HomeInsightsUkie reports on Government figures showing that UK games industry made record £2.91 billion contribution to UK economy in 2019

Article by

The UK Games Industry has made the largest contribution to the national economy on record, according to new economic estimates released by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). Game development and publishing directly contributed £2.91 billion in GVA (gross value added) to the UK economy in 2019, delivering a year-on-year increase of 9.1% from 2018, clearly showing the continuing health and growth of the sector.

The last independent economic measurement of the UK Games Industry, the BFI’s Screen Business report (Oct 2018), showed the total economic impact of the sector in 2016, including that of the wider games ecosystem of support services, retail, esports and merchandising, to be £2.87bn. These new Government figures show that just three years later, this has now been exceeded by the contribution of development and publishing alone, Ukie says.

Ukie says that these new statistics also clearly highlight the importance of the games industry to the future of the nation’s economy and recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. Ukie’s “Playing On” report, released in July 2020, showed that UK games businesses were operating at an average of over 80% productivity even during the most restrictive lockdown period. The industry’s resilience, combined with these record-breaking economic figures, show that this is a future-proof sector, ready to help build back the British economy post-COVID-19.

Interestingly, Ukie says, this latest official data also provides insight into the impact of Ukie’s 2016 campaign to improve Government measures through the improvement of Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes in the sector. The DCMS figures, which are based on SIC code definitions, show a massive 142% increase in reported GVA for the sector between 2016 and 2017 (from £0.96 billion to £2.32 billion). Over the same period, Ukie says that its SIC campaign helped around a third of UK games businesses to change their SIC codes to those officially designated for the sector, according to UK Games Map data.

While these new Government figures provide insight into the impact of game development and publishing, the full size and economic contribution of the entire UK games industry will be explored in further detail in early 2021 with the launch of a number of new resources.

The BFI, again in partnership with Ukie, will launch its second “Screen Business” report, which will independently examine key measurements around employment, economic contribution and productivity in the UK games industry, as well as deep-diving in the specific impacts of the Video Game Tax Relief and UK-made games.

Ukie will also be relaunching the UK Games Map, its free online directory of all games business based in the UK, and updating its annual Consumer Games Market valuation, providing insight into how much consumers spend on games and game-related products. To read Ukie’s report in full and for a link to the Government figures, click here.