Lockdown helps gaming sector growth surge in UK

A report has found that the UK’s gaming sector is experiencing huge growth and is expected to almost triple in value within the next three years to £10bn.

This growth surge is also expected to triple employees within the sector from the current 27,000 within five years. 

The findings come from ‘Gaming: the perfect play for growth’, a new report by global recruitment agency, Robert Walters which is set to be released this month. 

The report highlights how gaming is the only industry within the leisure and entertainment sector to have experienced growth throughout lockdown, making more than video, music and the film industry combined. 

With a ban on social contact beginning at the end of March due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the demand for gaming amplified quickly. At the end of Q1 this year, digital downloading increased by 67% week-on-week, while physical game sales increased by 218%. 

“Covid-19 has had a profound impact on the games sector,” said Tom Chambers, senior manager technology at Robert Walters. “In a world where blockbuster premiers, national sporting events, and hospitality and leisure were all vetoed, gaming has further infiltrated the daily lives of multiple generations as one of the only accessible lockdown past-times.

“Where gaming really came into its own has been on the interactivity front, and during lockdown there was a substantial rise in new users looking to bridge the social limitation with friends and family by playing together online,” continued Chambers. “This was particularly notable with the over 60s market who took to gaming to ‘keep their brain in shape’ and play with grandchildren.”

While many jobs being lost across all sectors due to the ongoing pandemic, the gaming sector has continued to show an increase in vacancies of 20% year-on-year across all areas, with IT roles specifically up by 43%. 

To keep up with global demand, job roles are expected to keep increasing this year. Game programming has seen increases of 154%, project management 140%, developers 91%, audio/video specialists 76%, and artists/creative have gone up 59%. 

Chambers added: “A number of countries have firmly cemented their reputation as big players in the gaming market, in particular largely populated and tech proficient countries such as Japan, South Korea, China and the US. 

“While the UK may still be considered a young sector, it now sits fifth in the list of the largest gaming markets in the world. One of the biggest indicators of the success of video game development and sales in the UK is the speed at which the jobs market has grown. 

“Although the UK may not boast the huge populations of other countries, it has always remained competitive at developing technology, as well as housing some of the best gaming talent in the world.”

You can request a full copy of the report here

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