"Provide Ministers with Reliable Data on the UK Video Games Industry", says TIGA

30 October 2009

TIGA said today that the absence of a Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code meant that the Government and policy makers might not recognise the competitive threat facing the UK video games industry. TIGA made the comments after a series of questions posed by Don Foster, MP, the Liberal Democrats Shadow Culture, Media and Sport Secretary, elicited the fact that the Government has not measured the effect of the recession on the UK games industry, evaluated the economic growth rate of the industry over the last five years, what contribution the sector makes to UK Gross Domestic Product, how many people were employed in the industry over the last five years and how many people have been made redundant over the last 12 months.

Richard Wilson, CEO of TIGA, said:

Data on traditional manufacturing businesses is abundant, data for traditional financial services is substantial, but data for knowledge based industries like the video games sector is sparse. This is a serious problem. If Ministers and policy makers cannot access reliable data, then they will find it difficult to reach rational policy conclusions.

TIGA is willing and able to step up to the plate. We can and have filled this deficiency. TIGA research shows that the UK video games declined by 15 per cent in terms of companies between July 2008 and July 2009 and declined by 4 per cent in terms of headcount. Equally, we have been able to forecast the impact on the games industry with and without a Games Tax Relief. With TIGAs Games Tax Relief we can expect to see 3,550 graduate level jobs created or safeguarded over 5 years. In its absence we forecast a loss of 1,674 comparable jobs.

It is because TIGA has undertaken quality research with professional organisations such as Games Investor Consultancy that we are able to record the impact of the recession on the UK games industry and forecast the outlook for the sector with or without a Games Tax Relief.

We hope that the Government will recognise TIGAs case for Games Tax Relief a case based on the most reliable statistical information available in the UK. Games Tax Relief will generate additional investment, create jobs and maximise revenue to HM Treasury. The rational, sensible and logical step to take is for the Government to implement TIGAs Tax Relief.

Ends

Notes to editors:

Don Foster MP, the Liberal Democrats Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport tabled a series of parliamentary questions relating to the video games industry.

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment he has made of the effect of the recession on the UK video games industry. <295296>

Mr. Simon: We have not carried out an assessment of the impact of the recession on the UK video games industry. However, industry evidence suggests that the UK games sector continues to demonstrate remarkable success with total sales of 4.034 billion in 2008, a rise of23 per cent. from 2007.

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the economic growth rate in the UK video games industry has been in each of the last five years; and what estimate he has made of the likely rate of growth in 2009-10. <295297>

Mr. Simon: Accurate data on the video and computer games sector is not readily available to the Department, particularly as the sector has not had its own separate Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code. A new SIC code for computer games has now been agreed though this will not deliver data until 2010 at the earliest.

We do not project future trends of the markets but, according to industry figures, since 2004 the UK Video Games industry has experienced modest growth of around 4 per cent. per annum and this is projected to continue to 2011.

Source: Oxford Economics 2008

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate hehas made of the contribution of the video games industry to the UKs gross domestic product in each of the last five years; and what the estimated contribution is for 2009-10. <295298>

Mr. Simon: Accurate data on the video and computer games sector is not readily available to the Department, particularly as the sector has not had its own separate Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code. A new SIC code for computer games has now been agreed though it will not deliver data until 2010 at the earliest.

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) how many people were employed in the UK video games industry in each of the last five years; <295299>

(2) What estimate he has made of the number of redundancies in the UK video games industry in the last 12 months. <295300>

Mr. Simon: Accurate data on the video and computer games sector are not readily available to the Department, particularly as the sector has not had its own separate Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code. A new SIC code for computer games has now been agreed though this will not deliver data until 2010 at the earliest.

DCMS does not hold employment data of this kind.

26 Oct 2009 : Column 24W

The breakdown is as follows: 126 applications for funding for public swimming pools (DCMS allocated funding), and 47 applications for pools on educational sites (DCSF allocated funding).

Video Games

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment he has made of the effect of the recession on the UK video games industry. <295296>

Mr. Simon: We have not carried out an assessment of the impact of the recession on the UK video games industry. However, industry evidence suggests that the UK games sector continues to demonstrate remarkable success with total sales of 4.034 billion in 2008, a rise of 23 per cent. from 2007.

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the economic growth rate in the UK video games industry has been in each of the last five years; and what estimate he has made of the likely rate of growth in 2009-10. <295297>

Mr. Simon: Accurate data on the video and computer games sector is not readily available to the Department, particularly as the sector has not had its own separate Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code. A new SIC code for computer games has now been agreed though this will not deliver data until 2010 at the earliest.

We do not project future trends of the markets but, according to industry figures, since 2004 the UK Video Games industry has experienced modest growth of around 4 per cent. per annum and this is projected to continue to 2011.

Source: Oxford Economics 2008

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate he has made of the contribution of the video games industry to the UKsgross domestic product in each of the last five years; and what the estimated contribution is for 2009-10. <295298>

Mr. Simon: Accurate data on the video and computer games sector is not readily available to the Department, particularly as the sector has not had its own separate Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code. A new SIC code for computer games has now been agreed though it will not deliver data until 2010 at the earliest.

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) how many people were employed in the UK video games industry in each of the last five years; <295299>

(2) what estimate he has made of the number of redundancies in the UK video games industry in the last 12 months. <295300>

Mr. Simon: Accurate data on the video and computer games sector are not readily available to the Department, particularly as the sector has not had its own separate Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code. A new SIC codefor computer games has now been agreed though this will not deliver data until 2010 at the earliest.

DCMS does not hold employment data of this kind.

For further information, please contact Eva Field, Tiga PR Manager on: 07814 039 983, or email eva@tiga.org


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