• Ukie and Nesta launch The UK Games Map -  the first dynamic database of the UK games industry
  • The UK Games Map shows there are currently 1,949 active games companies in the UK
  • Data reveals less than half (41%) have the correct Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Codes
  • The UK Games Map will help attract investment, encourage skills sharing, connect businesses and talent and support policy making

Ukie, the trade body for games and wider interactive entertainment in the UK, have partnered with innovation foundation, Nesta, to launch The UK Games Map, the UK’s first real-time and interactive database of the UK’s games sector. The map platform can be found at gamesmap.uk.

The platform builds on the 2014 Nesta and Ukie report ‘A Map of the UK Games Industry’, and has been designed to chart the size, scale and geography of the sector, using an automated ‘big data’ approach. Games developers, publishers, service companies and educational establishments will all be mapped automatically on the database using web scraping techniques, which aims to counter poor coverage of the sector by existing SIC codes.

The data in the map has revealed there are currently 1,949 active games companies registered in the UK. The map has also points to a young and dynamic sector, with 66 per cent of these companies registering as businesses since 2010.

The dynamic database and maps chart emerging and established clusters and trends in the sector and can be used by the industry and policymakers to encourage local networking, connect games makers with service providers and boost links between industry and the local talent pipeline.

The data within the map has once again raised concerns about how games and interactive entertainment businesses in the UK are classified and counted using Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes, as it was revealed that only 41 per cent of the companies listed are registered with the correct codes. These figures are used in official government statistics to analyse and describe the size and scale of industries, and with less than half of the businesses correctly classified, the sector is continually being underrepresented in national and international figures. There are also issues around official statistics capturing very newly formed start-ups and micro SMEs.

Ukie used this opportunity to once again call for games companies to check what SIC code their business is listed under. Games Developers should be listed as 62.01/1 and Publishers as 58.21, or your business will not be counted in official government figures. You can find information about how to check and change your business’ SIC Code here.

Dr Jo Twist OBE, CEO of Ukie, said, “We know that the UK’s games and interactive entertainment sector is a huge global success story. The UK Games Map will be an invaluable visual tool and data source for the sector, and owned by the sector. We can use it as a baseline to track our economic success and reach, as well as analyse other datasets, such as headcount or exports, to spot emerging and important patterns, trends, and opportunities.  We encourage all companies to register in order to check their data, as well as add what they like to enhance the map. This is an important tool and we expect it to grow and iterate as people use it.

There remains a huge discrepancy between official statistics about the size and shape of the games industry, and we are using this opportunity to once again remind games businesses across the UK to check and amend their SIC Code to ensure that the UK is represented as the world-leading player that it is.”

Hasan Bakhshi MBE, Senior Director of Digital and Creative Economy at Nesta, comments: “Fast-growing industries like video games are hard to track using traditional data techniques. Yet, businesses, investors and policymakers need timely and fine-grained data to make the right decisions. We have built the UK Games Map with Ukie to meet this need in the games sector and Nesta is committed to further developing data techniques that are fit for purpose in measuring innovative industries.”

Nesta’s previous work in the games sector includes Next Gen, which contributed to computing being added to the school curriculum, Video Games Mentor NetworkDigital Makers programme, that encourages young people to understand and create technology rather than just use it, and A Map of the UK Games Industry.

The UK Games Map will be officially launched on Thursday 22 September at Ukie’s Annual General Meeting, which is being held at EGX in Birmingham.

Contact the Games Map team for any enquiries about the map.  

 -ENDS –

For all press enquiries, please contact Sophie Densham [email protected] or @ukiesophie

About Nesta: Nesta is the UK's innovation foundation. We help people and organisations bring great ideas to life. We do this by providing investments and grants and mobilising research, networks and skills. We are an independent charity and our work is enabled by an endowment from the National Lottery. Nesta is a registered charity in England and Wales 1144091 and Scotland SC042833

www.nesta.org.uk / @nesta_uk

About UK Interactive Entertainment (Ukie): Ukie (UK Interactive Entertainment) is the only trade body for the UK's games and interactive entertainment industry. A not-for-profit, it represents businesses of all sizes from small start-ups to large multinational developers, publishers and service companies, working across online, mobile apps, consoles, PC, eSports, VR and AR.

Ukie aims to support, grow and promote member businesses and the wider UK games and interactive entertainment industry by optimising the economic, cultural, political and social environment needed for businesses to thrive. Ukie works closely with the sector to influence government and decision makers, lobbying successfully for the 2014 Video Games Tax Relief, the UK Games Fund, and the Next Gen Skills campaign which resulted in a new Computer Science Curriculum. Ukie makes connections for businesses and help them access the opportunities a digital economy offers, via a successful International Trade programme, running UK Games Industry stands at the biggest international industry events.

It promotes the industry by working with the media to raise awareness of the sector’s positive cultural and economic contribution, as well as the societal benefits of games. Ukie runsaskaboutgames.com, where families can learn about safe and sensible online practices, parental controls and age ratings.

Ukie’s skills work serves to increase inclusion and diversity, advocating a STEAM approach to education. Initiatives include the Digital Schoolhouse (DSH)Video Games Ambassadors (VGAs),Student Membership scheme, and a professional development programme.  

Ukie commissioned the Blueprint for Growth report in 2015, an independent review of the UK games industry with recommendations for decision makers in Parliament for how the industry can grow.

In 2016 Ukie partnered with Film London to deliver Games London, a ground breaking new three-year programme to promote the UK as the games capital of the world, the focal point of which is the annual London Games Festival.

Website: ukie.org.uk

Twitter: @uk_ie

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