UK games studios prefer mobile platforms

New data has been released showing that while the largest proportion of UK studios made games for mobile, studios focussed on console and pc games employed the most development staff in the UK.

Almost half of UK studios were primarily focused on mobile platforms

According to the report from industry trade association TIGA, in the year ending March 2016, 46% of UK studios were primarily focused on mobile platforms, but employed just 20% of development staff.

Conversely, 36% were focused mainly on PC and employed 26% of development staff. 14% of studios were focused on console, but these studios employed the lion’s share of the development workforce (45%).

TIGA released the following information from its forthcoming annual report into the state of the UK video games industry: Making Games in the UK Today: 2016.

Key findings from the survey

  • 46% of UK studios were primarily focused on the mobile platform category in 2016 (down from 49% in 2013 and 48% in 2014).
  • PC (comprising retail and online PC games, social network games and massively multiplayer online games) was the primary platform category of choice for 36% of UK studios (compared to 37% in 2014 and 34% in 2013).
  • Interest in console platforms (comprising console and handheld retail and download categories) remains mostly confined to larger studios with almost 14% of UK studios focused on developing for console and handheld platforms (compared to 13% in 2014, 16% in 2013 and 23% in 2012). Nevertheless, British developers are still investing in consoles, and console studios still employ nearly half the UK development workforce.

Virtual reality on the rise

The fastest growing new games category is virtual reality (VR), with 20 development companies primarily working on VR. Although this is a small proportion of the total companies (2%), it is now the same proportion of total companies as massively multiplayer online games (MMOG), although MMOG companies employ far more development staff (727 developers versus 245 respectively).

“Virtual Reality is the fastest growing new games category for studios by number, but not by headcount. It will be fascinating to see how this category grows in the years ahead,” said Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO.

Challenges for mobile studios

Jason Kingsley OBE, CEO and Creative Director at Rebellion, which develops games for mobile, PC and console platforms, commented: “Mobile is a popular platform for many start-ups. It is perhaps a less intimidating place to start making games when compared to console and PC. However, it is often harder to generate revenue and so create a stable business in mobile, especially in the free to play sphere. The challenge for many mobile studios is to grow and to transition from one platform to another.”

 

Edited from press release by Cecilia Rehn.

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