Tax Relief fuels confidence in growth for the UK games industry

23 September 2015 - London, United Kingdom – Ukie’s 2015 member survey results indicate UK games businesses are confident of future growth in a global market place

Ahead of its AGM at EGX tomorrow, Ukie has revealed the results of its 2015 Member Survey. The results, collected from Ukie’s membership of developers, publishers, platform holders and games service providers, reveal a rise in the number of start-up games companies and confidence of further growth, fuelled by international deals and the introduction of the tax breaks last year.

The Ukie survey results show that 4 out of 5 UK games businesses are anticipating a period of growth for their company in the next 18 months. This statistic is an improvement on 2014, where 77% of respondents anticipated that their business would grow.

Significantly, this is particularly evident in UK developers, where 93% of respondents expect the next year and a half to bring growth for their company.

The Video Games Tax Relief, which came into effect in 2014, appears to have played a role in this expectation of growth, with 64% of developer respondents saying that they have been able to hire more staff as a direct result of a successful tax relief application. Nine out of 10 respondents plan to take advantage of the tax breaks for culturally relevant games in the future.

The survey also showed the huge growth in UK games businesses over the last few years, with nearly half the respondents to the survey (46%) being companies that have been in existence for 5 years or fewer. A majority of the businesses are also considered small or micro, with 61% employing 25 or fewer staff.

Despite the relative youth and small size of many games companies, the UK sector contributes £1.4bn GVA to the economy and the UK consumer market was estimated to be worth £3.6bn in 2014, ranking sixth worldwide.

The survey also revealed how active UK games businesses are in overseas markets. Over two thirds (68%) of Ukie members generated over 60% of their annual turnover from business outside of the UK, showing a huge export nature and international reputation of the products made in Britain. Ukie operates a global trade programme to help UK games businesses of all sizes to access international markets and forge overseas partnerships.

Ukie CEO, Dr Jo twist, commented on the results, saying, “It’s great to see such a confident outlook from UK games businesses as we continue to demonstrate that we are a hugely productive, growth sector of the future. Ukie lobbied hard for the Tax Relief to come into effect, and to see it having such an impact in actively growing our industry is amazing. Our survey also shows the importance of overseas markets to UK companies – our sector is competing against some major global competitors and our presence in the international markets is something of which we should all be proud. I look forward to seeing the further impact of the Tax Breaks, the introduction of more events in our global trade programme and the continued growth in the fantastic UK industry in the next 18 months.”

 

-ENDS –

 

Contacts

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About Ukie

The Association for United Kingdom Interactive Entertainment or Ukie (pronounced YOU-KEY) is a trade body that aims to support, grow and promote the whole of the UK’s games and interactive entertainment industry. Founded in 2010 (although formerly known as ELSPA), Ukie’s membership includes all the major UK and global games publishers and the best of UK development talent - from promising start-ups to some of the biggest, most successful studios operating in the UK today.

Ukie works with government to champion a range of issues including age ratings, education and skills, access to finance and protecting intellectual property rights. It also works with the media to ensure true and accurate representation of the sector by raising awareness of the industry’s positive economic contribution and the societal benefits of gaming to policy makers, regulators and consumers.

Some of the campaigns Ukie has been working on include the next gen skills campaign which pushed for computer science to be put back onto the national curriculum, Askaboutgames.com - a website where families can learn about playing games safely and sensibly and Ukie Student Membership which bridges the gap between education and industry for students leaving higher education.

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