Ukie has today released their ‘Playing On‘ report, which demonstrates the games industry’s resilience in the face of the COVID-19 crisis, although it highlights some concerns about the mid to long term impacts of the crisis on the industry.
The report was developed in consultation with businesses from across the UK industry, and its findings were compiled from two sector surveys totalling over 300 responses and “features insights from 15 industry roundtables with over 50 companies, two cluster-specific sessions and two consultations with the Video Game Tax Relief Working Group.”
One of the most encouraging findings of the report is that 45 per cent of games businesses have been a slight increase in game revenue since the crisis, with a further 4 per cent reporting significant increases. Additionally, productivity remains high, with businesses working at 80 per cent productivity during the worst of the pandemic.
80 per cent of respondents said they have no plans to reduce head-counts in response to the crisis, and 63 per cent of businesses are reporting no risk of closure within the next 6 months. In fact, nearly a quarter of games businesses reported that they were continuing to recruit as the crisis unfolded.
Additionally, just 24 per cent of games businesses used government-funded support during the crisis, and only 17 per cent made use of the furlough scheme.
Still, it isn’t all good news. The report shows areas of concern for mid to long-term impacts of the crisis on the industry.
For instance, 56 per cent of businesses reported that they are are experiencing difficulties securing investment in the coming six months as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, with 24 per cent believing that these difficulties will be either significant or potentially business critical.
Looking further ahead, 67 per cent of businesses expect that future publishing deals will be negatively impact, and that delays may impact their bottom line.
In response to the findings, Ukie recommends the following courses of action:
- Expand the UK Games Development Fund – Significantly increase investment in IP through the creation of a Content Development Fund
- Video Games Tax Relief – Continue to support sectoral tax reliefs to ensure UK competitiveness
- International Trade – Scale up support for trade and investment activity, showcasing UK content and development globally
- Talent & Skills – Match fund an industry led skills programme
The full report can be found here.