The Scottish games industry grew 17 per cent in 18 months, says TIGA

New data released by TIGA shows that employment  in the Scottish video games development industry grew 17 per cent between November 2018 and April 2020.

Scotland is the fourth largest games cluster in the UK, after London, the South East and the North West.

TIGA’s research shows that Scotland has 1,803 permanent and full-time equivalent creative staff working on games development in 96 companies. This an increase from 84 companies employing 1,537 staff back in November 2018.

Additionally, according to TIGA Scotland is home to 7.3 per cent of the UK’s total games companies and 10.7 per cent of its developer headcount. Compared to 2018, the comparable figures were 7.9 per cent and 10.7 per cent, respectively.

Scotland’s games development sector supports an additional 3,296 indirect jobs, up from 2,810 in November 2018.

Annually, Scottish games development companies are estimated to invest £106 million in salaries and overheads, contribute £97 million in direct and indirect tax revenues to HM Treasury, and make a direct and indirect contribution of £236 million to the UK’s GDP.

“Employment in the Scottish video games industry grew by over 17 per cent between November 2018 and April 2020,” said TIGA CEO Dr Richard Wilson OBE. “Growth in headcount has been driven in part by inward investment by several major overseas companies, such as Epic and Unity; partly by strong growth in Scotland’s larger studios; and partly by a spate of start-ups.  

“Scotland represents the fourth largest games cluster in the UK. Scotland has a critical mass of experienced games developers;  renowned universities preparing skilled graduates for the games industry, including TIGA Accredited Abertay University; and supportive agencies including Scottish Enterprise and Creative Scotland. The UK Games Fund is also based in Dundee.

“We can ensure that the environment for the Scottish games industry remains favourable for growth in three ways. Firstly, by enhancing Video Games Tax Relief, a measure which effectively reduce the cost of games development. Secondly, by introducing a Video Games Investment Fund (VGIF) and developing the UK Games Fund  to improve access to finance. Thirdly, by continuing to strengthen industry-university links, enhance skils and training and enable UK games companies to recruit highly skilled workers from the EU and beyond.”

About Chris Wallace

Chris is a freelancer writer and was MCV/DEVELOP's staff writer from November 2019 until May 2022. He joined the team after graduating from Cardiff University with a Master's degree in Magazine Journalism. He can be found on Twitter at @wallacec42, where he mostly explores his obsession with the Life is Strange series, for which he refuses to apologise.

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