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Growth in the UK games industry: What does it mean for your career?

Posted by: Meeta Mistry

It’s no secret that the UK games industry is growing at an extraordinary rate. In fact, the games market in Britain was worth a massive £4.196 billion in 2015, smashing its 2014 peak figures by £210 million. That’s impressive growth, and there are no signs of it slowing down. TIGA has announced that 72% of games studios it surveyed are hoping to grow their workforce this year. As Virtual and Augmented Reality continue to develop both in and outside the gaming world, there is a substantial demand for creative and talented individuals to apply new skills to support this evolution. All this growth - in particular in the mobile sector - means that now’s an incredibly exciting time to be getting into games or making the next career step.

But what about Brexit?

The recent announcement of the UK’s departure from the European Union has left many wondering how this will impact the industry. This uncertainty is likely to continue for some time, however TIGA has been proactive in setting out some key points of policy to directly address how the growth of the UK games industry can be sustained. This report sets out an agenda to show how the UK can not only survive but positively thrive in the wake of the move. Boosting the UKs highly skilled workforce has always been a feature of government policy and games studios are at the forefront of new employment models such as remote working, freelance and contractor working as well as permanent on-site presence. With or without Brexit the appetite to make games in the UK remains as high as ever, and where there’s a will there’s a way.

Funding boosts jobs

In addition to games companies increasing their hiring this year, the UK government has announced a significant funding boost for the industry. The Video Games Prototype Fund has allocated £4 million worth of £25,000 grants to be distributed over the next four years, aiming to help start-ups and small studios advance from working prototypes to the next funding stage. The grants will also allow access to mentoring and skills management, giving up-and-comers vital exposure and experience within the industry.

Finally, Video Games Tax Relief is predicted to continue to create 2,700 new dev jobs in the industry. With 1,902 video game companies in the UK (and counting), whether you’re interested in the rapidly expanding mobile game market, console or social games jobs, there are plenty of opportunities to springboard into success.

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