TIGA Press Releases

TIGA & GIC Highlight Potential of Casual Online Gaming With New Report

Publish Date: Tuesday 31st January 2012

TIGA, the trade association representing the UK games industry, said today that more UK games developers could unlock the potential of the casual games market with the right investment and commercial approach. New research commissioned by TIGA for the exclusive use of TIGA members profiles key components of the casual online games market, a sector that has grown rapidly in the last three years while the retail market has contracted.

The analysis of the casual online games sector and the wider UK developer market has been carried out by independent games research specialist Games Investor Consulting and by published by TIGA in Casual Online Games (TIGA, 2012). The report found that the fastest-growing casual online games market is games for web-based social networks with a value of $2bn in the west in 2011, a 100% increase over 2010. Despite this, just 24 UK games companies were making social network games last year. They employed 350 development staff and contributed £33m to UK GDP. This contrasts with:

  • 24 companies making MMOGs and virtual worlds in the UK with 700 staff, contributing £71 million to UK Gross Domestic Product.
  • 102 British games companies are making browser and download-based casual online PC games in the UK. They released over 600 titles in 2011, employed nearly 700 development staff and contributed £70m to UK GDP in 2011.

In addition to providing market size and UK developer contribution date, the report highlighted market demographics, business models, leading companies and detailed a range of threats and opportunities for UK developers such as:

  • Developers should consider targeting fast growing sub-sets of the markets such as hard-core social network games players and non English-speaking territories.
  • Developers integrating social and community features and new commercial models such as microtransactions typically demonstrate stronger growth potential.
  • International competition from cheaper development is threatening UK developers of casual PC games.

TIGA’s Casual Games Group is working to boost UK developers and digital publishers in the casual online video game sector by negotiating exclusive discounts for TIGA members and sharing best practice at networking events.

The TIGA Casual Games Meet Up in London on January 27th attracted over 100 leading figures in the industry to share knowledge and hear from a range of speakers. TIGA is also campaigning for measures to improve the availability of finance for UK game developers to enable them to invest in the fast-growing areas of the industry. TIGA’s proposals include:

  • a well-targeted tax break for games production, with a higher level of tax relief for small studios, in order to reduce the cost of game development and to enable the UK video games industry to compete on a level playing field.
  • a Creative Content Fund to provide match funding on a pound for pound basis up to a maximum of £100,000 in order to improve access to finance for small studios.
  • extending the scope of the Small Firms R&D Tax Credit to include the costs of IP protection, design costs and premises costs.
  • providing tax relief for expenditure on workforce development in small studios to address skill deficiencies.

TIGA believes that the adoption of these measures will enable the UK to achieve gains in the casual online video games sector as they will provide developers with greater resources to invest and to grow their businesses in this expanding market.

TIGA CEO Dr Richard Wilson said:
"This research shows that while British game developers are engaged in MMOGs, social network and casual games, there is significant scope for growth. TIGA is committed to assisting developers and digital publishers realise this potential through our Casual Games Group, which is helping to share knowledge and secure exclusive financial savings for TIGA members.

Additionally, TIGA will continue to campaign at the national level for the introduction of measures to enable start-ups and other studios to improve access to finance and so make greater investments in the growing areas of the videogames market.”

Notes to editors:
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 won 10 business awards and was nominated a finalist for 9 other awards during 2010 and 2011. In 2010 TIGA won two business awards including ‘Trade Association of the Year’ from the Trade Association Forum.

In 2011, TIGA won eight business awards including ‘Trade Association of the Year’ from the Trade Association Forum, ‘Outstanding Organisation’ from the Chartered Management Institute and two Global Business Excellence Awards, including ‘Outstanding Marketing Campaign’. Richard Wilson won the ‘Leadership Award’ from the Trade Association Forum and the ‘Outstanding Leader’ award from the Chartered Management Institute.

TIGA is an Investors in People organisation. TIGA's vision is to make the UK the best place in the world to do games business. We focus on three sets of activities: political representation, generating media coverage and developing services that enhance the competitiveness of our members. 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.

About Games Investor Consulting:
Games Investor Consulting is a unique provider of specialist games research, corporate finance and strategic management consultancy to over 80 games, media, government and finance clients to define precisely where to invest in and how to engage with the games industry.

Since 2003, GIC has provided commercial assessments of over 60 titles as well as consultancy services (such as marketing, monetisation and distribution optimisation) to over 40 companies such as Jagex, Eutechnyx, Ideaworks3D and eeGeo. GIC offers discounted commercial check-up services to TIGA members. For further information, please contact Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO on: 07875 939 643, or email richard.wilson@tiga.org.

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