12 months would be up. 28 per cent expected profits to remain the same and 8 per cent forecast that profits would fall.
- Costs: 70 per cent of respondents anticipate that their company’s costs are likely to increase over the next 12 months (up from 56 per cent a year ago). 24 per cent expect costs to remain the same, while 6 per cent expect costs to fall.
- Prices: 40 per cent of games businesses in our survey expect that their prices for customers will increase over the next 12 months (compared to 38 per cent a year ago). 60 per cent expect that their prices will remain the same.
- Economic environment: 64 per cent of respondents to the TIGA survey believe that the economic and business environment in the UK is favourable to the video games industry.
- Obstacles to success: 34 per cent of the respondents to the TIGA survey said that the principal obstacle holding back their businesses was limited access to finance. A further 34 per cent cited discoverability as the biggest obstacle. 16 per cent identified skills shortages and skills gaps. The remaining respondents identified various obstacles including: scaling business operations; lack of VR hardware; diversity; peaks and troughs in work; management capacity; and the challenge of localisation.
- Access to finance: 32 per cent of games businesses said that there was no change in relation to their business’s ability to access finance generally (e.g. from publishers, from investors, publicly funded sources, etc.) compared to 12 months ago. 24 per cent said that it was less difficult, 12 per cent said that it was more difficult and 24 per cent did not know.
- Access to bank finance: 36 per cent reported that there was no change in their business’s ability to borrow from a bank, 12 per cent said that it had become more difficult and 4 per cent said that it had become less difficult. 48 per cent of respondents said that they did not know. Most games businesses simply do not rely on bank finance to fund their operations.
- Capacity constraints: 62 per cent reported that their business was operating at full capacity, while 38 per cent said that their business was not operating at maximum capacity.
Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO, said: “The UK video games development and digital publishing sector is set to grow in 2017. Our survey shows that games businesses in mobile, VR, PC and console are planning to increase investment and employment. This growth is being driven by three factors.”
“Firstly, the consumer market for games is big, broad and burgeoning. The UK is the sixth largest market for games in the world and 31.6 million people in the UK play games.”
“Secondly, the spread of mobile and tablet devices, the new console generation, the growth of PC games and the advent of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are prompting investment in games.”
“Thirdly, Video Games Tax Relief, which TIGA played a decisive role in achieving, is fanning the flame of growth. Games Tax Relief effectively reduces the cost and risk of games development and it incentivises investment and job creation in the games industry. Games Tax Relief is predicted to create 2,800 new development jobs and £331 million in investment between 2016 and 2020.”
Jason Kingsley OBE, TIGA Chairman and CEO and Creative Director at Rebellion, said: “2017 is set to be another exciting year for the UK video games industry. We will see more start-ups, more existing firms expand and more innovation and growth in the sector. I am especially delighted that Video Games Tax Relief, a measure that TIGA consistently campaigned for over many years, is helping to drive growth in our sector.”