Scottish Video Games Industry Grew by 9 Percent in 2014

TIGA, the network for game developers and digital publishers, and trade association representing the UK video games industry, released new findings today which show that employment in the Scottish video games development sector grew by 9 per cent in 2014.

This increase is broadly in line with the rest of the UK, and is accompanied by growth in the number of Scottish game development studios as well as a rise in Scottish games industry investment.

The findings come from TIGA’s definitive annual report into the state and health of the UK videogame industry Making Games in the UK Today: 2015 which is based on a rigorous and extensive survey of UK games businesses, with analysis by Games Investor Consulting.

TIGA’s research shows that for Scotland’s games industry, between December 2013 and December 2014:

the number of game development studios grew from 94 to 97, an increase of 3.2 per cent;
the number of creative staff in studios grew from 964 to 1,050, an increase of 8.9 per cent;
the number of jobs indirectly supported by studios rose from 1,762 to 1,920, an increase of 9 per cent;
combined direct and indirect tax revenues generated by the sector for the Treasury increased from £41 million to £44 million, an increase of 8.9 per cent;
annual investment by studios rose from £45 million to £49 million, an increase of 8.9 per cent; and
the games development sector’s contribution to UK GDP increased from £99 million to nearly £108 million, an increase of 9.1 per cent.

This means that Scotland now represents 11.1 per cent of the UK’s total games companies. This compares to 11.4 per cent in 2013 and 8.8 per cent in 2012.

Scotland also represents 9.7 per cent of the UK’s total developer headcount, which is unchanged from 2013, and up from 9 per cent in 2012.

Games Tax Relief in Scotland

Following TIGA’s eight-year campaign for Games Tax Relief (GTR), the EU Commission finally authorised the measure in the UK in March 2014. GTR has since been rolled out and, as at April 2015, 19 games had received final certification and 48 games had received interim certification[1] from the British Film Institute having received the cultural approval necessary for GTR eligibility[2].

New research from TIGA and Games Investor Consulting indicates the impact of GTR in Scotland. Over five years, GTR in Scotland:

should create over 260 new studio jobs and safeguard over 140 existing studio jobs;
should create over 400 indirect jobs and protect nearly 260 indirect jobs that risk being lost if Games Tax Relief is repealed;
GTR should therefore create and protect 1,060 direct and indirect jobs
GTR should continue to increase investment from games development companies by over £34m and protect investment by £4m that could be under threat without GTR;
it should raise tax receipts by £44m and protect an additional £16m if GTR is not delivered;
GTR should increase the Scottish games industry’s GDP contribution by £108m and protect an additional £39m that could result from a decline scenario without GTR.

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