The Independent Game Developers Association, better known as TIGA, has released some highlights from their Business Opinion Survey 2017. Since we haven't talked about their 2016 survey, or any other survey from TIGA on KoopaTV before (they're like the United Kingdom version of the United States's Electronic Software Association, better known as the ESA), I'd like to briefly compare the headlines for the 2016 survey (released January 2016) and the 2017 survey (released January 2017 — aka now).
I would hyperlink the press releases, but TIGA's Terms & Conditions on their website say I may not hyperlink to any page on their site besides their homepage at www.tiga.org. Other than having a great top-level domain, these guys (which KoopaTV has no association with) are a bunch of clowns when it comes to sharing information.
ANYWAY, just put these headlines with quotes around them into your favourite search engine if you want to see the press releases from TIGA:
UK Video Games Industry Set to Grow in 2016
UK Video Games Industry Set to Grow Strongly in 2017
Do you... see the difference between those two, besides the year at the end? The 2017 one is going to grow STRONGLY. The 2016 one is just growing with no further elaboration. Why? Because the 2017 results are actually good.
What is the difference in the United Kingdom between 2016 and 2017? Well, if you're like me and only see the world in terms of grandiose political events, then it's clear that the responsible party is Brexit! Yes, Brexit happened in the middle of 2016, thus clearly being something that would not be picked up on in a survey released January 2016 but would be in a survey released January 2017.
Overall, I strongly believe it's a good thing for the United Kingdom and its gaming industry that it will no longer have to deal with the European Union. TIGA's master work of pro-industry lobbied legislation in the United Kingdom, Games Tax Relief, was (initially) BLOCKED by the European Union Commission. Why should the European Union get to decide the UK's domestic tax policy?! This tax relief is credited by TIGA as strongly assisting the UK games industry, and even Vortexica identified that years ago.
|Source: A page on www.tiga.org that I cannot hyperlink to per their Terms & Conditions.|
“Obstacles to success: 34 per cent of the respondents to the TIGA survey said that the principal obstacle holding back their businesses was limited access to finance. A further 34 per cent cited discoverability as the biggest obstacle. 16 per cent identified skills shortages and skills gaps. The remaining respondents identified various obstacles including: scaling business operations; lack of VR hardware; diversity; peaks and troughs in work; management capacity; and the challenge of localisation.”16% might be a lot, but keep in mind that the 2016 survey didn't even break down the numbers, with the sole statistic being that 46% of businesses’ principal obstacle was limited access to finance. For all we know, the number went down. Or, it may be because they need to now hire people who know something about Virtual Reality, which wasn't on as many people's radars back then. Case-in-point, here's what they say as the last sentence of their opening paragraph for the 2016 and 2017 press releases:
“The report was based on a survey of 52 games businesses including small, medium and large firms, developing games across mobile/tablet, PC and console.”2017:
“The report was based on a survey of 50 games businesses including small, medium and large firms, developing games across mobile/tablet, VR, PC and console.”Notice, besides the cut of two businesses a year later, the addition of Virtual Reality! That's sure to cause some skill gaps because no one knows what the hell to do with VR, or how to do it. Possibly (note that Brexit isn't implemented yet, though bettors believe it'll happen soon, and no one really knows how it'll be implemented) not being able to hire some fop from France with lax labour-migration barriers isn't gonna help because he won't know anything either.
|Source: Election Betting Odds.|
Of course, punters (as they're known) were horribly wrong about Donald Trump's odds of victory, but so was everyone.
(Including us, since we pre-planned an amazing video to go along with Trump's defeat.)
So... yeah, every metric is better for 2017 than 2016, especially the optimism one. The optimism questions are important, because even though the United Kingdom is not officially free from the European Union, developers’ expectations of the time when it will be out are POSITIVE.
Now, since I brought this up the last time we had an article about an industry association's survey, the sample size here means that every polled company makes up 2% of the responses. So if just one company changes their mind, that's a 2% shift. Now, I don't know if it's the same companies surveyed between 2016 and 2017 (in which case that's a longitudinal survey and having those kinds of numbers can be considered valid), or how many gaming companies are in the United Kingdom. If you'd like to take these numbers with a grain of salt on that basis, you're welcome to.
I'm free to obtain the full report from Suzi Stephenson of TIGA by e-mail, but who knows what Terms & Conditions I'll be subject to if I do. It's probably best if I stay away from that.
This article exists to train Ludwig on being able to write that the current year is 2017. Shortly after this article is published, he'll change the site's copyright footer from 2013–2016 to 2013–2017. He's had a lot of trouble getting his fingers to acknowledge it's 2017 ever since it became the new year, and it's something he has to consistently be able to do for the leaderboard spreadsheet for the KoopaTV Loyalty Rewards Program, which just started Round 12 and has a prize of a $10 Nintendo eShop code! KoopaTV doesn't even have a set of Terms & Conditions, but it does have a Disclaimers page and a Logo Policy page that exists as a joke.