The UK is experiencing a wave of video game start-ups, according to TIGA

LONDON, June 6, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — TIGA, the trade association representing the UK video games industry, today released new data showing that a wave of new game studios have started up in the UK. 557 new studios were formed between April 2020 and December 2021.[1]

TIGA research shows that:

  • There has been a huge increase in the rate of business creation. Between April 2020 and December 2021, 557 new studios were formed. This represents an average rate of 27.8 business creations per month. This compares to 10.9 start-ups per month on average for the previous research period (November 2018 at April 2020).
  • The surge in the number of start-ups has in turn increased the overall studio population in the UK. The number of verifiable and discreet publisher-owned independent studios jumped 47%, from 1,041 in April 2020 to 1,528 in December 2021.
  • Most start-ups usually remain micro or small businesses in their early stages. As a result, 78% of all UK game studios have just 4 or fewer development staff, compared to 73% April 2020.
  • 12% of UK studios have 5-15 employees; 5% have 16 to 40 employees; 3% have between 41 and 149 employees and 2% have 150 or more employees.

Dr Richard Wilson OBE, CEO of TIGAsaid:

“The UK video games industry has seen a flurry of start-ups in 2020-21. This torrent of start-ups has been driven in part by COVID lockdowns and the need to move development staff to remote working A record number of game developers incorporated throughout the research period Many commercialized side projects undertaken during the increased free time of developers The increase in the number of start-ups also reflects strong consumer demand for games and relatively low barriers to creating studios, especially on mobile.

“Micro studios now make up 78% of all game development companies in the UK. The challenge now is to allow more of our micro studios to grow and grow. TIGA recommends improving the tax relief for video games to ensure a favorable tax environment for the production of games and the creation of a video game investment fund to allow more start-ups to access financing and professional advice.”

Notes to Editors

Research methodology

Games Investor Consulting, in collaboration with TIGA and its partners, conducted investigations concluding in July 2008, September 2010, November 2011, December 2012, December 2013, December 2014, March 2016, November 2017, November 2018, April 2020 and December 2021 of all known UK game companies involved in making games (including developers, publishers, publishing studios, service companies and broadcasters with game divisions). Assessments of each database entry are made on a company-by-company basis with strict checks and balances to ensure that each entry is discrete (to avoid duplication via subsidiaries or parent companies) and confirmed to be active in game development. The survey counts staff working in development and development support roles at game studios, game publishers and development services companies. A wide range of additional data is also captured, including studio location, primary platform and company ownership structure, as well as company start-ups and exits/closures.

About TIGA

TIGA is the trade association for the UK video games industry. Since 2010, TIGA has won 28 business awards and accolades and has been successfully accredited as an Investors in People organization four times. Our vision is to make the UK the best place in the world to develop video games. Our main goal is to strengthen the game development and digital publishing industry. To this end, we focus on four strategic objectives:

Get in touch:

Tel: 0845 468 2330
E-mail: [email protected]

[1] TIGA’s research is based on an in-depth survey of game developers with analysis conducted by Games Investor Consulting.


Margie D. Carlisle