A new report, commissioned by games trade body Ukie, launches at a high-level Parliament event today. The Blueprint for Growth report sets out a series of recommendations for the decision makers in UK parliament that will see the industry grow by an estimated £1bn by 2020.
The independent report, conducted by Olsberg SPI on behalf on the trade body, is based on a series of consultations with over 40 stakeholders from across industry and government. It also includes a literature review of over 60 reports, evaluations, and policy proposal documents, relating to both the UK and the global games industry.
The Blueprint tracks the evolution of the UK games industry since the 1980s, demonstrating the fast-evolving business models unique to the sector, and the perfect blend of British creativity and innovations in technology used by games businesses that have helped the UK become one of the most successful games exporters in the world.
The report also identifies a number of market failures that the sector faces which threaten the global competitiveness and standing of the UK games industry, as well as its potential to spill over and transfer knowledge, skills and innovation to other creative digital sectors. It follows with a series of recommendations that will collectively lead to the UK games sector contributing another £1bn annually to the British economy.
These recommendations include:
1. UK and EU funding to fully and equitably recognise the contribution of games, ensuring effective support alongside other creative industries
2. Support regional growth, FDI and exports across the UK
3. Grow, attract and retain the best talent
4. Create the best tax environment and digital marketplace to do business worldwide
5. Promote games-as-culture and celebrate cutting-edge UK innovation
Each of these key recommendations is cemented with realistic actions that parliament members can take to ensure that the recommendations are satisfied. The fulfilling of these recommendations, the report states, will create more economic return in the games industry and create an environment that allows start-up games businesses to flourish.
The Blueprint for Growth Report will be officially launched at Ukie’s Annual Westminster Reception. The evening reception will be the culmination of the trade body’s first Westminster Video Games Industry Day, where leading names in the UK games industry will visit Parliament for a day of activity designed to showcase successes of the industry, and lobby and educate MPs to the needs of the sector. Minister of State for Culture and Digital Economy Ed Vaizey will deliver a keynote speech at the event to an audience of MPs, Ukie members and key stakeholders.
Other key figures from the report include:
- 21 million people play games in the UK
- The UK’s games market is currently worth £3.944bn
- 44% of UK games players are female; 22% are aged 45-64
- There are 1,900 games companies in the UK
- There are twelve established clusters throughout the UK, from Dundee to Leamington Spa to Bristol, and six further areas with critical mass
- 95% of games companies are SMEs with clear potential for growth
Dr Jo Twist, CEO of Ukie, said “The UK Games industry blends the best of British creativity with leading technology, creating successful games exported around the world. It’s great to see this report unequivocally recognise this and show that games is now one of the UK’s major creative sectors, a source of economic growth and a mainstream part of British culture.
Government already recognises that the games sector can help meet their ambitions for increasing prosperity in the regions and doubling UK exports and the report outlines how this can be achieved. This can only be achieved by working in partnership with industry, looking globally but acting locally to maximise the potential of the UK sector in a digitally connected global marketplace.”
Chris White, MP for Warwick and Leamington, and Chair of APPG for Video Games, said, “The Blueprint for Growth report raises a number of important questions when considering support for the games sector in the UK in the years ahead. As Chair of the APPG on Video Games, and the MP for an area with a rapidly expanding games industry, I know just how important it is to support the sector.
I hope that the Government will take note of the findings of the report and that we can all work together to ensure that the UK games industry grows on the world stage, taking as much of the projected 7.9% annual growth rate in global revenues as possible.”
Noirin Carmody, COO and owner of Revolution Software, and Chair of the Ukie Board, said, “This Blueprint for Growth report highlights the fantastic successes of our innovative and fast-moving sector, and outlines how the Government can act to help our industry continue to grow and flourish. The recommended interventions will help the sector grow and create the perfect environment for the UK to become the world’s leading destination for games development.”
Andrew Barnes, Associate Director of Olsberg SPI, said, “This report represents a comprehensive overview of the state of the UK games industry, and highlights the tremendous growth of the sector over the last few years. In conducting this report, the consultancy Olsberg SPI interviewed stakeholders across industry and the public sector, undertaking an independent evaluation of their perspectives together with researching a broad range of other data. We look forward to seeing where the UK games industry will be by 2020 if the recommendations set out in this report are followed.”