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UK industry stabilises as start-up and closure rates fall

Number of new studios drops by over half since 2013, but region employs 10% more workers

New figures from TIGA paint a picture of a UK industry entering a period of stabilisation and growth, with both start up and closure rates falling whilst overall employment numbers grow.

In 2014, the UK saw just 44 per cent of the number of new gaming studios it did in 2013, the data suggests, whilst closures were down by over 25 per cent. Overall, there was a ten per cent rise in the number of people employed in the UK's games industry, largely fuelled by the expansion of medium and larger businesses.

  • Just 99 new gaming start ups in 2014, compared to 2013's record figure of 224
  • But, there were only 75 studio closures, compared to 107 in 2013
  • Number of studios in the UK grew by seven per cent last year, 38 per cent in 2013
  • Small studios remain the prevalent model, with more than half of UK organisations employing between one and four permanent staff

"Over the last few years the UK video games industry has been afflicted by a high 'death rate', with studios closing down with significant regularity," commented TIGA CEO Richard Wilson. "182 studios closed down or exited the industry over the last two years alone. Yet this tendency is diminishing. In 2014, 99 games companies started up and 75 closed down compared to 224 start-ups and 107 exits in 2013.

"Additionally, 2014 was the year that saw start-ups pass the growth baton to existing studios. Although the start-up rate was just 44 per cent of that of 2013, the UK games industry workforce grew by almost 10 per cent in 2014.

"This is encouraging. TIGA wants to see a flourishing developer and digital publisher sector, with strong numbers of start-ups, growing sustainable studios, a decline in the business mortality rate and an increase in overall studio numbers. TIGA's vision is for an increase in the volume of studios with 15 or more staff so that there are more businesses in the UK capable of handling larger projects and investments and developing into world leading games companies."

All figures are from TIGA's report: "Making Games in the UK Today: June 2015"

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