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UK Studios Expect PC Declines, Increased Hiring

An extensive survey of British game studios finds that developers expect the PC market to contract in the coming year, as demand for mobile, social and casual games increases.
An extensive survey of British game studios finds that developers expect the PC market to contract in the coming year, as demand for mobile, social and casual games increases. The British government's Sector Skills Council questioned more than 80 British game studios to compile its Technology Insights 2011 report on the games development sector, which focused on the industry's labor market needs. A full 42 percent of studios surveyed predicted demand for PC games would decrease in the next 12 months, compared to only 20 percent that said it would increase. Regarding the console market, 24 percent of surveyed studios said demand would decrease, while 32 percent said it would increase. Both results stand in sharp contrast to the expectations for online, mobile and casual games which nearly 90 percent of surveyed studios said would be in higher demand in the coming 12 months. Despite the tough economic times, a 68 percent majority of surveyed studios said they were expecting to hire additional staff in the coming year, with the remainder mainly predicting no change in staffing size. Even with the additional hiring, though, 35 percent of studios expected their employees to have an increased workload in the coming year, with 61 percent expecting that employees would need to increase their range of skills to keep up. The report also looked at public financial support for game studios internationally, finding that 65 percent of French studios and 68 percent of Canadian studios received some form of government financing. Studios without such government support were much more likely to expect to outsource work in the coming year, and less likely to predict profitability and staffing increases in the coming year.

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