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Two thirds of UK game companies are now 'vulnerable' micro studios

Two thirds of UK game companies are now 'vulnerable' micro studios

August 24, 2016 | By Chris Kerr

65 percent of British game studios are 'micro studios' employing four or fewer people, says UK trade body TIGA

The finding comes from the group's upcoming 'Making Games in the UK Today: 2016' report, and shows a slight increase in the number of small studios since 2014, when only 60 percent of companies fell into that bracket.

According to the report, just 16 percent of the UK's studio population employs 15 or more people -- 22 percent less than in 2014. 

TIGA CEO says the rise of the micro studio reflects the growing popularity of mobile game development, but it might also be a cause for concern. 

"Small studios play an important part in creating jobs and promoting innovation. Yet they are also vulnerable. Over 130 games companies closed down in the year to March 2016 -- nearly 12 per cent of the entire studio population," explained the CEO.

"69 percent of companies closing down had under five staff, which demonstrates that the smallest companies are the most vulnerable, especially when self-publishing."

Despite the fact that large studios are becoming "as rare as hen's teeth," Wilson says it was the big and medium-sized companies that helped boost the region's dev headcount by 7.5 percent annually. 

It's also worth noting that the UK's studio population and game dev workforce is actually growing, with the total number of studios rising from 664 to 688 last year and employment figures jumping from 10,869 to 11,893.

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