TIGA Press Releases

Game Britain 2011

Publish Date: Thursday 6th October 2011

TIGA Survey Reveals the State of the UK Games Development Sector

TIGA, the trade association representing the UK video games industry, is set to announce results from its annual survey of game development businesses. The data will provide a fascinating insight into the changing face of an industry that contributed approximately £1 billion to UK Gross Domestic Product (GDP) last year.

Designed to provide an accurate and comprehensive picture of the development industry in the UK, the survey is based on a survey of 104 game development businesses, 72 per cent of whom are TIGA members. The report illustrates the diversity that exists within the UK development sector in terms of size, location and scope of business. Overall the report illuminates some of the new trends that are shaping the sector.



  • Game developers are increasingly publishing their own games.
  • 47 per cent of developers now self-publish some of their own games.
  • Of those game developers who are self-publishing, 67 per cent publish for the iPhone, 45 per cent for the iPad, 41 per cent for PC, 31 per cent for Facebook, 31 per cent for PSN, 16 per cent for Xbox Live Arcade, 12 per cent for WiiWare and 14 per cent for other mobiles and PDAs.

Cancellation of game projects

  • More than a fifth of games developers have worked on a game which has been cancelled before the project was complete.
  • Cancelled projects can hit developers hard and massively impact on finances.

Foreign subsidies holding back UK games development companies

  • A third of UK game developers are being held back by subsidies handed to companies making games abroad. 17 states in the USA, as well as countries such as Australia, Canada and France, all receive national or regional/state tax, meaning that UK developers are at a disadvantage in the global market.
  • Nearly a fifth of companies say their employees have left their business to work for games developers outside of the UK.
  • 74 per cent of developers supported a tax break for games production to enable them to compete on a level playing field.
  • Two fifths of developers report difficulty in accessing finance.

Principal markets

  • The UK, the USA, the EU, the rest of Europe and Canada are game developers’ main markets.
  • This year, China has emerged as a market in which UK developers would like to expand, joining the more established marketplaces of the USA, Japan, Canada and the EU.

Generating income from games

  • 50 per cent of respondents to the TIGA survey say retail is still the largest monetisation mechanic for their games. 47 per cent say their games are also sold via online stores such as XBLA and the Apple App Store. 13 per cent generate money from subscriptions, 26 per cent via micro transactions and 29 per cent use free-to-play mechanics.

In-game advertising

  • 27 per cent of game developers surveyed incorporate in-game advertising into their games.

A high skilled, high technology sector

  • Almost two-fifths of developers have a budget for R&D.
  • The typical studio will have around 80 per cent of staff qualified to degree level or above.

Cost of game development

  • On average, developers surveyed spent £2,401,000 to develop a game over the last year. This figure is based on the cost of developing games on all types of platforms.


About TIGA:

TIGA is the trade association representing the UK’s games industry.The majority of our members are either independent games developers or in-house publisher owned developers.We also have games publishers, outsourcing companies, technology businesses and universities amongst our membership. TIGA was awarded ‘Trade Association of the Year’ and the ‘Member Recruitment Award’ at the Trade Association Forum Best Practice Awards 2010. In 2011, TIGA won a further four awards at the Trade Association Forum Best Practice Awards, including ‘Trade Association of the Year’ for the second consecutive year.

TIGA has been voted a finalist in the CMI Management and Leadership Awards 2011 in the ‘Outstanding Organisation (SME)’ category. Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO, has been voted a finalist in the ‘Outstanding Leader’ category. TIGA was also named as a finalist in the 2010 Chartered Management Institute (CMI) National Management and Leadership Awards in the category of ‘The Outstanding Organisation of the Year Award (SME)’. TIGA is an ‘Investors in People’ accredited organisation.

TIGA is the trade association representing the UK’s games industry. Our vision is to make the UK the best place in the world to do games business. Our mission is to fight for the interests of game developers. To achieve our vision and mission we focus on the delivery of three strategic objectives: effective political representation, profile raising and helping our members commercially. This means that TIGA members are effectively represented in the corridors of power, their voice is heard in the media and they receive benefits that make a material difference to their businesses, including a reduction in costs and improved commercial opportunities.

For further information, please contact Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO on: 07875 939 643, or email richard.wilson@tiga.org.

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