A radical suggestion from a radical new industry job maker: Games.
Good news it would seem as The Office for National Statistics released its first estimates for GDP yesterday today with experts saying the news should deliver a “psychological boost to consumers and businesses”.
“Today’s figures are an encouraging sign the economy is healing,” said George Osborne. “We are making progress. Businesses have created over a million and a quarter new jobs, and interest rates are at record lows.”
Year on year, the economy has grown by 0.6%, above what the OECD predicted last month. Apparently the big winners or gainers here are in the service sector, which unsurprisingly for the UK is leading the way with quarter one growth of 0.6% whilst more old school tangible building things like in the construction sector shrank by 2.5% whilst production industries registered growth of just 0.2%.
So what does this say about the UK economy? Is it changing, should it change, should the government see this change and do more about it? Or can we rely on people building and buying houses forever?
Let me give you some other stats about a small and growing part of that economy, a part of a larger sector called the Creative Industry, something which has massive export potential, and helps Apple do a very important thing for America. It’s something we are part of at dojit games.
As Apple manufactures it’s products mainly in China but as this very interesting paper shows because of the app economy (i.e. people building apps and mobile games for iOS) The end result of it is that the app economy produces twice as many jobs in the US economy as there are people working to make Apple products in China.
This has BIG implications, and I think it is here that we have the answer for the UK. We start believing in advanced digital manufacturer. We start understanding the economic power of mobile games and mobile games development.
You have to remember that this industry is entirely new: before Apple et al brought out the iPhone and the smart phone revolution that following in 2007 none of it existed at all. It’s a radical new wealth creator. Just like it’s older brother video games. Which itself is advanced and creative digital manufacturing at its best.
The UK video games industry is the largest in Europe and the UK, it’s a world class location for video game development. The UK boasts a substantial and highly qualified talent pool, some of the finest video games studios globally, technical as well as creative excellence, an ongoing ability to generate products that sell well globally and to create original video games IP.
The UK is home to the studios that have developed video games such as Grand Theft Auto IV (the fastest selling entertainment product of all time), Runescape, the Fable series, Broken Sword and LittleBigPlanet.
The video game sector offers opportunities for growth and high value, high technology job creation for the UK. Estimates from PWC suggest that the global market for video games will grow from $52.5 billion in 2009 to $86.8 billion in 2014. TIGA’s, the really rather wonderful games union, has an ambition to make the UK the best place in the world to do games business and so enable the UK economy to secure a growing share of this huge market.
The UK games development sector contributes approximately £1 billion to UK Gross Domestic Product per annum. Whilst a survey of developers conducted by Games Investor Consulting, saw the sector grew by 4% per cent in 2012, remember the service industry grew by 0.6%. So how’s that for growth George? Let’s get behind the UK mobile game industry and make sure we don’t do the triple dip!