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Coronavirus creates remote working and financial challenges for the games industry, says TIGA

TIGA has published a new report that states that although the video games industry is relatively resilient to the COVID-19 lockdown, over four fifths of games businesses see remote working as a key challenge, and over 50 per cent predict that their revenue will decline during the pandemic. 

The report assesses the findings from TIGA’s recent ‘COVID-19: have your say‘ survey, alongside general feedback from businesses during the pandemic. Overall, the report assesses feedback from 55 UK businesses in the industry.

The survey revealed key three findings:

First, that 82 per cent of respondents regarded remote working as a key challenge due to the associated issues regarding the quality of the UK’s digital infrastructure and the impact on worker productivity.

Second, that 56 per cent of respondents expect their organisation’s income to fall during the pandemic, when compared to the previous financial year.

Third, 78 per cent support the Government’s existing business support measures, 56 per cent called for more financial support from the Government. Specifically, businesses call for assistance with rent and business rates, improvements to, and quick processing of, Video Games Tax Relief (VGTR) claims, and enhancements to the UK’s digital infrastructure. TIGA themselves recently called for VGTR claims to be processed ‘speedily’ during the crisis.

Dr Richard Wilson OBE, CEO of TIGA said:

“TIGA’s Coronavirus Report shows that the video games industry is relatively resilient to the Coronavirus engendered lockdown in comparison to some other economic sectors. Games development is a digital sector and work can be undertaken and delivered remotely. 

“However, the coronavirus pandemic has had negative effects on many studios. Games development is a collaborative process and remote working inevitably impacts upon this operation. Additionally, some games businesses have experienced financial challenges, including lost contracts, lost investment and diminished revenues.   

“The UK Government can support the video games industry in three principal ways. Firstly, by continuing to provide financial support such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the Bounce Back Loans Scheme and the HMT Future Fund (and accelerating Video Games Tax Relief claims). Secondly, by expanding the UK’s testing capacity so that employees can return to work with confidence. Thirdly, by continuing to enhance the UK’s digital infrastructure, including our broadband speeds, to ensure business resilience and effective remote working.” 

About Chris Wallace

Chris is MCV/DEVELOP's staff writer, joining the team after graduating from Cardiff University with a Master's degree in Magazine Journalism. He can regrettably be found on Twitter at @wallacec42, where he mostly explores his obsession with the Life is Strange series, for which he refuses to apologise.

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