AND NOW FOR SOME GOOD NEWS…

Liz Prince our consultant managing the role
Author: Liz Prince
Posting date: 23/01/2024

If you’ve been reading some of the commentary about the games industry of late, you’ll be forgiven for thinking that we’re in a downwards spiral of doom and gloom.

It’s true: times are tougher for the industry than they have been for many years. We’ve seen projects cancelled alongside redundancies and restructuring, and as we look to the year ahead, it’s clear that there is some nervousness amongst studio leaders about the performance of their businesses and the wider games industry.

However, we surely need a little positivity to allow us to better tackle the challenges ahead. Firstly, let’s not forget that the popularity of games is showing no sign of abating. We’re creating bigger, better and more amazing experiences for consumers, and gamers are continuing to spend big money on their hobby. According to GSD data, 182 million PC and console games were sold across Europe in 2023, a rise of 1.7 per cent over 2022. At the same time, some 7.4 million console units were sold in Europe during the year. Those figures should provide some positivity for us all – gamers are continuing to invest in their pastime; new gamers are continuing to emerge.

Meanwhile, UK trade body TIGA has recently published the results of its 2023/2024 Business Opinion Survey which offers some additional upbeat findings.

First up – and Disclaimer: it’s focused on recruitment – the survey revealed that 73 per cent of respondents plan to grow their workforce in 2024. At the same time, 21 per cent expect to keep their staff counts at existing levels; only six per cent anticipate having to downsize.

Other key findings from the TIGA survey include:

  • 46% of respondents said that they are more optimistic about their company’s prospects compared to 12 months ago (up from 40% last year);
  • 54% forecast that the trend in their company’s net profits over the next 12 months would be up;
  • 46% believe that the economic and business climate is favourable to the video games industry.

There are challenges, of course. Quoting the TIGA report again, key problems cited include skills shortages, access to finance, the overall economic environment, that thorny issue of Brexit, and more.

The redundancies and restructurings that have affected the games industry recently can’t be whitewashed – not least out of respect for those individuals who have been affected. But shouldn’t we stop talking down the games industry? Because there are positives – maybe not as newsworthy as the negatives – but which will help us all to keep focused, traverse the challenges we’re currently facing, and ultimately continue pushing forward with our work in one of the best industries around.

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