A new Nationwide report on the gaming industry has identified Cardiff as a growing hub for the sector

The report from NESTA which reveals Cardiff is one of twelve emerging hubs of video game production in the UK has been welcomed by Economy Minister Edwina Hart whose strategy for growing the Creative Industries in Wales places the gaming industry at its heart.

The Minister said:

“The UK is currently estimated to be the fifth largest video game market in the world in terms of consumer revenues . This latest report estimates the industry is worth £1.7b to the UK economy, directly and indirectly supporting around 28,000 jobs in the UK.

“It is a fast growing market offering real economic opportunities which is why the Welsh Government is proactively supporting and promoting its growth in Wales through initiatives like the Digital Development Fund and the Wales Games Development Show.

“I am delighted that Cardiff is now recognised as an emerging hub for games design, development and marketing and we look forward to seeing further growth in the future.”

The report reveals the UK games industry is much larger than previously thought: with more than 1,900 games companies active in 2014, which could be contributing as much as £1.7 billion to the UK economy

There has been a 22% year on year growth in the number of companies in the sector and the report notes that Cardiff is an entrepreneurial hub with smaller companies producing entry level games, particularly for the Apple marketplace, with 38 active games companies in the Cardiff area alone.

Ian Thomas, Chair of industry body Games Wales, said:

“The NESTA report is great news, backing up what we’ve seen at a grass roots level over the last three years; the games industry is growing rapidly across Wales.

“The Welsh Government has consistently backed us up with this, supporting projects and enabling games companies to attend industry events; other organisations across the country are supporting us too. It’s a great time to be developing games in Wales.”

The Welsh Government’s Digital Development Fund has helped a wide range of businesses diversify into new markets, develop new products and also exploit short term market advantages.

It can provide funding of up to £50,000 for new projects and has supported companies like Dakko Dakko, Wales Interactive and Dojo Arcade to develop new games.

Inward investment is also helping to boost the sector, and the Welsh Government supported OysterWorld Games to open a games development centre in Treforest where it now employs 50 people. The company intends to grow the business into a major force in development, publishing and electronic distribution of interactive entertainment software and online content services.

As well as attracting inward investment to Wales the Welsh Government is helping Welsh companies trade internationally, meet new business partners and enter into international collaborations.

In March this year Wales made its debut at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, with Welsh Government taking a business delegation to the largest annual gathering of professional video game developers. Plans are in place to build on this success by expanding Wales’ presence in March 2015.

The Wales Games Development Show is also helping put Cardiff on the games industry map. It attracted over 450 delegates this year and brings together games companies from across Wales and other areas of the UK for an exhibition, networking and seminars.