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UK dev survey warns of rising costs

Majority of developers to increase employment over next six months

A majority of UK developers expect to see costs rise over the next six months, even as they admit to being more optimistic of their business' stability in 2011 - according to a new survey by trade association TIGA.

The Business Opinion Survey is based on a study of 104 games companies, mainly independent developers, with 59 per cent of respondents indicating that they expect to increase their workforce over the next six months, while only 6 per cent expect a decline.

A majority of 54 per cent also said that they were more optimistic about their business prospects, compared to six months ago. Only 15 per cent were less optimistic.

Despite the UK's disappointing economic growth, TIGA's latest Business Opinion Survey shows that there are tentative signs of optimism in the UK games industry

Richard Wilson, TIGA

Many companies also admitted that they face rising cost pressures and that access to bank finance has not improved dramatically in recent months. A total of 53 per cent said they expected to see costs rise over the next six months, with only 4 per cent predicting they will fall. This as the UK economy has remained static over the last six months.

As many as 71 per cent of respondents said they do not expect to change the prices they charge to their customers, with 14 per cent saying that prices would fall.

"Despite the UK's disappointing economic growth performance over the last six months, TIGA's latest Business Opinion Survey shows that there are tentative signs of optimism in the UK games industry," said TIGA CEO Dr Richard Wilson.

"With the right support from the Government, the UK games industry has the potential to create more highly skilled jobs in the future. Estimates from PWC suggest that the global market for video games will grow from $52.5 billion in 2009 to $86.8 billion in 2014."

"At present, our key competitors including Canada, France and the USA benefit from tax breaks for games production at a national or state level. The UK does not. This leaves us at a disadvantage when competing for inward investment," he argued.

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