Scottish Games Network: Is Scotland’s games industry shrinking?

Scotland’s industry body Scottish Games Network has won an undisclosed grant from Connected Innovators to fund the comprehensive study in the country’s video games industry.

Scotland is famous for a handful of big gaming companies like Grand Theft Auto studio Rockstar North and Minecraft console developers 4J Studios. However, according to Scottish Games Network, “none of the recent research takes into account the videogames market in all it’s weird and diverse reality.”

Based on the  2016 research from UKIE, there were around 115 studios creating games in Scotland, making it the fourth largest cluster in the UK. Disturbingly, the SGN Company Directory from February 2020 suggests that the local game development scene might have shrunk from 115 studios to around 40.

The wider ecosystem doesn’t know what the games industry is all about. In Scotland, we have a general sense that Rockstar North is there and 4J are doing great things, so everything else must be fine.

 

As I’ve noted above, that may not be the case. If we can’t accurately outline the basics of the industry, then we cannot expect any of the support organisations out there to be able to provide appropriate help, or help them to understand where they best fit within the value chain.

 

Scottish Games Network founder and director Brian Baglow

The study will map every gaming-related company, including freelancers based in the region. It will also document all the games produced by Scotland-based companies.

Scottish Games Network plans to release its findings in Q1 2021 and make them open source.

Anybody willing to help Baglow identify new companies, people and organisations, spread the message sharing the project or pass on relevant contacts, should contact him at brian.baglow@scottishgames.net.

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