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Census says UK games industry back on track

Employment its highest since 2008.

The UK games industry appears to be back on track. Employment levels haven't been this high since 2008, an 2013 census led by developer body Tiga reported.

Investment in the industry and tax revenues are also up, and the industry's contribution to UK GDP has risen from £947m to £1.02bn (the UK has a GDP of around £2.5tn).

Yeah it's a different tiger.

"The UK games development sector is back on track," commented Dr Richard Wilson, Tiga CEO.

"The sector's return to growth has been driven by three factors. Firstly, the explosion of mobile and tablet devices have created a significant market for games: jobs are being created in response to this demand. Secondly, the closure of big console focused studios has been followed by a surge of small start-up companies. Thirdly, the advent of Games Tax Relief (GTR), which Tiga was instrumental in achieving, is already stimulating growth."

GTR can bring the cost of developing games down, he said, and it adds incentive to investing in the games industry.

"For example," he added, "Eden Films has plans to build a new games studio, Codec Studios, and to develop a new £30 million video game, providing employment for over 100 highly skilled development staff for a minimum of three years. "Now that GTR has been approved by the EU Commission and games companies can claim from April 1st 2014 onwards, the UK can look forward to the creation of more jobs, more investment and the production of more culturally British video games."

Jason Kingsley from Sniper Elite developer Rebellion, added: "This is another great day for the UK video game sector. Our industry has been through some incredibly tough times over the last five years ... . Those days are behind us now. The industry is adapting and with the wind of GTR at our backs, the UK games development and digital publishing sector is set to surge ahead."

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