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The UK video game industry is finally on the rise

Employment in the UK's video game development sector grew by 4 percent in 2012 year-over-year, bringing to an end the three-year decline in employment in the sector.
Employment in the UK's video game development sector grew by 4 percent in 2012 year-over-year, bringing to an end the three-year decline in employment in the sector. A new research report from Games Investor Consulting, and as published by UK trade association TIGA, surveyed UK video game businesses extensively, and found that the number of UK game studios grew from 329 to 448 in 2012. Meanwhile, creative staff in video game studios grew from 8,888 to 9,224, while jobs indirectly supported by game studios rose from 16,250 to 16,864 people. Overall investments by video game studios also saw a rise from £411 million ($620.9 million) in 2011 to £427 million ($646.3 million) in 2012. The video game sector's contribution to UK Gross Domestic Product -- the market value used to recognize goods and service produced within a country -- saw a boost up to £947 million ($1.43 billion) from £912 million ($1.38 billion) year-over-year. Dr. Richard Wilson, CEO at TIGA, believes that the regrowth of the UK's video game industry comes down to three main factors: Mobile games, the explosion of smaller start-up companies off the back of triple-A studio closures, and the upcoming Games Tax Relief. The latter point in particular will no doubt cause the UK's video game industry to grow even further when it comes into effect next month, says Wilson. "However," he adds, "the UK games industry suffered badly during the last four years without Games Tax Relief: developer headcount and investment levels remain below the 2008 peak. Additionally, start-up studios are vulnerable. At least 21 per cent of start-ups in 2010-2012 have already gone under."

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