Government figures point to video games contributing £1.069bn to UK economy in 2017 - but it's likely much more

Government figures point to video games contributing £1.069bn to UK economy in 2017 - but it's likely much more

The video games industry's contribution to the UK economy grew from £996m in 2016 to £1.069bn the following year according to research released by the Government.

A new report from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and (for some reason) Sport shows that the sector saw a 7.32 per cent increase in gross value added (GVA) for that twelve month period. Furthermore, the sector's contribution has risen by 148.9 per cent between 2010 and 2017.

However, this research doesn't tell the full story. DCMS has only counted companies that use the appropriate games industry Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes, within the region of 50 per cent of UK firms not using the correct classifications. So, it's almost certain that the actual figure - and the accompanying growth - is far higher.

By way of demonstrating this fact, UK trade body Ukie points out that the UK games industry contributed £2.87bn in 2016 - as published in the BFI's Screen Business report - compared to the £996m that DCMS quotes.

Overall, the creative industries contributed £100bn to the UK economy in 2017.

"Our creative industries not only fly the flag for the best of British creativity at home and abroad but they are also at the heart of our economy," secretary of state for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Jeremy Wright said.

"Today they have broken the £100 billion mark and continue on a hugely positive upward trajectory, outperforming the wider UK economy and bringing joy and entertainment to millions.

"We’re doing all we can to support the sector’s talent and entrepreneurship as we build a Britain that is fit for future."

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PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.