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United Kingdom Video Games Studio Numbers Rise and Employment Surges As New Research Identifies Regional Hubs



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TIGA’s Making Games in the UK 2023 report also reveals increases in tax revenues and investment and showcases the games industry’s contribution to the Levelling Up agenda

Employment in the United Kingdom’s games development sector has surged by 11.4 per cent while studio numbers have increased by almost 18 per cent according to new figures released today by TIGA, the trade association representing the United Kingdom (UK) video games industry.

During the period from December 2021 and April 2023, wider games industry employment, tax revenues and investment also grew markedly.

The findings come from TIGA’s definitive report on the state of the UK video games industry, Making Games in the UK 2023 (TIGA, 2023), which is based on an extensive survey of UK games businesses with analysis by Games Investor Consulting.

TIGA’s research shows that in the period from December of 2021 to April of 2023:

  • The number of creative staff in studios surged by 15.2 per cent and at an annualised rate of 11.4 per cent from 20,975 in December 2021 to 24,155 full-time and full-time equivalent staff in April 2023. The total workforce including freelancers grew to 25,026.
  • The number of jobs indirectly supported by studios in the supply chain rose from 38,348 to 44,162.
  • Studio numbers grew from 1,528 to 1,801, an increase of 17.8 per cent.
  • Combined direct and indirect tax revenues generated by the sector for the Treasury are estimated to have increased from £1.2 billion to £1.5 billion.
  • Annual investment by studios rose from £1.3 billion to £1.66 billion.
  • The game development sector’s annual contribution to UK gross domestic product increased from £2.9 billion to £3.68 billion.

“The UK video games development sector is powering ahead,” the Chief Executive Officer for TIGA, Dr Richard Wilson, OBE, said. “Employment is soaring and studios are continuing to hire at near record rates. With high growth games studios in many regions, the sector is supporting economic growth across the UK.

“Our sector’s outstanding long-term prospects are underpinned by strong consumer demand, rising foreign direct investment, which is attracted by our highly skilled workforce and Video Games Tax Relief, which reduces the cost of games development.

“If the UK is to win an even larger share of the growing market for video games, then the UK government should enhance the generosity of our Video Games Tax Relief (soon to be transformed into a Video Games Expenditure Credit), introduce a Video Games Investment Fund to help more small studios to scale up and establish an Industrial Secondments Programme to drive skills development.”

Meanwhile, the TIGA report has highlighted that almost 80 per cent of the UK’s games development workforce is located outside of London. While London employs over 22 per cent of the games development workforce across 587 companies, 77 per cent of all games development staff in the UK are employed outside of the capital. While approximately one-fifth of development staff are located in the South East of England, the third, fourth and fifth largest centres of games development by headcount are the North West of England, the West Midlands and Scotland, respectively.

Including indirect staff, games development companies support over 53,000 jobs outside of London. In percentage terms, the strongest headcount growth over the period December of 2021 to April of 2023 was found in the North East (45.7 per cent), Yorkshire and Humber (33.9 per cent) and Northern Ireland (33.5 per cent).

UK regions 2023 share of UK development workforce
London 22.4%
South East 19.9%
North West 12%
West Midlands 10%
Scotland 9.1%
East of England 6.7%
Yorkshire & Humber 5.8%
North East 5.4%
East Midlands 4.9%
South West 2.5%
Northern Ireland 0.7%
Wales 0.6%

“While London employs over 22 per cent of the games development workforce across 587 companies, 77 per cent of all games development staff in the UK are employed outside of the capital,” Wilson said. “Approximately one-fifth of development staff are located in the South East of England, while the third, fourth and fifth largest centres of games development by headcount are the North West of England, the West Midlands and Scotland, respectively.

“Including indirect staff, games development companies support over 53,000 jobs outside of London. In percentage terms, the strongest headcount growth over the period December 2021 to April 2023 was found in the North East (47.5 per cent), Yorkshire and Humber (33.9 per cent) and Northern Ireland (33.5 per cent).

“The video games industry has immense potential to contribute to the Levelling Up agenda, not least due to the 44,000 people working in the games supply chain, which is mostly based outside of London. Providing high-skilled employment opportunities, the sector has established strong creative industry clusters right across the UK.”

