UK Game Industry Passes £1 Billion for First Time

Figures released by the UK’s Government body, the Department for Digital Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) has shown a steady growth in the contributions from the UK games industry. In 2017, the industry added an extra £1.069 billion to the UK economy. The figures show a 7.3% rise from 2010 and a staggering 148.9% from 2006. The report comes after UK games industry leaders voiced their concern for the recent Brexit deal.

Though that figure may be even higher than the number reported by the DCMS. Gamesindustry.biz point to two other reports that show a higher return for the UK games industry in 2016. The first, from the British Film Institute’s Screen Business report, shows that development projects and publishing added a substantial £1.35 billion to the economy. While the entire games industry added £2.87 billion. That’s a little higher than the £996 million the DCMS reported for the same period in 2016.

The UK Interactive and Entertainment (Ukie) non-profit business suggested what could have led to the differences in reported numbers. According to Ukie, the Screen Business report also included figures produced from retail activity and eSports ventures. This figure allowed the report to show numbers that “better reflect the true value” of the games industry in the UK. And when you consider that this number includes events around the UK like the EGX and Rezzed conventions, along with the growing popularity of Black Friday in the UK, it’s easy to see where that extra money comes in.

While the increase in the money produced by the UK’s game industry is a healthy one, it still only contributes a relatively small amount compared to the rest of the creative markets in the UK. The creative industries added a total of £101.5 billion to the British economy in 2017. And compare that same figure to the boggling $36.4 billion that the US games industry added to the American economy and it’s clear that the UK games industry is still a growing one.