March 5, 2020
A new study has highlighted the North East gaming sector’s national economic influence and championed the region’s ever-growing reputation as a hotbed for digital innovation
The North East’s thriving video games industry has been heralded as a financial powerhouse.
Latest findings show the sector – fuelled by globally-recognised developers such as Ubisoft Reflections and Sumo Digital – makes the biggest local economic impact outside of market frontrunner London.
According to the findings – revealed in The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment’s (Ukie) Think Global, Create Local report – the North East’s gaming landscape contributes £1.90 of every £1000 of regional gross value added (GVA).
Discounting London’s dominance, the figure beats the rest of the UK’s regions, surpassing the South East’s £1.40 and comfortably outstripping the £1 recorded in the West Midlands and Scotland.
The analysis also reveals Newcastle’s gaming community – ranked the fourth most valuable thanks to its GVA valuation of £85.8 million – is one of only eight hubs nationwide to contribute more than £60 million in GVA.
Furthermore, it highlights the position of Sunderland – which houses rapidly-growing operators such as Coatsink in its high-tech Software Centre – as a respected gaming hotbed, showing Wearside developers added £5.3 million in GVA.
When combined with the impact of firms across the entire North East, the study says the region’s gaming industry is responsible for a total GVA contribution of £99.9 million.
Stuart Dinsey, chair of the Ukie board, said the findings prove just how important the games industry is to the local economies of the UK.
He added: “Towns and cities of all sizes share in the high productivity jobs, commercial growth and cultural contribution that our sector offers.
“While UK games businesses are successful on the global stage, the direct benefits of their pioneering creative work are felt across the country.
“The video games industry has an important role to play in rebalancing the economy and creating skilled careers.
“We look forward to working with the Government and policymakers to bring the jobs of the future to local communities.”
According to Ukie’s report, Newcastle joined London, Slough and Heathrow, Leamington Spa, Crawley and Horsham, Edinburgh, Manchester and Guildford as a £60 million-plus GVA hub.
Additional findings in the study, which builds on outcomes revealed in the British Film Institute’s Screen Business report of late 2018, show more than half of all gaming sector development roles are based outside London and the South East.
Furthermore, it says 99.5 per cent of UK games industry companies are officially small and medium-sized businesses, which collectively contribute £1.6 billion in GVA.