Number of UK studio closures fell by 30% in 2014

Overall studio headcount increased by ten per cent
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The number of UK game studio closures fell by 30 per cent in 2014 compared to 2013, according to new research from TIGA.

Its findings revealed that there were 75 closures last year, compared to 107 during the year prior.

The number of start-ups has fallen however. 99 games companies were started in 2014 versus 224 new companies in 2013, a decline of 55 per cent.

Despite the falling number of start-ups, game studio headcount increased by ten per cent last year. This was due to the proportion of companies with 15 or more staff rising to 27 per cent. The UK remains dominated by micro studios of one to four staff.

“Over the last few years the UK video games industry has been afflicted by a high ‘death rate’, with studios closing down with significant regularity,” said TIGA CEO Richard Wilson.

“182 studios closed down or exited the industry over the last two years alone. Yet this tendency is diminishing. In 2014, 99 games companies started up and 75 closed down compared to 224 start-ups and 107 exits in 2013.

“Additionally, 2014 was the year that saw start-ups pass the growth baton to existing studios. Although the start-up rate was just 44 per cent of that of 2013, the UK games industry workforce grew by almost 10 per cent in 2014.

“This is encouraging. TIGA wants to see a flourishing developer and digital publisher sector, with strong numbers of start-ups, growing sustainable studios, a decline in the business mortality rate and an increase in overall studio numbers. TIGA’s vision is for an increase in the volume of studios with 15 or more staff so that there are more businesses in the UK capable of handling larger projects and investments and developing into world leading games companies.”

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