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Games developers to be in demand in 2016

The UK video games industry is set to grow over the next year, with more than 70% of employers planning to make new hires

More than 70% of UK video games firms plan to grow their workforce in 2016, research has found.

Game developer’s network Tiga found that 72% of games firms in the UK plan to hire more people in 2016 as part of an increase in investment.

More than half of UK games firms also said 2016 will be better for research and development, training and developing new titles than 2015. Some 66% also expect their profit to increase in the next 12 months.

Tiga CEO Richard Wilson claimed this expected growth is down to an increase in the consumer games market let by tablet and mobile penetration.

“The consumer market for games is significant and growing. Games are played in 70% of households and more than 50% of all UK adults are mobile gamers,” said Wilson.
“The increasing prevalence of mobile and tablet devices, the new console generation and the advent of virtual reality and augmented reality are stimulating investment in games.”

This shift towards a more mobile and tablet applications market has seen a change in demographic for many games companies, and it was recently found that more than half of gamers are female.

Wilson said the recent games tax relief initiative, set in motion by the UK government in 2014 in a bid to support UK creative industries, is playing an important role in the growth of the industry.

“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 2,700 development jobs and £320 million in investment over the next five years,” said Wilson.

Many believe creative businesses such as the gaming, film making and web development industries will be important in promoting the digital skills employees of the future will need.

The government has recently backed a number of initiatives promoting creative industries and digital skills, such as NextGen Skills Academy, and has promoted video games startups by providing grants up to £25,000 from the Video Games Prototype Fund to help with development costs.

However, although 63% of gaming firms believe the UK economic environment is currently in favour of games development, 46% still say a limited access to finance is holding them back.

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