Strong growth for Scots video games industry

The Scottish video games industry’s development headcount grew by 25% between December 2014 and March 2016, according to trade association TIGA.

This was more than twice the UK national average and the second fastest growth in the UK after Wales.

Scotland also became the third largest games cluster in the UK, after the south east of England and London.

TIGA’s research shows that Scotland has 1,290 permanent and full-time equivalent creative staff working on games development in 85 companies — up from 1,050 staff in 97 companies in 2014.

Scotland is home to 9.4% of the UK’s games companies and 9.8% of its developer headcount.

TIGA said Scotland’s games development sector supports an additional 2,408 indirect jobs.

It said that annually, Scottish games development companies are estimated to invest nearly £62 million in salaries and overheads, contribute £56 million in direct and indirect tax revenues to HM Treasury, and make a direct and indirect contribution of nearly £138 million to the UK’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO, said: “TIGA’s latest research shows that the Scottish video games industry grew dramatically in 2015-16.

“The Scottish video games industry is now the third largest games cluster, after the South East and London.

“The Scottish games sector is diverse, with companies working in games for mobile, online, educational and console markets. 

“If the Scottish video games industry is to continue to grow then we need to ensure that more Scottish games companies benefit from Games Tax Relief and Research and Development Tax Credits, both of which effectively reduce the cost of games development.

“We also need to provide start-ups and small studios with better access to finance and business advice.

“To achieve this, TIGA has proposed the introduction of a Games Investment Fund.

“The Games Investment Fund could make grants or loans available to games businesses on a matched funding basis.

“The Games Investment Fund would also provide a commercial mentoring business advisory service, staffed by industry veterans, for games companies that access its grants or loans.

“A favourable tax regime, better access to finance and the provision of professional business advice will enable the Scottish video games industry to enjoy further growth in the years ahead.”