Government report snubs Scottish games industry

DC Research claims only 200 working in games, values it at 0

A new report has caused controversy by suggesting the Scottish games industry has no students, no value and employs just 200 people.

After reading the report from DC Research, ScottishGames found that it suggested that just 200 people in Scotland were employed by the games industry, and it had a gross value of 0. That is not a typo.

It put the industry at just 0.1 per cent when it came to its contribution to the Scottish economy, and because that percentage was recorded as less than 10 million, it has simply been rounded down to zero.

The report also identified zero students studying game related subjects, despite the international reputation of the University of Abertay Dundee.

The report, created by government associations Creative Scotland and Scottish Enterprises, used information from 2010, and classified games in the Audio-Visual category.

ScottishGames pointed out that the report omist companies that fall under more than one category, and that there are actually over 120 game companies in the country, with RockStar North alone employing more than 200 people.

"The problem is that this is an official report created by two Scottish government organisations which oversee the cultural and enterprise elements of the Scottish economy. Moving forward policy decisions, funding allocations etc. will all be made based on the information in this document," it declared.

It called for the industry to work together to make sure the government and the research companies it turns to have a better awareness of and better statistics about itself.

"We also need to decide exactly how companies creating, publishing or otherwise working with games are categorised, defined and discovered."

"If this means working together, then we're going to have to grit our teeth, get out of the offices and actually do something. Otherwise we run the risk of being sidelined, overlooked and isolated from the wider creative industries. Seen as a curiosity and a hobby, rather than part of the most significant new creative industry in the world today."

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Latest comments (8)

Dave Mitchell Founder, Two Tails5 years ago
Incredible >.<
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.5 years ago
That's worse that US census takers. And I didn't think that was possible.
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Mus Cetiner Studying Game Design and Production Management, University of Abertay Dundee5 years ago
Is this the same Scotland that I am studying at University of Abertay and is this the same country that has about 120 games companies?
Absolute idiots.
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Show all comments (8)
David Radd Senior Editor, IndustryGamers5 years ago
This is cartoonishly bad. Even if just Rockstar North was included, that's a huge studio that just happens to work on some of the biggest game franchises in the world.
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Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game5 years ago
What is the point of the Government even bothering to do this survey if they are going to do such an incompetent, inaccurate job? What possible result is it going to achieve?
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Mike Rusby 3d character modeller 5 years ago
Its the goverment , wny is that any kind of surpise to anyone.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Mike Rusby on 7th September 2012 4:43pm

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James Prendergast Research Chemist 5 years ago
@ Mike. I don't see the remit of incompetence only being applied to government. Private industry is just as incompetent - in fact I'm astounded almost weekly at incompetence within my employer.
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Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 5 years ago
Quoted from the beeb:

"TIGA's figures showed there were 668 permanent staff in 50 games development, publishing and service companies in the Scottish games industry, which represents almost 10% of the total industry in the UK."

Which would make the whole Scottish game industry comparable in size to Codemasters or Jagex.

A few points:

1) It shows just how much you can believe what the government tells us.
2) Someone paid for this report. Whose money was used and why?
3) Gaming is global so , unless you make a cricket game, at least 80% of UK industry development revenue is ultimately export.
4) Game development is mostly in a very small number of clusters such as Guildford and Leamington Spa, which mean that it is extremely unevenly distributed.
5) Real Time Worlds going bust must have made a big hole in the Scottish game development industry. Plus they used up over $100 million of investment funds which could have been better applied elsewhere.
6) Large numbers of small "indie" studios are starting up right now encouraged by the low barriers of entry afforded by digital distribution and app stores. Most off these companies are off the radar of government, TIGA and everyone else.
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