New UKIE and NESTA Games Map looking good for Wakefield District CDIT sector - But are you coded correctly?

Ukie, the trade body for games and wider interactive entertainment in the UK, have partnered with innovation foundation, Nesta, to launch The UK Games Map, the UK’s first real-time and interactive database of the UK’s games sector. The map platform can be found at gamesmap.uk.

The platform builds on the 2014 Nesta and Ukie report ‘A Map of the UK Games Industry’, and has been designed to chart the size, scale and geography of the sector, using an automated ‘big data’ approach. Games developers, publishers, service companies and educational establishments will all be mapped automatically on the database using web scraping techniques, which aims to counter poor coverage of the sector by existing SIC codes.

The dynamic database and maps chart emerging and established clusters and trends in the sector and can be used by the industry and policymakers to encourage local networking, connect games makers with service providers and boost links between industry and the local talent pipeline.

It’s also great to see the North of the UK, and specifically Wakefield showing a strong presence on the map, evidencing the strength of creative and digital as a sector across the district.

The district already has a number of sccessful games developers, including Retrobomb, Team 17, Alternative Software Ltd, Mental Moon and Tick Tock Games Ltd, but as evidenced from UKIE and NESTA show, not everyone is classified correctly through SIC codes.

The data within the map has once again raised concerns about how games and interactive entertainment businesses in the UK are classified and counted using Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes, as it was revealed that only 41 per cent of the companies listed are registered with the correct codes. These figures are used in official government statistics to analyse and describe the size and scale of industries, and with less than half of the businesses correctly classified, the sector is continually being underrepresented in national and international figures. There are also issues around official statistics capturing very newly formed start-ups and micro SMEs.

Ukie used this opportunity to once again call for games companies to check what SIC code their business is listed under. Games Developers should be listed as 62.01/1 and Publishers as 58.21, or your business will not be counted in official government figures.

You can find information about how to check and change your businesses SIC Code here.

Dr Jo Twist OBE, CEO of Ukie, said, “We know that the UK’s games and interactive entertainment sector is a huge global success story. The UK Games Map will be an invaluable visual tool and data source for the sector, and owned by the sector. We can use it as a baseline to track our economic success and reach, as well as analyse other datasets, such as headcount or exports, to spot emerging and important patterns, trends, and opportunities.  We encourage all companies to register in order to check their data, as well as add what they like to enhance the map. This is an important tool and we expect it to grow and iterate as people use it.

There remains a huge discrepancy between official statistics about the size and shape of the games industry, and we are using this opportunity to once again remind games businesses across the UK to check and amend their SIC Code to ensure that the UK is represented as the world-leading player that it is.”

Hasan Bakhshi MBE, Senior Director of Digital and Creative Economy at Nesta,comments: “Fast-growing industries like video games are hard to track using traditional data techniques. Yet, businesses, investors and policymakers need timely and fine-grained data to make the right decisions. We have built the UK Games Map with Ukie to meet this need in the games sector and Nesta is committed to further developing data techniques that are fit for purpose in measuring innovative industries.”

Nesta’s previous work in the games sector includes Next Gen, which contributed to computing being added to the school curriculum, Video Games Mentor Network,Digital Makers programme, that encourages young people to understand and create technology rather than just use it, and A Map of the UK Games Industry.

The UK Games Map was officially launched on Thursday 22 September at Ukie’s Annual General Meeting, held at EGX in Birmingham.

Contact the Games Map team for any enquiries about the map.  

Original story by Sophie Densham for UKIE CLICK TO VISIT WEBSITE