“TIGA’s research illustrates the video games industry’s strong potential to drive regional economic growth,” the Chairman for TIGA and the Chief Executive Officer and Creative Director for Rebellion, Jason Kingsley, OBE, said. “My personal experience at Rebellion Developments further reinforces this notion as our studios actively contribute to the economic expansion of cities and regions such as Liverpool, Oxford, Warwick and Yorkshire. By enhancing Video Games Tax Relief, improving access to finance and bolstering skills development, we can empower and fortify the UK’s video games clusters, thus making a positive impact on the overall economy of the country.”

The findings in this press release come from TIGA’s definitive report on the state of the UK video games industry, Making Games in the UK 2023 (TIGA, 2023), which is based on an extensive survey of UK games businesses, with analysis by Games Investor Consulting.

Research methodology

Games Investor Consulting in conjunction with TIGA and its partners conducted surveys concluding in July of 2008, September of 2010, November of 2011, December of 2012, December of 2013, December of 2014, March of 2016, November of 2017, November of 2018, April of 2020, December of 2021 and April of 2023 of all known games companies involved in the creation of games (including developers, publishers, publisher studios, service companies and broadcasters with games divisions) in the UK. Assessments of every database entry are made on a company-by-company basis with strict vetting and verification rules to ensure each entry is discrete (to prevent duplication via subsidiary or parent companies) and confirmed to be active in games development. The survey counts staff working in development and development support roles in games studios, games publishers and development service companies. A broad array of additional data is also captured including studio location, primary platform focus and company ownership structure as well as company start-ups and exits/closures.

Games development

Games development is defined as including all production staff, QA, support, localisation and technical staff but excludes admin, finance, sales, marketing and commercial staff not directly involved with games production. Full-time equivalent staff comprise multiple part-time staff aggregated based on typical usage throughout a year to represent a single full-time employee.

Industry News Partners with MGA Games and Endorphina



Reading Time: 2 minutes, the Portuguese bookmaker and online casino, has announced partnerships with two new game creation studios: MGA Games, a Spanish company acknowledged for the creation and distribution of casino games, and Endorphina, recognised for the recent incorporation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in slot machines.

The new partnerships mark a milestone: is the first online casino in Portugal with 2500 games on a single platform.’s partnership with MGA Games, considered the Best Technology Provider at the Asocación JDigital Awards and Gaming, marks the Spanish company’s expansion into the Portuguese market. Among the games released, MGA Games has dedicated itself to integrating Portuguese entertainment personalities in its creations, like the Portuguese football player Paulo Futre, among others.

At the same time, the first batch of 25 Endorphina games is launched that will be available on the Portuguese platform, exclusively, for a month. The Game Developer established in more than 25 countries, with ten years of experience, it was the first casino game producer to create a Slot Machine entirely using AI algorithms. Among the games available, “Glory of Egypt”, “Book of Vlad”, “Dynamite Miner” and “Fisher King” stand out.

These two new partnerships, and consequent game launches, reaffirm as the online casino with the largest offer of games in Portugal.

“The 2500 games on a single platform are a fundamental step for the company, which reinforces its leadership position in the sector. The collaboration with studios such as MGA Games and Endorphina allows us to lead in Portugal with an offer of innovation and excellence. Notably, MGA Games has a portfolio of 100 titles, created with HTML5 technology, that stand out for their graphical quality, and Edorphina made history by being the first company to develop a game entirely powered by AI, demonstrating its dedication to pushing the boundaries of creativity and technology,” Sérgio Pascoal, Director of R&D at, said.

“The studio is confident that our slots will impress players, as well as make them feel the true thrill of the game. We share a passion for entertainment and reflect that by delivering top-notch, high-value content to operators,” Javier Lanfranchi, Sales Director at MGA Games, said.

“By offering the state-of-the-art games of Endorphina, exclusively for, we aim to provide a unique and exciting gaming experience that reflects both companies’ unwavering pursuit of innovation,” Jonathan Martini, Senior Sales Manager at Endorphina, said.

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Compliance Updates

Ensuring Integrity: The Role of Assurance in the Gambling Industry



Ensuring Integrity: The Role of Assurance in the Gambling Industry
Reading Time: 2 minutes


By Salvador Garcia-Noblejas, Senior Regulatory Assurance Services at ComplianceOne Group

The gambling industry has its origins in the ancient period, and different types of games are found in almost every culture and civilization.

Over the last few years, we have witnessed an immense transformation, clearly boosted by technological developments. Among these changes, online gambling has grown rapidly, and with this new non-face-to-face reality, regulation and regulators have also embraced new ways to protect players, businesses, and the overall economy. Regulators have the responsibility to set the framework of common rules that define what is right and wrong, the means to protect all parties, and the tools that must be used when anyone does not behave as expected.

