The BFI’s Research and Statistics Unit has published a new scoping study – ‘How to measure the impact of overseas mergers and acquisitions on the UK video games industry’.
This study specifically assesses the feasibility of research into the economic consequences, including possible market failures, of overseas acquisition of UK games development studios.
The UK’s video games industry has grown rapidly to be an important economic and creative contributor to the screen sector and UK economy. The BFI’s Screen Business report published in 2021 detailed how the industry’s total gross value added (GVA) grew by 81% between 2016 and 2019, reaching £5 billion and creating almost 72,000 jobs across the UK.
The UK’s technical and creative success in developing globally successful video games has made the companies that develop them attractive for international acquisitions and mergers.
To date there has been no detailed assessment of the economic impact of these acquisitions on the industry, even though mergers and acquisitions have contributed to 49% of all UK video games development staff being employed at companies owned by overseas entities in December 2021.
The study was commissioned by the BFI, through its National Lottery funded Research and Statistics Fund, with the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre led by Newcastle University with the Royal Society of Arts and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. The research was conducted by specialist video games industry consultancy Games Investor Consulting working with economics specialists, Oxford Economics.