The UK games industry has grown 31% since 2016

The rise in UK game companies coincides with a growing player base, and mainstream enthusiasm for games.
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A new UK Games Map created by UK Interactive Entertainment (UKIE) has revealed the scope and spread of games companies operating in the United Kingdom, with data further revealing the number of active businesses has grown by 31% since 2016.

Analysis by reveals that the majority (2,202) of the 2,555 UK firms identified are game development and publishing companies, while 213 are service companies, and 140 companies are academic institutions offering games-related training. Most of these companies operate out of England, with significant portions found in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

The United Kingdom is home to a range of talented developers, many of which have experienced blockbuster success over the last several years. The most prominent local companies include Rockstar North (Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption), Codemasters / Criterion Games (Need for Speed Unbound), Traveller’s Tales (Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga), and PlayStation London Studio (Blood & Truth) – all of which have contributed to a robust industry.

Read: Australian game development jobs have grown 59% in FY21-22

Exploring the UK Games Map reveals that while many of these companies are located in capital cities across the United Kingdom, there’s a fair spread of studios around the entire region, with many independent developers operating out of less central townships.

If you’re ever curious about where games developed in the United Kingdom come from, exploring the map is a great way to discover the diversity of UK game creators. Beyond being an intriguing glimpse at the region, the map also reflects growing trends in the global games industry, which has experienced impressive growth in recent years.

As more players adopt gaming as a hobby – the UK’s Digital Entertainment and Retail Association recently reported a record £11.1 billion (AU $19.6 billion) in video game revenue in the UK in 2022 – fresh opportunities for games companies are emerging, allowing for steady growth worldwide.

In Australia, the game development industry boasted new records for FY21-22, with jobs advancing 59% year-on-year. These developments don’t appear to be slowing, as consistent growth has been recorded worldwide. As more players discover video games, it’s likely this strong upward trajectory will continue.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.