Video games industry trade association TIGA has published its Business Opinion Survey 2021-2022 showing that 68% of respondents plan to grow their organisation’s workforce during 2022. Additionally, 70% of respondents consider that the United Kingdom has a favourable business and economic environment for the games industry.
TIGA’s research was carried out in December 2021. The survey is based upon a sample of 57 games businesses, including small, medium and large firms, developing games across mobile or tablet, virtual reality, PC and console.
The survey includes the following key findings:
- employment – 68% of respondents plan to grow their organisation’s workforce over the next year; 30% expect to keep their organisation’s workforce at current levels; 2% think that their organisation’s workforce will diminish (down from 9% in the previous survey);
- economic environment – 70% of respondents believe that the economic and business climate is favourable to the video games industry; 11% consider that the environment is neither favourable nor unfavourable to the sector; 19% feel that it is unfavourable;
- performance – 60% of respondents reported that their company was performing either “very well” or “well” (compared with a figure of 70% in last year’s survey); 32% said that their company was performing “neither well nor badly”; 9% reported that their company was performing “badly” or “very badly” (down from 11% in the previous survey);
- prospects – 53% of respondents said that they were more optimistic about their company’s prospects compared with 12 months ago; 35% reported that they were neither more nor less optimistic; 12% said that they were less optimistic;
- obstacles to success – 40% cited skills shortages and skills gaps as the biggest obstacle to the success of their business (up from 25% last year); 19% cited discoverability (down from 36% last year); 18% referred to limited access to finance; 7% noted the disruption caused by the pandemic; 4% referred to difficulties accessing games tools, engines and middleware and 12% identified “other” obstacles;
- costs – 83% of respondents anticipate that their company’s costs (eg, employment, equipment, electricity, etc) are likely to increase over the next 12 months; and
- competition – countries including Canada, France and many states within the United States provide a variety of incentives to attract foreign direct investment into games, and now Ireland plans to introduce its own tax relief for games development.
Dr Richard Wilson OBE, TIGA’s chief executive officer, said:
The Government can strengthen the sector by taking three actions. Firstly, enhance Video Games Tax Relief (VGTR) by raising the rate of relief from 25 to 32 per cent to promote growth in the sector. Secondly, introduce a Video Games Investment Fund (VGIF) to improve studios’ access to finance. The VGIF would provide funding of up to £500,000 available to games businesses on a matched funding basis. Thirdly, increase the supply of well-educated graduates who can work in the games industry and promote training in the sector via a Skills Investment Fund.
To read TIGA’s press release in full, click here.