As with the start of any new year the videogame industry looks towards the next 12 months and the opportunities for growth and continued success. Today The Independent Games Developers Association (TIGA) has published its latest Business Opinion Survey 2016/17, outlining that the UK videogames industry would see increased investment and expanded employment across mobile, PC, console and virtual reality (VR).
The TIGA report was based on a survey of 50 games businesses from across the country, featuring several key findings. 50 percent of respondents reported that the outlook for investment in their business was better than 12 months ago, while 30 said its was unchanged and 20 percent said less.
88 percent of respondents plan to grow their organisation’s workforce over the next year, with 72 percent of respondents reporting that company performance was either ‘very well’ or ‘well’. Only 6 percent reported that their company was performing ‘badly’ or ‘very badly’.
Profits are forecast to increase with 64 percent of those responding to the TIGA survey forecasting their company’s net profits over the next 12 months would be up. 28 percent expected profits to remain the same, while 8 percent forecast that profits would fall. Even though 60 percent expect that their prices will remain the same while 40 percent of studios in the survey expect that their prices for customers will increase during 2017.
Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO, said: “The UK video games development and digital publishing sector is set to grow in 2017. Our survey shows that games businesses in mobile, VR, PC and console are planning to increase investment and employment. This growth is being driven by three factors. Firstly, the consumer market for games is big, broad and burgeoning. The UK is the sixth largest market for games in the world and 31.6 million people in the UK play games. Secondly, the spread of mobile and tablet devices, the new console generation, the growth of PC games and the advent of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are prompting investment in games. Thirdly, Video Games Tax Relief, which TIGA played a decisive role in achieving, is fanning the flame of growth. Games Tax Relief effectively reduces the cost and risk of games development and it incentivises investment and job creation in the games industry. Games Tax Relief is predicted to create 2,800 new development jobs and £331 million in investment between 2016 and 2020.”
TIGA does highlight some obstacles though. 34 percent said that the principal obstacle holding back their businesses was limited access to finance. 16 percent identified skills shortages and skills gaps. Other various obstacles included: lack of VR hardware; diversity; and the challenge of localisation.
VRFocus will continue its coverage of the UK videogame industry, reporting back with any further updates.