Press Release- UK video games industry can support export led economic recovery

UK video games industry can support export led economic recovery 

TIGA, the trade association representing the UK games industry, said today that the video games industry could make an important contribution in supporting an export led economic recovery for the UK economy. TIGA made the comments to accompany the publication of a new research report entitled The UK Video Games Industry: Powering an Export Led Recovery <1> , which confirms that the games development sector has a very high propensity to export.

The report presents research on the UK video games development industry’s main export markets and what percentage of turnover is generated by exports. The report also looks at which markets UK games developers consider to be the most important emerging markets for exports in the future. 

Dr Richard Wilson, CEO of TIGA, said:

“The UK needs an export led recovery to power economic growth. The video games sector can make an important contribution towards achieving this objective. TIGA’s research shows that 95 per cent of UK games businesses export their products (games), compared to just one third of small and medium-sized enterprises generally <2>. Additionally, on average, 45 per cent of a games business’s turnover is generated from the export of games.

“For 65 per cent of UK games businesses, the USA constitutes one of their most important geographical markets. This is confirmed by the fact that UK games businesses including Blitz Games, Doublesix, Eutechnyx, Headstrong, Kuju Entertainment, Firebrand Games, Rebellion, Relentless Software and Zoe Mode are attending E3 on June 7 th– 9th 2011, the annual video game conference and show at the Los Angeles Convention Centre.


“UK games businesses want to increase their exports. 36 per cent of UK developers want to expand their business in the USA. 24 per cent wish to increase their business in Japan and 19 per cent are interested in growing their business in China.

“The Government can help the games industry to contribute towards export led economic growth in the UK by introducing TIGA’s Games Tax Relief and by expanding the scope of the existing Small Firms R&D Tax Credit. Other things being equal, these measures would have the effect of enabling many UK owned games businesses to expand their operations and export still more content.

“The Government should also expand UKT&I’s Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP). TAP supports UK businesses looking to exhibit at overseas trade shows by providing eligible firms with grants. Additionally, TAP grants should be deployed more flexibly to cover travel and accommodation costs as well exhibition expenses. This would enable more eligible SMEs in general and games businesses in particular to attend trade shows, thereby enhancing their potential to export.”

Jason Kingsley, TIGA Chairman and CEO and Creative Director at Rebellion said:

“UK games developers are export oriented. My own business, maker of games including The Simpsons and Aliens vs Predator, generates 90% of its turnover from exports. TIGA will continue to support UK games businesses to fulfil their export potential through the UKT&I’s TAP programme. Additionally, because TIGA has been named as the official partner for this year’s Gamescom event in Cologne, we will oversee the UK's official presence and promotion throughout Gamescom. TIGA will highlight the inherent creativity and quality of the UK video games sector at Gamescom, which runs from August 17th - 21st.”


Notes for editors

About TIGA:

TIGA is the trade association representing the UK’s games industry. The majority of our members are either independent games developers or in-house publisher owned developers. We also have games publishers, outsourcing companies, technology businesses and universities amongst our membership. TIGA was awarded‘Trade Association of the Year’ and the‘Member Recruitment Award’ at the Trade Association Forum Best Practice Awards 2010. TIGA has also been named as a finalist in the 2010 Chartered Management Institute (CMI) National Management and Leadership Awards in the category of‘The Outstanding Organisation of the Year Award (SME)’. TIGA is an Investors in People organisation.

TIGA's vision is to make the UK the best place in the world to do games business.  We focus on three sets of activities: political representation, generating media coverage and developing services that enhance the competitiveness of our members.  This means that TIGA members are effectively represented in the corridors of power, their voice is heard in the media and they receive benefits that make a material difference to their businesses, including a reduction in costs and improved commercial opportunities.

For further information, please contact Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO on 07875939643: or email ; or contact David Hodges on 02070911653

<1> The UK Video Games Industry: Powering an Export Led Recovery is available from the TIGA website This report is based on a survey of 104 games businesses. The majority of the businesses participating in this survey are small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), employing 249 or fewer employees.

<2>‘State of the UK economy. Part 3: international opportunities’ ( Financial Times, May 10 th2011).



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