The UK games industry contributed a record £2.91bn to the national economy in 2019

The UK games industry made a record contribution to the UK economy in 2019, according to new economic estimates released by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

The industry provided £2.91bn in gross value added (GVA) through development and publishing in 2019 – an increase of 9.1 per cent y/y, and higher than the industry’s total economic contribution to the economy in 2016, as listed in the October 2018 screen business report.

Ukie broke down the figures in a blog post, pointing out how this news highlights the importance of the industry to the UK economy, particularly after the impact of COVID-19 on many other industries. The trade body’s ‘Playing On’ report, released in July, demonstrated that “that UK games businesses were operating at an average of over 80% productivity even during the most restrictive lockdown period.”

“These new figures underline how successfully, and quickly, the UK industry is growing,” said Ukie’s Dr Jo Twist, OBE. “With levelling up firmly on the Government’s agenda, it makes perfect sense to back a sector that has 55% of game development roles based outside London.

“That’s why we’re calling for greater and longer-term investment into the UK Games Fund and into an industry matched skills fund. The UK needs to show it can lead the world while backing local communities and the best way to do that is to back the modern, innovative and resilient games sector.”

While these Government figures show the impact of game development and publishing, Ukie states that a full scope of the industry’s impact on the economy will be explored in further detail early next year.

In partnership with Ukie, the BFI will launch their second ‘Screen Business’ report, examining key measurements around employment, economic contribution and productivity in the UK games industry, as well as deep-diving in the specific impacts of the Video Game Tax Relief and UK-made games.

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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