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The UK video and computer games industry makes a valuable contribution to our economy. In 2006 games generated £2 billion in retail sales in the UK. £370 million was invested in games creation in the UK and 21,000 people were employed in games development, publishing and retail.
The UK games market is the largest in Europe and we are currently the fourth largest producer of games (measured in terms of revenue), closely behind the US, Japan and Canada. Most multinational games companies choose to locate their European headquarters in the UK and we have by far the largest concentration of games development studios in Europe with clusters around, for example, Brighton, Dundee, Guildford, Leeds, Cambridge, Liverpool, Manchester and Coventry/Leamington Spa.
BIS shares responsibility for the computer and video games industry with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
In our Voice for Business role, the Communications and Content Industries Unit in BIS works to build strong relationships with major computer and video games companies and their representative bodies, particularly the two national trade associations – ELSPA and Tiga - and the UK Games Industry Forum.
We work with these stakeholders to identify the drivers, challenges and opportunities for the growth and productivity both for the individual businesses and for the UK games industry more broadly. Using these relationships and knowledge we aim to influence Government policies (in the UK and outside its boundaries) to help ensure the competitiveness of the games sector is given due weight and consideration. We also work with stakeholders to keep them up to date on Government policy developments and to support their involvement in implementing relevant policy changes or new initiatives.
We work very closely with DCMS who look particularly to add value from the perspective of their role to enhance the UK's cultural wealth and remit to promote the creative industries as a whole. DCMS also take a lead on the regulations relating to the age-ratings applicable to computer and video games.