Government issues response to report claiming Scottish games industry is literally worthless

Saturday, 8th September 2012 20:06 GMT By Brenna Hillier

The Scottish government has responded to the outcry over a report from the government’s agency partners which claimed the games industry in the country generates no revenue, employs just 200 staff, and has attracted no students.

Creative industries in Scotland

As spotted by, the industry is seriously undersold in a report by DC Research commissioned by government body Creative Scotland and Scottish Enterprise.

The report covers 16 creative industries in Scotland, using publicly available information dating back to 2010. It lists the Scottish games industry as employing 200 staff and having a value of £0.

These easily falsifiable conclusions (as notes, Rockstar North alone employs over 200 people, and there are 120 games related companies in Scotland) are caused by issues with how the report classifies companies, and because it rounds down anything below £10 million to zero.

The report also notes that there are no students studying for games industry related degrees in Scotland, and lists just 25 in a category which could conceivably cover games studies, despite the fact that Scottish instituions offer respected courses.

Although the flagrant inaccuracy is quite funny, the report could potentially raise problems for the Scottish games industry in the future if it is used to inform policy decisions.

Scottish Government’s position

A spokesperson with the Scottish Government got in touch with VG247, stating that the Creative Scotland and Scottish Enterprise, which compiled the report was aware of the anomalous data it published.

“This study itself acknowledges upfront that the computer games sector data is anomalous,” the spokesperson said. “Official Scottish Government statistics (SABS) value the Computer Games, Software and Electronic Publishing sectors in 2010 at just over £1bn GVA – representing about a third of the Creative Industries sector in Scotland.

“We are aware of the need for more detailed and robust information about the value of the computer games sector to the Scottish economy. This is something we are currently working on, in collaboration with industry and agency partners including TIGA.”

The spokesperson also noted that companies producing computer games may not be registered for VAT, or registered in a way which causes their output to be included within a different sector; thus leading to anomalies in reporting the value of the computer games sector to the Scottish economy.

Thanks, GamesIndustry.



  1. Stephany Nunneley

    The post has been updated, and moved up.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. keymouse

    Sucks to live there

    #2 2 years ago
  3. GrimRita

    Didnt most of the bigger companies go bust and/or move to Dublin? Hell, even the UK is struggling to have any kind of presence in the industry from a development point of view(outside of smart/tablet gaming).

    Think of all those UK studios who sold their soul to the devil, only to be closed down within 12 months, costing hundreds of talented people their jobs.

    I take my hats off to the Scottish government for at least investing in the gaming industry – something the UK needs to do urgently.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. II2awRz

    well this was clearly bs, where do these people come from?

    I am scottish and a i am a student doing games development for my second year, every class in our college is full to the max, it is seriously hard to even get into the course. There even is people that come from high school a couple of hours a week extra to do games dev aswell as there main education. Lol pisses me off when i seen the first article when i seen it saying “0″ students imagine how that made me feel. Everyone all around the world knows how patriotic scottish people are about their country, i was pissed off that they were saying that about Scotland and then about what im studying pretty much saying us students and the games industry in scotland doesnt exist.

    Also keymouse it may suck to live here but it is easily the best place by far to live

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Giskard

    Rockstar’s in Scotland. How dead can the games industry be?

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Phoenixblight


    A hundred or so employees is not exactly a sign of a thriving industry especially since Rockstar uses multiple studios to make one game.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. freedoms_stain

    Its already been acknowledged that the report was a pile of shit.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Sini

    Wasn’t Tapper game by scots?
    THis explains why we haven’t seen a beer brewing, or at least drinking, simulator.
    oh wait that’s irish. Kilt wearing simulator then.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Kabby

    It’s grim up north. :(

    #9 2 years ago

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