British Film Institute figures show that a record 247 video games received final certification for Video Game Tax Relief (VGTR) in 2019

UK spend on games reaching final certification for the relief reached £582.6 million, up 189% from £201.9 million in 2018.

Analysing the BFI data, Ukie says that this acceleration in UK development spend in 2019, spurred by the culmination of the current console cycle, also highlights the importance of the UK industry in the global games production supply chain, with high budget international products investing significant expenditure in the UK.

Ukie says that this is clear in the data from the significant rise in overall product budgets (quadrupling to £1.16 billion) and the related proportion in UK expenditure shifting from 76.5% to 50.2%. This indicates that development work in the UK is an integral part of multinational projects that may otherwise have been made elsewhere.

This tallies with the findings of the BFI’s “Screen Business” report, which showed that 63% of VGTR-supported games would not have been made in the UK (or perhaps at all) without the benefit of accessing the relief. It also supported over 9,240 games jobs in 2016.

Ukie says that the UK’s position at the heart of the global games industry supply chain provides enormous regional economic benefits across the UK.

The culmination of the current console cycle is also likely seen in the reduction in games receiving interim certification, from 174 to 134 in 2019, as businesses prepare for the arrival of the next generation of hardware. To read Ukie’s analysis and for a link to the BFI data, click here.