The UK might have waved Europe farewell earlier this year, their games industry remains a prime example of a healthy economic sector with both small and bigger developers thriving. Our colleagues at UKIE have recently published the results of a census study of the UK games industry conducted by the Universiry of Sheffield. If you’re a fan of graphs and numbers, you can download the full report here. However, if statistics give you crippling anxiety, here are some of the most important takeaways.
But first: methodology! In contrast to the popular State of the Game Industry report which aims to paint a yearly picture of the global games industry, this study wasn’t opt-in, which can scramble the results significantly. Instead the researchers were able to ensure a truly representative sample. The census was completed by 3200 people, which is about 20% of the overall games industry workforce in the UK.
Unsurprisingly, 70% of people working in the games industry are male, compared to 28% female and 2% non-binary workers. There’s an upward trend, but the female representation in the UK stays significantly under the national average. Females are also represented less in the games industry than in other cultural and creative roles. Interestingly, the percentage of people from other ethnicities working in games in the UK is slightly higher than that of the national working population and significantly higher than in other creative sectors.
While being around a lot longer than the Belgian games industry, the UK games industry still shows to be an industry of young people, with two thirds aged 35 or under. Meanwhile, over 50% of interviewees says to be working in games for five years or more.
With 21% of people who identify as LGBTQ+, the UK games industry has a significantly high proportion of LGBTQ+ workers. The percentage of non-binary (2%) and trans (3%) people is also higher than the estimated average within the national population.
Making games is a difficult and tough process, illustrated by one in five interviewees indicating they live with a chronic physical health condition, and almost one in three reporting they live with mental illness such as anxiety, depression, or both. This was especially rampant with high-level people in small companies. As the Belgian games industry has a lot of those, this is definitely something we should be wary about.
According to the report, crunch culture isn’t widespread in the UK games industry. Only 3,5% of respondents reported working an average of 51 hours per week or more. 75% said they worked a standard full-time working week of between 33 and 40 hours.
While these results don’t necessarily translate directly into the diversity situation of the Belgian games industry, we still think it’s interesting to highlight these successes and challenges. We’re as convinced as ever that creating an even playing field and putting talent first is the best way to make our beloved industry shine, so please reach out to us if you have any interest in joining the #BelgianGamesIndustry. We’ll distribute your resumes through our channels, so we can make our local community more diverse, more creative, and more powerful as a result.