TIGA, the network for video games developers and digital publishers and the trade association representing the video games industry, today released new data showing that employment in the Scottish video games development industry grew 17 per cent between November 2018 and April 2020. Scotland is the fourth largest games cluster in the UK (after London, the South East and the North West).
TIGA’s research shows that:
Scotland1 has 1,803 permanent and full-time equivalent creative staff working on games development2 in 96 companies. This is up from 84 companies employing 1,537 staff in November 2018.
Scotland is home to 7.3 per cent of the UK’s total games companies and 10.7 per cent of its developer headcount (the comparable figures for 2018 were 7.9 per cent and 10.7 per cent, 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).
Dr Richard Wilson OBE, TIGA CEO, said:
“Employment in the Scottish video games industry grew by over 17 per cent between November 2018 and April 2020. Growth in headcount has been driven in part by inward investment by several major overseas companies, such as Epic and Unity; partly by strong growth in Scotland’s larger studios; and partly by a spate of start-ups.
“Scotland represents the fourth largest games cluster in the UK. Scotland has a critical mass of experienced games developers; renowned universities preparing skilled graduates for the games industry, including TIGA Accredited Abertay University; and supportive agencies including Scottish Enterprise and Creative Scotland. The UK Games Fund is also based in Dundee.
“We can ensure that the environment for the Scottish games industry remains favourable for growth in three ways. Firstly, by enhancing Video Games Tax Relief, a measure which effectively reduce the cost of games development. Secondly, by introducing a Video Games Investment Fund (VGIF) and developing the UK Games Fund to improve access to finance. Thirdly, by continuing to strengthen industry-university links, enhance skils and training and enable UK games companies to recruit highly skilled workers from the EU and beyond.”
Jason Kingsley OBE, TIGA Chairman and CEO and Creative Director at Rebellion, said:
“We can continue to support the growth of the Scottish Video Games Industry by maintaining and enhancing Video Games Tax Relief, introducing a Video Games Investment Fund, and by ensuring that Scotland remains an attractive place to grow and develop video games.
“Scotland is the fourth largest games cluster in the UK and it is important that the UK and Scottish Governments continue to support the video games industry there and consider new ways to support its growth.”
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 5 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.”
Games Investor Consulting in conjunction with TIGA and its partners conducted surveys concluding in July 2008, September 2010, November 2011, December 2012, December 2013, December 2014, March 2016, November 2017, November 2018 and April 2020 of all known British games companies involved in the creation of games (including developers, publishers, publisher studios, service companies and broadcasters with games divisions) The survey counts staff working in development and development support roles in games studios, games publishers, service companies, broadcasters, charities and grant schemes. A broad array of additional data is also captured including studio location, primary platform focus and company ownership structure as well as company start-ups and exits/closures.
TIGA is the network for games developers and digital publishers and the trade association representing the video games industry. Since 2010, TIGA has won 28 business awards and commendations and has been successfully accredited as an Investors in People organisation four times. TIGA focuses on four sets of activities:
University accreditation and recognising excellent employment practices via the TIGA STAR
This enhances the competitiveness of our members by providing benefits that make a material difference to their businesses, including a reduction in costs and improved commercial opportunities. It also means our members’ voices are heard in the corridors of power and positively represented in national, broadcast and UK video games trade media.
1 The figures in this section are based on the same 2018 survey data as used for the wider UK market.
2 Definition: This includes all production staff, QA, support, localisation and technical staff but excludes admin, finance, sales, marketing and commercial staff not directly involved with games production. Full-time equivalent staff comprise multiple part-time staff aggregated based on typical usage throughout a year to represent a single full-time employee.