TIGA, the trade association representing the video games industry, released a Business Opinion Survey (BOS) today which shows that while the industry is set for a year of growth, less than half of respondents consider that the UK remains a favourable environment for the games industry. 72 per cent of respondents plan to grow their organisation’s workforce during 2021, but only 48 per cent believe that the UK’s economic and business environment is favourable to the video games industry.
TIGA’s research was carried out at the end of 2020. The survey is based upon a representative sample of 53 games businesses including small, medium and large firms, developing games across mobile/tablet, VR, PC and console.
TIGA’s Business Opinion Survey 2020-21 includes the following key findings:
- Employment: 72 per cent of respondents plan to grow their organisation’s workforce over the next year. 19 per cent expect to keep their organisation’s workforce at current levels. 9 per cent think that their organisation’s workforce will diminish.
- Economic environment: 48 per cent of respondents to the TIGA survey believe that the economic and business environment in the UK is favourable to the video games industry (down from 65 per cent of respondents in last year’s BOS). 31 per cent consider that the environment is neither favourable nor unfavourable to the sector, 17 per cent feel that it is unfavourable (up from 11 per cent a year ago). 4 per cent did not express a view.
- Performance: 70 per cent of respondents reported that their company was performing either ‘very well’ or ‘well’ (compared to a figure of 61 per cent in last year’s BOS). 19 per cent said that their company was performing ‘neither well nor badly’. 11 per cent reported that their company was performing ‘badly’ or ‘very badly’ (up from 7 per cent in the previous survey 12 months ago).
- Prospects: 48 per cent of respondents said that they were more optimistic about their company’s prospects compared to 12 months ago. 25 per cent reported that they were neither more nor less optimistic. 22 per cent said that they were less optimistic. 6 per cent did not know.
- Obstacles to success: 36 per cent cited discoverability as the biggest obstacle to the success of their business (unchanged from last year’s survey). 25 per cent identified skills shortages and skills gaps. 19 per cent referred to limited access to finance. 15 per cent noted disruption caused by Covid-19. 6 per cent identified ‘Other’ obstacles.
Dr Richard Wilson OBE, TIGA CEO, said: “The UK video games industry is set for growth, with 72 per cent of respondents to our Business Opinion Survey expecting to increase employment over the coming year. However, just 48 per cent of games businesses in our survey believe that the UK’s economic and business environment is favourable to the sector. This is down from 65 per cent in 2019 and represents the lowest proportion of games businesses viewing the UK’s environment as favourable since 2015.
“The Government can strengthen the sector by taking three actions. Firstly, enhance Video Games Tax Relief (VGTR) by raising the rate of relief from 25 to 32 per cent to ensure a favourable tax environment that promotes growth in the sector. Secondly, introduce a Video Games Investment Fund (VGIF) to improve studios’ access to finance. The VGIF would make grants or loans of between £75,000 to £500,000 available to games businesses on a matched funding basis. Thirdly, increase the supply of well-educated graduates who are able to work in the games industry and enable our employers to recruit highly skilled people from abroad.”