Scotland’s Games Industry Growing More Quickly Than The UK

Scotland’s games industry – as measured by TIGA – is growing more quickly than the rest of the UK and the proportion of developers employed in Scotland is increasing.

TIGA, has released data showing that employment in the Scottish video games development industry grew 26% between April 2020 and December 2021.  This keeps Scotland’s position as the UK’s fourth largest games cluster, following London, the South East and the North West.

The 26% increase in employment in the Scottish games industry exceeds the 25% increase for the UK video games sector as a whole.

The research, which is based upon a survey of UK games businesses, with analysis by Games Investor Consulting shows that as of December 2021:

Businesses And Headcount Increasing

There were 2,269 permanent and full-time equivalent creative staff working on games development in 147 active games development companies. This is an increase from the 96 companies employing 1,803 staff reported in April 2020.

The growth in Scottish games development companies from 96 to 147 represents a 53% increase, compared to a 41% increase for the UK industry in its entirety

According to the data, this makes Scotland home to 7.9% of the UK’s total games studios and 10.8% of its developer headcount. This tallies with the findings from the 2021 Screen Business Report, produced by UKIE and the BFI.

For comparison, the figure in April 2020 were 7.3% of the UK’s games studios were in Scotland and employing 10.7% of the country’s development talent.

Significant Financial Impact

Scotland’s games development sector supports an additional 4,148 ‘indirect jobs’. This is also an increase, rising from 3,296 in April 2020.

The report estimates that Scottish games development companies invest £141 million in salaries and overheads, contribute £129 million in direct and indirect tax revenues to HM Treasury, and make a direct and indirect contribution of £312 million to the UK’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Ecosystem > Industry

The report is highly encouraging, but ignores much of the reality of the games ecosystem as it exists in 2022. Developers are the beating heart of the games sector, but the number of businesses now working within games which do not actively create games is growing as quickly as the number of ‘studios’.

We are thrilled to have such a positive report published, but the need for a more comprehensive and holisitic approach to ‘games’ is much needed.

Watch this space – BB.

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