The UK games industry’s contributions to the economy almost doubled in three years

The BFI has released its Screen Business report, showing that both the number of jobs in the UK games industry and its overall economic contribution have reached record highs.

According to the report, the games industry’s total gross value add (GVA) grew 81 per cent between 2016 and 2019, from £2.91bn in 2016 to £5.26bn in 2019.

Additionally, the number of full-time equivalents jobs (FTEs) supported by the industry grew 54 per cent in the same period. FTEs supported by the industry grew from 47,730 in 2016, to 73,370 in 2019 – of which 24,020 were direct developing and publishing roles.

Those roles are becoming increasingly more productive too, with the report finding that the average GVA per FTE (we love acronyms here at MCV/DEVELOP) reached £121,000 in 2019 – the largest in the screen sector and nearly double the UK average of £66,100

The report also tracked the industry’s regional impact. While London remains the UK’s largest gaming hub at 21,974 FTEs and generated £2.06bn in GVA, the industry also generated over £100m in GVA and supported over 2000 FTEs across eight regions of the UK (East Midlands, East of England, North East, North West, Scotland, South East, West Midlands and Yorkshire and the Humber).

While 36 per cent of GVA growth was in London, the remaining 64 per cent occurred elsewhere in the UK. The West Midlands in particular saw significant growth, seeing a 132% increase in GVA between 2017 and 2019. Scotland’s GVA meanwhile saw a 77 per cent growth during the same period. Overall, the eight previously mentioned regions saw a total GVA increase of over 25 per cent during the same period.

“The latest Screen Business report demonstrates the healthy growth of the UK’s video games and interactive entertainment ecosystem, one which is supporting jobs and contributing significantly to the economy right across the country,” said Dr Jo Twist OBE, CEO of Ukie.

“Policies such as Video Games Tax Relief have played an immensely important role in supporting our thriving sector, which is an important part of the creative economy. We look forward to working with Government to identify ways to continue to strengthen the ecosystem to create more jobs in this highly innovative and creative sector.”

The report was commissioned by the BFI through its National Lottery-supported Research and Statistics Fund, and supported by Ukie, TIGA, the British Film Commission, Pact, Pinewood Group and the UK Screen Alliance.

About Chris Wallace

Chris is a freelancer writer and was MCV/DEVELOP's staff writer from November 2019 until May 2022. He joined the team after graduating from Cardiff University with a Master's degree in Magazine Journalism. He can 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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