BY THE NUMBERS
As the organisations that monitor the health of UK game development have changed over the past ten years, so has the shape of the data they produce. It makes consistent comparison of the UK scene over time testing for even the most devoted analysts, but there’s enough to go on to get a sense of the direction in which the region is moving.
In 2005, nowdefunct trade body ELSPA reported that 22,190 people worked in games within the UK, some 6,000 of those at studios. At the time that represented a year-onyear climb overall, but a fall in numbers actually making games. Some ten years later, the trade body had become UKIE, which, working with innovation charity NESTA, found 1,902 game companies in the UK in 2014 – an increase of 22 per cent over two years, and a figure that, considering studio sizes, suggests a parallel increase in headcount.
UK industry body TIGA, meanwhile, found in its own research that across 2013/14 closure rates fell by 30 per cent, while throughout 2014 industry headcount climbed some ten per cent across the UK. For 2016’s numbers to be pooled and published, the wait will go a good way into 2017, but this year follows consistent growth in terms of the numbers of people and companies making games in the UK, against an uncertain economic backdrop.