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UK industry employment levels at a record high

TIGA survey finds staffing, tax revenue and GDP contribution at record levels in 2014

The British games industry now employs more developers than ever before, with creative staff levels surging by almost 10 per cent in the space of a single year.

According to a new report from TIGA, 'Making Games in the UK Today,' British game studios had a combined staff of 10,869 in 2014, a 9.8 per cent increase over 2013. This trend was also evident in jobs indirectly supported by the existence of those studios, which rose from just over 18,000 in 2013 to 19,872 in 2014. Both of these statistics represent new records for the British industry.

This is a sign of both recovery and transition, however, as TIGA also found that 10 per cent of UK studios closed in 2014. With total employee numbers rising, this implies a larger proportion of small companies, many of which will struggle in the increasingly crowded global games market.

The UK industry broke a few more records in 2014, too. British studios are now investing more money than ever before, rising from £458 million in 2013 to a record £503 million in 2014. Direct and indirect tax revenues rose to a record £460 million in 2014, and the game development sector now contributes £1.115 billion to the Gross Domestic Product - yet another record.

"The industry's growth over the last year has been driven by three factors," said Richard Wilson, CEO of TIGA, in a statement.

"Firstly, the increasing prevalence of mobile and tablet devices, the growth of PC gaming and the new console generation have combined to stimulate investment and job creation. Secondly, a rise in start-ups has been mirrored by an expansion amongst many existing studios. Thirdly, Games Tax Relief (GTR) is fuelling growth.

"Our industry still faces challenges. 10 per cent of all studios closed down in 2014. Yet the UK games industry is growing. We now need to capitalise on this success by improving studios' access to finance, promoting regional games clusters and continuing to enhance education and skills."

Analysis of TIGA's data was conducted by Games Investor Consulting.

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Matthew Handrahan avatar
Matthew Handrahan: Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.
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