The UK games business could raise £1 billion in extra revenue by 2014 if it can overcome a lack of understanding about the industry in schools, a recent review has revealed.
The Livingstone-Hope review, released on Tuesday, has highlighted a growing gap between the education system and the needs of the games industry, and has slammed schools and universities for not providing students with the required skills for a career in videogames.
Commissioned by Minister for Culture, Communications and the Creative Industries Ed Vaizey, the report found that only 12 per cent of 1,585 graduates from 141 specialist videogame courses in 2009 actually secured a role in the industry within 6 months of completing their course.
According to the report, due to the lack of skilled workers, the British gaming industry is already losing its “cutting edge”, having dropped from third to sixth place in global development rankings.
Ian Livingstone, co-author of the report and life president of Eidos, said:
“Videogames production plays to the UK's twin strengths of creativity and high-technology and ticks all the boxes for the digital economy. But despite young people being passionate about videogames, they are unaware that games such as Grand Theft Auto and SingStar were developed in the UK and unaware of the career opportunities in the UK.
“We need to transform young people's passion to play videogames into a desire to make them, whilst equipping them with the right skills for the industry. In the brave new online world, a second 'golden age' for the UK games industry beckons. It's an opportunity which shouldn't be missed.”