Access to finance the leading obstacle to success for UK games industry in 2018

TIGA CEO: Looming clouds of Brexit beginning to "cast shadows on our games industry"

Limited access to finance is the leading obstacle to success for UK games companies in 2018, according to TIGA's latest Business Opinion Survey.

They survey, which is based on a representative sample of 63 games businesses working across multiple platforms, found that 38% of respondents said that access to finance was holding back their business. A further 34% cited discoverability as the biggest challenge, while 22% identified skills shortages and gaps. Meanwhile, 4% referred to difficulties accessing development tools and game engines, while 2% were concerned about the slow growth of the VR market.

TIGA CEO Dr Richard Wilson said that the looming clouds of Brexit and the UK's relative economic slowdown were beginning to "cast shadows on our games industry."

Wilson has renewed his call for the UK government to consider TIGA's plans for a Games Investment Fund that would make grants or loans of up to 500,000 available to games businesses on a matched funding basis.

Other information gleaned from the Business Opinion Survey found that that 68% of games companies in the UK intend on expanding their workforce over the next year, compared to 2% considering cutbacks.

Additionally, 70% of respondents believed that UK's economic and business environment is favourable to the industry, up from 64% the year prior.

Just under half of respondents (48%) said that the outlook for investment in their business, such as R&D, training, and new games development, was more positive than compared to 12 months ago, while 22% felt the outlook for investment was less positive.

Based on the survey, performance and prospects for 2018 are both down slightly however with 62% of respondents reporting their company was performing 'very well' or 'well' compared to 72% in 2017. Meanwhile, only 46% of respondents said their company's prospects were more optimistic compared to 12 months ago, down from 50% in 2017 with 25% reporting less optimism.

"The UK video games development and digital publishing sector is set to embark on another year of growth," added Dr Wilson.

"Video Games Tax Relief, which TIGA was instrumental in achieving, is fuelling growth in the sector. Games Tax Relief effectively reduces the cost and risk of games development and incentivises investment and job creation in the games industry."

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