TIGA Research Shows UK Games Developers Investing in Employment Despite Rising Costs

February 1, 2023
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TIGA, the trade association representing the video games industry, released a Business Opinion Survey (BOS) today which shows that while 86 per cent of respondents expect that their costs will rise in 2023, 75 per cent plan to grow their organisation’s workforce over the year.  TIGA’s research was carried out in December 2022 and January 2023. The survey is based upon a sample of 36 games businesses including small, medium and large firms, developing games across mobile/tablet, VR, PC and console.

TIGA’s Business Opinion Survey 2022-23 includes the following key findings:

  • Costs: 86 per cent of respondents anticipate that their company’s costs (e.g. employment, equipment, electricity, etc) are likely to increase over the next 12 months. 11 per cent expect them to remain the same and 3 per cent expect their costs to fall.
  • Optimism: 40 per cent of respondents said that they were more optimistic about their company’s prospects compared to 12 months ago (this compares to a figure of 53 per cent in the previous BOS). 30 per cent reported that they were neither more nor less optimistic. 30 per cent said that they were less optimistic (up from 12 per cent in last year’s BOS).
  • Investment: 31 per cent of respondents said that the outlook for investment in their business (for example, in R&D, training, new games development, etc) was more optimistic than compared to 12 months ago. This compares to a figure of 47 per cent in the previous BOS. 50 per cent said that the outlook was unchanged. 19 per cent said the outlook for investment was less optimistic (up from 9 per cent in last year’s BOS).
  • Employment: 75 per cent of respondents plan to grow their organisation’s workforce over the next twelve months. 19 per cent expect to keep their organisation’s workforce at current levels. 6 per cent think that their organisation’s workforce will diminish slightly.
  • Economic environment: 67 per cent of respondents to the TIGA survey believe that the economic and business climate is favourable to the video games industry. 11 per cent consider that the environment is neither favourable nor unfavourable to the sector, 19 per cent feel that it is unfavourable. 3 per cent did not know.
  • Performance: 75 per cent of respondents reported that their company was performing either ‘very well’ or ‘well’. 22 per cent said that their company was performing ‘neither well nor badly’. 3 per cent reported that their company was performing ‘badly’ or ‘very badly’.
  • Obstacles to success: 52 per cent cited skills shortages and skills gaps as the biggest obstacle to the success of their business (up from 40 per cent last year). 14 per cent cited discoverability (down from 19 per cent last year). 22 per cent referred to limited access to finance. 6 per cent noted the disruption caused by the pandemic. 6 per cent identified ‘Other’ obstacles.
  • Brexit: 83 per cent of respondents said that leaving the EU had had a negative impact on their business; 11 per cent reported no impact; 6 per cent did not know if there had been an impact.

Dr Richard Wilson OBE, TIGA CEO, said:“The UK video games development and digital publishing sector is operating in an inflationary environment which is increasing businesses’ costs and dampening both consumers’ and businesses’ discretionary expenditure.  86 per cent of respondents to our survey expect that their costs will rise in 2023. Only 40 per cent of respondents are more optimistic about the outlook for investment in their business compared to 12 months ago, while 30 per cent are less optimistic.

“Nevertheless, 75 per cent of respondents to our survey plan to increase employment over the coming year and 75 per cent report that their company is performing either ‘very well’ or ‘well’.

“The Government can reinforce the sector’s growth by taking three actions. Firstly, enhance Video Games Tax Relief (VGTR) to encourage investment in the industry. Secondly, introduce a Video Games Investment Fund (VGIF) to improve studios’ access to finance. The VGIF would provide funding of up to £500,000 available to games businesses on a matched funding basis. Thirdly, promote training in the sector via a Skills Investment Fund and introduce an Industrial Secondments Programme to strengthen skills development in video games education.”

About TIGA

TIGA is the trade association for the UK video games industry.  Our vision is to make the UK the best place in the world to develop video games. Our core purpose is to strengthen the games development and digital publishing sector. To this end, we focus on three strategic objectives:

For more information contact TIGA:

Web: www.tiga.org

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