TIGA, the network for video games developers and digital publishers and the trade association representing the video games industry, today released new data showing that 13 per cent of UK studios’ primary platform focus is console. However, the console category remains the largest employer of development staff by far, representing 46 per cent of UK independent developer and publisher studios’ creative staff.

TIGA also released the following new information:

  • Mobile was the primary platform focus for 39 per cent of studios in 2020  (compared to 49 per cent in 2013).
  • PC (comprising retail and online PC games, social network games and massively multiplayer online games) was the primary platform category of choice for 36 per cent of UK studios in 2020 (unchanged from 2013).
  • Console platforms (comprising console and handheld retail and download categories) remain mostly confined to larger studios with 13 per cent of UK studios focused on developing for these platforms in 2020 (compared to 16 per cent in 2013).
  • VR/AR is the primary focus of 9 per cent of studios in 2020 (up from 2 per cent in March 2016).
  • The console category remains the largest employer of development staff by far, representing 46 per cent of developer and publisher studios’ creative staff. PC accounts for 28 per cent of development staff, mobile represents 21 per cent and VR/AR 4 per cent. Console’s dominance of development staff numbers reflects the UK’s long and successful history as one of the leading console games development nations, new opportunities as consoles upgrade or launch mid-cycle and the substantially higher average budgets and team sizes necessary for console games development.

TIGA CEO Dr Richard Wilson, OBE, said:

“13 per cent of UK studios are focused mainly on console development. This category remains the largest employer of development staff, employing nearly half of all UK development staff.  Console’s enduring dominance is due to a combination of the UK’s long history in console development, the significantly higher resources and teams required for console games development and the ongoing strength of the global console games market. With the advent of a new generation of consoles, no other games platform is likely to challenge console in respect of its role as the largest employer of development personnel in the UK for the time being. 

“Mobile remains the most popular platform for UK games studios, but the proportion of UK development studios focused primarily on this category has been steadily falling,  from 49 per cent in 2013 to 39 per cent in 2020.  It is relatively easy to develop and launch a game on mobile, but the downsides are significant discoverability, commercial and competitive challenges.

“PC remains in second place, with 36 per cent of studios adopting it as their primary platform choice. The PC is is an attractive platform for independent developers with considerably less competition than that found on mobile, a broad digital distribution landscape with comparatively low distribution costs and a consumer base that is more welcoming of premium price models than mobile.

“The popularity of Virtual and Augmented Reality amongst UK studios has increased markedly over the last four years. 9 per cent of all UK studios are now primarily focused on VR and AR, up from just 2 per cent in 2016.”

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