Gaming glitch: UK gaming industry hit by skills shortage as applications to creative courses down 20% in last decade
Following higher education funding cuts of 50%, falling applicant numbers for creative courses at UK universities have caused a skills shortage. Experts highlight an increasing reliance on international students to plug the creative skills gap.
The UK could be facing a creativity deficit, with 20% fewer applications for arts and design courses at UK universities in the last decade. In the last five years alone, there has been a 12% drop.
These courses play a key role in providing talent to creative industries, including gaming, fashion, film, photography and music, among others.
The greatest contributors to the decline are falling numbers of UK and EU applicants. Domestic applications are down 25% in 10 years, while EU applications have halved since Brexit.
By contrast, the amount of non-EU applicants for creative arts and design courses in the UK has more than doubled in the last 10 years. In the last five years, it has risen by 44%. Around one in six applications for UK creative courses now come from non-UK citizens.
The data was collected from UCAS through a freedom of information request, by high-resolution design textures specialists Ultra High Resolution. The findings show applicant numbers and diversity in demographics for all creative arts and design courses at UK universities.
Recent reports suggest that the booming UK film industry and related sectors will have 40,000 vacancies by 2025, with a severe skills shortage looming on the horizon.
A ripple effect
The UK government slashed higher education funding for art and design courses across England by 50% this academic year.
This prompted a wave of criticism that the cuts misunderstood art’s role in society, and predictions that the impacts would ripple across the economy. Industries that rely upon both technical and creative skills are reporting skills shortages post-Brexit.
The pandemic, a surge in games’ popularity and Brexit have caused a labour shortage in the gaming industry, which used to rely heavily upon EU talent. There’s a demand for those with animation, design and writing skills in the UK games market, which is more than double the size it was 10 years ago.
Meanwhile, the fashion industry – the UK’s largest creative industry – which is worth £35 billion a year, has warned of severe talent shortages, with EU workers leaving gaps post-Brexit. Architecture is facing a similar challenge: the RIBA’s Future Trends survey reports that one in five practices are struggling to recruit.
David Lineton, a still life photographer who heads up the digital specialist team at Ultra High Resolution, said:
“During the pandemic, we’ve seen the arts suffer greatly, with lockdowns keeping people away from galleries, cinemas and theatres. And funding has been another huge issue, with those in the industry sometimes struggling for their incomes, making the field more competitive than ever.
“What’s pleasing though, is that the UK’s international reputation for the creative industries is still shining through. And as the UK scene becomes even more diverse, we’re sure to see a truly vibrant industry emerge from the pandemic.”
Ste Bergin, film producer and lecturer on the film production course at the University of Salford, said:
“When George Osborne was Chancellor of the Exchequer, he brought in some major tax incentives for productions to shoot in the UK. This allowed the UK to grow further as a cultural powerhouse – and students want to study in that kind of environment as it simply may not exist at home. More international talent moving to the UK means that more art is created here, and we are more financially incentivised as a country to fund that talent’s art.”
BGAMING DONATES $5,000 TO UKRAINE CHARITY FOLLOWING ICE LONDON PLEDGE
iGaming content provider BGaming has donated $5,000 to UNITED24, a charity raising money for medical aid and critical needs in Ukraine.
At this year’s ICE London, the fast-growing firm gave visitors the chance to receive merchandise featuring designs by renowned London artist Thumbs.
As an alternative they pledged to give $50 to the charity instead, which more than 70 generous partners opted to take up.
After boosting the final amount, BGaming has now pledged to continue its fundraising drive at IGB Live! Amsterdam, SBC Barcelona, and SiGMA Malta later this year as part of a commitment to ‘create positive change’.
UNITED24 was set up by the Ukrainian government to provide a secure platform for donors to raise funds for medical aid, defence and demining and rebuilding Ukraine.
Currently, they are running two medical aid projects which seek to raise money for more urgently needed ambulances in the war-torn country.
At the time of writing, it is estimated more than 8,000 civilians have been killed in the conflict, while more than 13,300 are believed to have been injured.
