TIGA has released new data indicating growth of 17% in employment within the games industry in Scotland between November 2018 and April 2020.
This would make Scotland the fourth largest games cluster in the UK, following London, the South East and the North West).
TIGA’s research suggests:
- Scotland has 1,803 permanent and full-time equivalent creative staff working on games development in 96 companies. This is an increase from 84 companies employing 1,537 staff in November 2018.
- Scotland represents 7.3% of the UK’s total games companies and 10.7% of its developer headcount (2018 figures: 7.9% and 10.7% respectively).
- Scotland’s games development sector supports an additional 3,296 indirect jobs (up from 2,810 in November 2018).
- Annually, Scottish games development companies are estimated to invest £106 million in salaries and overheads, contribute £97 million in direct and indirect tax revenues to HM Treasury, and make a direct and indirect contribution of £236 million to the UK’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Professor Gregor White, Dean of Design and Informatics at Abertay University said:
TIGA’s report showing another period of strong growth in the Scottish sector is welcome news in uncertain times. Recent developments in the Scottish sector reflect a period of consolidation, growth in studio size and inward investment by major technology companies. All of which is good news for graduates from games courses looking for entry level opportunities and strong career prospects.
This year has seen Abertay University recognised once again, as Europe’s leading Games School by the Princeton Review and has been recognised as University of the Year for Teaching Quality by the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide. Young people and professionals making the decision to study and build careers in the games industry should look to do it here in Scotland.
Sean Taylor, Director of InGAME: Innovation for Games and Media Enterprise said:
In challenging times, the Scottish sector has demonstrated incredible resilience and ingenuity. In Dundee alone this past year, we’ve seen Island Saver from Stormcloud Games reach 1.7 million downloads in just five months; Hyper Luminal Games, Outplay Entertainment and Tag Games continue their exciting growth; Ruffian Games partner with Rockstar Games to work on ‘upcoming titles’;
Junkfish’s Monstrum 2 win 2020 UK Game of Show; Earthbound Games unlock a further round of funding; Abertay student spin-out, Konglomerate Games, reach the semi-final of the prestigious Startup Summit; Remote Control Productions establish a base in the city; Gamemaker 2 from YoYo Games achieve 10 million downloads; Unity Technologies acquire Chilli Connect; and Northern Lights Arena Europe announce plans for a 4,000 seat esports arena and academy on the city’s Waterfront.
For all of this to happen during a global pandemic is testament to the talent, drive and world-class potential of the Scottish sector. When you add the R&D support, services and international collaboration opportunities offered by InGAME, you have the foundations of sustained, and sustainable, growth.
Two quick footnotes to unpack however:
- Company and staff numbers are based upon the same 2018 survey data TIGA used for the wider UK market.
- The numbers only represent ‘game development staff’. According to TIGA this “includes production staff, QA, support, localisation and technical staff but excludes admin, finance, sales, marketing and commercial staff not directly involved with games production”.
So actual figures may vary.