Assurance in a world of global risks

It would be inaccurate to assume that regulatory assurance’s only goal is to ensure that operators operate in a fair and transparent manner and meet their legal obligations. On the contrary, assurance also includes helping businesses understand the risks involved in the industry where they operate, analysing their strengths and weaknesses, and setting measures to mitigate those risks.

Assurance’s starting point consists of an interview phase where tailor-made questionnaires serve better understanding the reality to each operator and its actual circumstances. Once the assurance assessment is complete, a detailed action plan assists the operator in fixing any identified gaps, improving policies and procedures, and obtaining the maximum financial gain from refining their processes, products, and operations.

As part of the fast transformation of the gambling industry, with competitive new products, platforms, advertisements, and market expansion, we must not forget that bad actors and illegal practices also develop. This is the moment to ask ourselves if we are ready to face whatever can harm our operations. The most efficient way to know is carrying out a thorough audit of policies, procedures, and processes. This approach will certainly save operators from potential harm to their clients, products, brands, and finances.

Audit readiness

Regulators focus on legislation, supervision, and enforcement. All stakeholders must comply with gambling regulations if they want to offer products and services or provide a safe environment to their clients. An important part of the gambling legal system is the fact that the industry is continuously overseen to ensure that all actors adhere to the established rules. At this point, operators need to ask themselves how ready they are to show sufficient evidence that their operations adhere to the law.

Smart operators will choose to comply with as many rules and regulations as their business is capable of, and they will ensure that records are properly kept. Company leadership is essential in ensuring compliance as it contributes to collaboration between departments and having policies and procedures that make the business run within the parameters of the legislation.

Lessons learned

In recent years, some highly publicized enforcement actions, including fines and penalties, license suspension, and revocation, have alerted the whole gambling industry. From such cases, there have been increasing efforts in reviewing processes, improving systems, and growing compliance departments.

Experience in the gambling industry has taught us that it is crucial to have a detailed understanding of the regulations that govern the relationship between operators and players. Where knowledge has been insufficient, inaccurate, or out of date, some business decisions have led to unwanted consequences, sometimes catastrophic ones.

Knowledge, a solid compliance culture, strong procedures, and willingness are the formula to be ready for a regulatory audit.

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Industry News

DAZN Appoints Brice Daumin as CEO of French and Swiss Operations



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DAZN Group, the world’s leading sports streaming service, announced the appointment of Brice Daumin as CEO of its French and Swiss operations. Daumin will oversee DAZN’s growth strategy in France, using his experience and knowledge of the French market garnered over 25 plus years in the French media and telecoms industries.

The move further underlines DAZN’s commitment to France after its launch in August 2023. DAZN brings its French subscribers the best of combat sports including a weekly schedule of top-quality boxing, MMA with the Professional Fighters League and PFL Europe featuring world-class fighters such as Francis Ngannou and Cédric Doumbé, huge PPV boxing line-ups featuring Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua, such as “Day of Reckoning”. DAZN also brings its customers top-tier football including Ligue 1 Uber Eats, and the UEFA Women’s Champions League.

DAZN has also delivered a distribution strategy, striking deals with prominent telco and cable operators, to ensure as many French sports fans can access DAZN’s compelling catalogue of premium live sports content, magazine programming, archive and other sports entertainment products. Daumin will report directly to Alice Mascia, whose group responsibilities include her roles as Group Chief Marketing Officer and CEO of DACH.

Shay Segev, CEO of DAZN Group, said: “DAZN’s global sports offering expanded into France last year and we’re excited to announce that Brice Daumin is joining our team to help us grow in this evolving market. With his extensive in-market experience across our strategic imperatives – customer focus, commercial development, and distribution – Brice will play a key role in our long-term development in France. This is a clear statement of DAZN’s commitment to France and our ambition to continue growing in this exciting sports entertainment market.”

Brice Daumin, CEO of DAZN France, said: “This was an easy decision for me to make. DAZN has already demonstrated its offer right across Europe, with its operations in Belgium, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain. Working with the biggest rights holder, in local markets and on a global level, DAZN delivers a fantastic service in a way that works for fans and rights holders. The opportunities for further growth in France are clear, especially when you look at the expanding range of sports entertainment products DAZN is creating – e-commerce, ticketing, social experiences and gaming. The French sports fan is ready for a new experience, one that DAZN will deliver.”

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