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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 GamesIndustry.biz 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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Alec Meer

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A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.

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