Catherine Puteiko, CMO of BGaming, said: “Small acts of kindness can have a big impact on the world, from caring for others to creating positive change. BGaming’s recent charity initiative at the ICE London exhibition was a shining example of this ethos.
“Our partners had the option to donate to a worthy cause or receive our branded merchandise, and we’re thrilled to share that this simple initiative raised 5000 dollars for victims of war in Ukraine. Let’s continue to think big and act small to make a positive impact on the lives of others!”
PRESS STATEMENT OF PAGCOR REGARDING OFFSHORE GAMING OPERATIONS
Senate Ways and Means Committee Chairman Sherwin Gatchalian presented the chairman’s report which cited that the risks of allowing the continuous operations of offshore gaming operations outweigh their benefits to the country. Citing R.A. No. 11590, he further states that offshore gaming should be shutdown, now that there is no third-party auditor monitoring their income.
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) would like to reiterate its firm commitment to uphold the integrity of the gaming industry in the Philippines, including offshore gaming.
After determination of Global ComRCI’s default in its obligations and commission of unlawful acts under R.A. No. 9184, a Notice of Decision to Terminate the Consultancy Contract was served to third-party auditor Global ComRCI on March 9, 2023, effective upon thirty (30) days from receipt thereof.
PAGCOR is now in the process of engaging a capable and reputable third-party auditor who can independently and accurately conduct verification of the offshore gaming licensees’ gross gaming revenues.
Further, PAGCOR reassures the public that to maintain the integrity of regulated gaming in the country, the state-run firm will not hesitate to impose appropriate sanctions or penalties to erring licensees or service providers. We will ensure that all revenues from regulated gaming will continue to support the government’s nation-building efforts and uplift the lives of Filipinos.
OnAir Entertainment™: Flexibility of more providers vs. Exclusivity with a single provider
OnAir Entertainment™️, the go-to live casino games provider, has added their voice to the increasing industry concern regarding the negative impact of exclusivity deals within the live casino space.
There has been a growing discussion around the impact of exclusivity deals on operators and platforms, with OnAir Entertainment™ believing that one supplier setups create several limitations for operators. Limitations arising from exclusivity push players to find additional options from more diversified live casino offerings. It’s known that players prefer websites with more content choice, allowing them to search for the games they want to play – player freedom is vital to maximizing cross-sell and therefore increasing platform revenue.
Do exclusivity agreements truly fulfil the promises and needs of the industry? Markets need to change rapidly, adapting to new and more restrictions on operators, which requires sufficient flexibility and creativity. Can an agreement set in stone, determined by a single supplier and based on a rigid commercial model, be flexible to a regulatory landscape that is constantly shifting and help operators to be competitive?
Given the global nature of the biggest operators, multi-supplier deals also mean that they can test out different games across markets and not be forced to stick with one product globally. Less exclusive deals allow operators to be much more agile when operating internationally, as localization needs must not be ignored. A key part of OnAir Entertainment’s™ product offering is the ability to input customizable elements within their digitally branded and localised environments so that operators can reinforce and scale their brand together with OnAir Entertainment’s™ tech. While also using reasonable commercial terms so our operators can test audience response in branded environments with low risk before committing to more sizeable projects.
There is no doubt that the variety of live casino suppliers continues to grow, causing increased industry competition and that this competition pushes continued innovation within the iGaming industry. It is this belief in constant innovation that is at the core of all OnAir Entertainment’s™ operations. By continuously developing improvements in UI design, 3D animations, allowing for localization and the incorporation of brandable elements – OnAir Entertainment™ hopes to increase user engagement and player experience.
Seval Alev Kaya, Director of Business Development at OnAir Entertainment™, said “Innovation is at the heart of our operations, and our main priority is to provide maximum flexibility for our clients. Operator differentiation is directly linked to content diversity and harmony. We see that many operators are trying to widen their audience by adding more casino vendors, especially in live casino space in order to reduce the need for a single vendor that comes with unfavourable terms, high costs, and limitations. We are the alternative solution with a service-minded approach, invested in our client’s growth.”
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