TIGA: Total UK dev headcount falls by 900 over two years

9010 developers currently employed in Britain, census finds

Trade association TIGA has claimed that the total number of UK games development staff has fallen by 9 per cent since 2008.

The current headcount stands at 9010 developers, down from 9900 in July 2008.

Explaining the report's methodology, TIGA boss Richard Wilson told that the association "commissioned GIC consulting to turn out two censuses of games businesses – one in July 2008, and another in September of this year, of all known British games companies."

"So that included developers, publishers, publishing studios, service companies and even broadcasters with games divisions. They contacted them by telephone, and they asked for development headcounts. They excluded HR, admin sales, marketing and commercial staff, so it really focused specifically on the development staff in those organisations.

"It was a telephone survey of the overwhelming majority of all the games development businesses in the UK."

While changes in headcounts for the same period in other territories is not currently known, Wilson believed that Canada now boasts around "14,000 to 14,500" development staff, with that figure continuing to grow.

TIGA also stated that worldwide game software sales have increased by 16 per cent over the same period, and thus once again called for tax relief to support the UK games industry, as well as a rethink of R&D tax credits. The proposed changes to the R&D relief are explained here.

Added Richard Wilson in a statement, "At a time when the global video game industry is growing, the UK development workforce is declining.

"A key reason for this decline is that video game developers in the UK are at a competitive disadvantage. Investment and jobs are drifting away to other countries. "

Wilson also called for prime minister David Cameron to support games as part of his plan to renovate London's East End into a Silicon Valley rival.

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Latest comments (4)

Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D8 years ago
I'd love tax breaks, but it's just not going to happen.

Maybe when QE2 comes here it'll make the UK a more attractive place to invest as the value of the currency falls. Personally, I think that for now that has to be the biggest hope we have.

And let's slash corporation tax more quickly than is currently happening. Halve it for exporters. That's bring businesses flocking to here.
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Carl Muller Programmer, HotGen Ltd8 years ago
QE2 is already here in Windsor Castle. Let's not abuse terms that have been in use for 60 years already for some temporary jargon from the bankers.
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I'm not sure how this Entrepreneur visa works. i'm sure it involves paying the government some silly amount of monies anyways for that privilege.
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Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator 8 years ago
Good luck to Wilson but I'm not placing hopes that Cameron will swing our way.
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