A recent poll of the UK games industry shows that its members are optimistic about the future despite a turbulent 2018. Recent numbers have shown the physical sales of the UK games industry have been moving up and down depending on the category. While console sales were up last year, physical games sales declined by 3 percent. Despite this and other issues, a poll of industry professionals believes that things are looking up for 2019.
A survey conducted by industry network organization TIGA was sent out to 60 gaming-oriented businesses in the United Kingdom. This group of 60 businesses represents companies of all sizes and involves most platforms and spheres of the gaming world. Things look pretty good right off the bat: 57 percent of respondents indicated that they were more optimistic about their company’s prospects in 2019. This makes for an 11 percent increase as compared to the previous year. 77 percent had plans to hire on more employees (up 9 percent) and 52 percent were more optimistic about their capability to invest in R&D, training, and the like in the coming year.
The majority of individual companies were more confident than not in their own ability to grow, but they seemed less certain about the prospects of the UK games industry as a whole. Only 62 percent felt that the economic and business environment in the United Kingdom was favorable to games companies—an 8 percent drop from the previous year’s survey. The looming deadline for Brexit may be contributing to this particular concern. The uncertain status of what deal (if any) the UK will move forward with would make long-term planning difficult.
Despite the potential for Brexit to throw a wrench in long-term plans, it seems that domestic issues are a greater concern of the UK games industry. 33 percent of the companies listed access to capital as their biggest concern, and one of the reasons behind that for some of these businesses is a lack of support for these companies and a lack of tax incentives. Next up on the list of biggest concern was skills shortages (30 percent) and discoverability (25 percent). 2018 might have been a bit rough, but the UK games industry appears to know what they need to do to make 2019 a success.