The Scottish game industry employed 1,050 permanent and full-time equivalent game developers as of the end of 2014, according to a new TIGA report.
The figure represents 9.7 per cent of the UK’s total game developer headcount. Scotland is also home to 97 studios, which make up 11.1 per cent of the total number of UK game companies.
91 per cent of Scottish studios involved in the report house 14 or fewer members of staff, compared to 79 per cent across the UK. Just three per cent of Scotland-based developers employ more than 50 people, a figure that rises to 11 per cent for the entire UK.
The number of studios represents 11.1 per cent of the total number of game development companies in the UK.
The report also revealed that 56 per cent of Scotland’s game studios primarily develop for mobile and tablets. This compares to 48 per cent of studios across the whole of the UK that are focused on mobile development.
“Scotland has many exciting, growing and successful studios and games companies including 4J Studios, Blazing Griffin Games, Codeplay, deltaDNA, Firebrand, Kobojo, Ninja Kiwi Europe, Outplay, Tag, Ruffian, Speech Graphics and Rockstar,” said TIGA CEO Richard Wilson.
“The Scottish video games industry has grown in recent years, partly as a result of a surge in start-ups focused on mobile and tablet games development. The challenge now is to reduce the failure rate of games companies – 30 per cent of all UK games businesses have closed down over the last five years – and to encourage the growth of more durable studios with more staff that are capable of handling larger projects.
“Public policy towards the video games industry should be focused on improving access to finance, enhancing commercial skills (including marketing and PR), exploiting export opportunities and developing regional games clusters. Additionally, the UK and Scottish Governments should encourage Scottish games businesses to take advantage of existing measures including games tax relief, R&D tax credits and services provided by organisations such as Creative Scotland, Scottish Enterprise, Creative Skillset and Innovate UK.
“The Scottish and UK video games industries provide high skilled jobs in an export focused sector. Developing this successful industry is important not just for the games sector, but for the creative industries in general and for the UK and Scottish economies.”