The UK’s development community is bigger than it ever been, with close to 12,000 people making games.
The figure comes from a new study by trade body TIGA, which shows the UK video games development scene has grown to record levels in 2016.
The developer headcount, encompassing both ‘full-time and full-time equivalent staff’, has reached 11,893 – up 7.5 per cent since last year. The number of jobs indirectly supported by studios was reported as 21,744, up from 19,872 last year.
Developers are also generating significant revenues for the UK economy. TIGA claims the sector’s contrbution to the UK GDP (Gross Domestic Produce) was £1.25bn for the 12 months ending March 2016. That’s over £100,000 more than the £1.1bn contributed last year.
Investment by studios rose from £503m to £562m, and the combined direct and indirect tax revenues they generated for the Treasury reached £514m, up from £460m.
“The industry’s growth over the last year has been driven by three factors,” said TIGA CEO Dr Richard Wilson. “Firstly, the games market is buoyant, with new opportunities continuing to arise in mobile, PC gaming, console and VR and AR, which have combined to stimulate investment and job creation.
“Secondly, start-ups have increased in number while existing medium and larger studios have expanded, suggesting that we are getting closer to the efficient industry eco-system that TIGA has long fought for.
“Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, Games Tax Relief (GTR) is powering growth. There is now a clear causal link between the advent of GTR and headcount growth in the UK games development sector.”