Economic value of Sussex games cluster set to grow to £250m in 2021

Economic value of Sussex games cluster set to grow to £250m in 2021

The games cluster in Sussex generates more than £200m in economic value for the region annually and is set to grow to a quarter of a billion in 2021, a report by Wired Sussex and First Base has revealed.

Wired Sussex, which supports the digital, media and technology sector and First Base, the property developer behind Edward Street Quarter in Brighton, joined forces to create the report to raise the profile of the games cluster.

The report identifies the cluster’s strengths and looks at ways it can continue to grow its reputation nationally and internationally as the best region in the UK for games production.

Phil Jones, Managing Director at Wired Sussex, said: “Our regional games cluster is extremely successful. It’s made up of studios that, together, sell tens of millions of console, mobile and PC games across the globe. We are delighted to be working with First Base to showcase the world-class studios here in Sussex, helping them to attract talent and raise their profile.”

Studios in the area contribute to some of the world’s biggest games including Total War, Star Wars, Guardians of the Galaxy, the LEGO series and Fall Guys. Companies are partnering with giants such as Warner Bros, Disney, Apple, Sony, Microsoft and Apple as well as producing their own inhouse hits.

Most games executives in the region reported significant levels of growth during 2020. This trend was echoed nationally as gaming grew in popularity during the pandemic.

There are 76 companies producing digital games in Sussex. The majority (62) are small independents or start-ups employing less than 20 staff.  There are 14 larger studios, which account for 85 per cent of the 2,500 people employed by games companies.

A major challenge highlighted of those interviewed is attracting and retaining talent, especially from a more diverse background. Linked to this is the need for their workspace to be inspirational, collaborative and future-enabled.

Olaide Oboh, Director of Partnerships at First Base, said: “Sussex clearly needs more high specification offices which offer the kind of security, connectivity and space for collaboration that will enable this sector to continue on its upward trajectory.

“Our hope is that Edward Street Quarter will help meet the needs of this fast-growing sector, and help the city to build back after the pandemic, better than ever.”

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