In a launch event at the British House of Commons, TIGA (The Independent Game Developers Association) is seeking to improve the performance of the gaming sector. The group says that 28,000 people work in the U.K. game industry and 9,896 are game developers. The U.K. collects about $630 million a year in taxes from the game industry. In the first quarter, the country had 620 known game businesses.
But the mortality rate among these businesses is about 30 percent, and TIGA wants to help develop more sustainable game studios. TIGA’s goal is to increase investment in game companies and create another couple thousand jobs in the next five years. It wants to increase the number of studios with 15 or more workers and lessen the brain drain of game developers to overseas companies.
I visited London last week and dropped in at its Playhubs game incubator, which is in the spacious Somerset House government building in central London. That incubator will help the smallest companies get off the ground. And TIGA also wants to improve the talent pool, creating more skills training and education for game creators.
TIGA recommends that the U.K. government create a prototype fund for startup studios and establish a creative content fund for co-development. It also wants to set up more regional incubators at universities and provide tax relief.
“TIGA stands for developers, digital publishers, and the wider video games industry,” Richard Wilson, the chief executive of TIGA, said in a statement. “TIGA’s vision for 2020 and the proposals contained in our manifesto will build up the strength, stamina, and sustainability of U.K. games businesses. This in turn will strengthen the U.K. games industry and the wider economy. We look forward to working with games businesses, education providers and all political parties in driving the U.K. games industry forward over the next five years.”
Game developers approved of the TIGA goals.
“TIGA’s manifesto sets out a clear, concise and cogent agenda for powering the U.K. video games forward,” said Jason Kingsley, TIGA’s chairman and creative director of the Rebellion game studio (the Sniper series, Evil Genius), said in a statement. “Our proposals are borne from a deep understanding of the challenges games developers, digital publishers and service and education providers face in today’s global, digital video games market. The achievement of the goals set out in this manifesto will strengthen our industry for years to come.”