Article start

Mapping the UK games industry

Mapping the UK games industry

Worth over £4 billion to the UK’s economy (1), it’s fair to say that the gaming industry is booming. With ever-evolving technology and sector-wide tax reliefs encouraging growth in UK gaming, it’s a safe bet that the industry will go from strength to strength.

Traditional approaches to measuring industry growth, such as the use of SIC codes, have proven to be unreliable when measuring the technology sector. That’s why in 2014 Games industry trade body Ukie and innovation foundation Nesta commissioned Arkenford to adopt an experimental ‘Big Data’ approach to measure the whole UK games industry(2).

This involved leveraging the digital footprint of the video games industry in product directories and fan websites to create a list of UK video games companies. This was then combined with official data to measure how the sector clusters across the UK and an exploration of the drivers of these clusters.

While this new approach resulted in the most complete picture of the UK games industry ever created, truly making it accessible requires the use of data visualisation.

Step forward ‘Gamesmap’ (3), an invaluable tool for anyone with an interest in UK gaming, allowing the user to sink their teeth into the wealth of data that has been brought together. It can be used to measure and draw comparisons across the industry by region, type of organisation and game platform, to name a few. Even better, organisations own their data, meaning they can update it simply by logging in to the website.

The use of data visualisation has added real value to this ‘Big Data’ approach. Gamesmap will serve as a central hub for the gaming industry, measuring how far the sector has come and predicting its future trajectory.

(1) ukie.org.uk/node/29702

(2) nesta.org.uk/publications/map-uk-games-industry

(3) gamesmap.uk