Survey: UK video games industry on track for growth
January 17, 2022
TIGA, the trade association representing the video games industry, has released a Business Opinion Survey (BOS) which shows that 68 per cent of respondents plan to grow their organisation’s workforce during 2022. Additionally, 70 per cent of respondents consider that the UK has a favourable business and economic environment for the games industry.
TIGA’s research was carried out in December 2021. The survey is based upon a sample of 57 games businesses including small, medium and large firms, developing games across mobile/tablet, VR, PC and console.
TIGA’s Business Opinion Survey 2021-2022 includes the following key findings (percentages are rounded and so do not always add up to 100 per cent):
- Employment: 68 per cent of respondents plan to grow their organisation’s workforce over the next year. 30 per cent expect to keep their organisation’s workforce at current levels. 2 per cent think that their organisation’s workforce will diminish (down from 9 per cent in the previous BOS).
- Economic environment: 70 per cent of respondents to the TIGA survey believe that the economic and business climate is favourable to the video games industry. 11 per cent consider that the environment is neither favourable nor unfavourable to the sector, 19 per cent feel that it is unfavourable.
- Performance: 60 per cent of respondents reported that their company was performing either ‘very well’ or ‘well’ (compared to a figure of 70 per cent in last year’s BOS). 32 per cent said that their company was performing ‘neither well nor badly’. 9 per cent reported that their company was performing ‘badly’ or ‘very badly’ (down from 11 per cent in the previous survey 12 months ago).
- Prospects: 53 per cent of respondents said that they were more optimistic about their company’s prospects compared to 12 months ago. 35 per cent reported that they were neither more nor less optimistic. 12 per cent said that they were less optimistic.
- Obstacles to success: 40 per cent cited skills shortages and skills gaps as the biggest obstacle to the success of their business (up from 25 per cent last year). 19 per cent cited discoverability (down from 36 per cent last year). 18 per cent referred to limited access to finance. 7 per cent noted the disruption caused by the pandemic. 4 per cent referred to difficulties accessing games tools, engines and middleware and 12 per cent identified ‘Other’ obstacles.
- Costs: 83 per cent of respondents anticipate that their company’s costs (e.g. employment, equipment, electricity, etc) are likely to increase over the next 12 months.
- Competition: countries including Canada, France and many states within the US provide a variety of incentives to attract FDI into games and now Ireland plans to introduce its own tax relief for games development.
Dr Richard Wilson OBE, TIGA CEO, said: “The UK video games industry is on track for growth, with 68 per cent of respondents to our Business Opinion Survey expecting to increase employment over the coming year. However, skills shortages and access to finance remain challenges for some studios and competition for foreign direct investment in the games industry is likely to remain significant. The Government can strengthen the sector by taking three actions. Firstly, enhance Video Games Tax Relief (VGTR) by raising the rate of relief from 25 to 32 per cent to promote growth in the sector. Secondly, introduce a Video Games Investment Fund (VGIF) to improve studios’ access to finance. The VGIF would provide funding of up to £500,000 available to games businesses on a matched funding basis. Thirdly, increase the supply of well-educated graduates who can work in the games industry and promote training in the sector via a Skills Investment Fund.”