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72% of UK games businesses looking to expand in 2016

TIGA survey finds country's studios in optimistic mood

A survey of 52 UK games studios by TIGA has found that 60 per cent of respondents are looking to grow their workforce somewhat in 2016, with a further 12 per cent expecting to expand considerably.

The Business Opinion Survey covered studios of all sizes, working across all platforms. In addition to the expectation of an expanded workforce, the survey found that a slim majority of those questioned were in an optimistic frame of mind for the prospects of their business overall.

54 per cent said that the outlook for finding funding was more optimistic that a year ago, although 46 per cent said that access to finance was the primary factor in the limitation of their plans. 66 per cent said that they expected 2016 to bring a net gain in profits with 56 per cent anticipating an increase in costs. Just 38 per cent plan on increasing prices.

"The UK video games development and digital publishing sector is set to grow in 2016," said TIGA CEO Richard Wilson. "Our survey shows that games businesses are planning to increase investment and employment. This growth is being driven by three factors. "Firstly, the consumer market for games is significant and growing. Already games are played in 70 per cent of households, and over 50 per cent of all UK adults are mobile gamers. Secondly, the increasing prevalence of mobile and tablet devices, the new console generation, and the advent of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are stimulating investment in games.

"Thirdly, Video Games Tax Relief, which TIGA played a critical role in achieving, is fuelling 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 2,700 new development jobs and £320 million in investment over the next five years."

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Dan Pearson