£1 billion pumped into UK economy by computer gaming industry

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The computer games industry contributed £1bn to the UK economy last year, according to a new survey.

The report by TIGA, the trade association representing the UK games industry, surveyed 104 game development businesses to give a snapshot of the sector.

The north west has a strong community of developers, including Macclesfield-based Matmi, Manchester-based Playdemic and Macclesfield games publisher Chillingo, which is behind the popular iPhone and Android game Angry Birds.

Key findings included the fact that developers are increasingly also becoming publishers, with 47 per cent reporting that they now self-publish some of their own games.

On average, developers surveyed spent £2.4m to develop a game.

More than a fifth of developers had worked on a game which has been cancelled before the project was complete, impacting their finances.

And a third of those surveyed said they were being held back by subsidies handed to companies making games abroad.

Countries including Australia, Canada and France, as well as 17 states in the USA, all receive state support, meaning that UK developers are at a disadvantage in the global market.

Nearly a fifth of companies said employees had left their business to work for games developers outside of the UK, and 74 per cent supported a tax break in the UK.

The typical studio will have around 80 per cent of staff qualified to degree level or above.

The UK, the USA, the EU, the rest of Europe and Canada are UK developers’ main markets, with China fast catching up.

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