Video games ecosystem project aims to boost Scottish games industry

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Although Scotland’s videogame industry is recognised globally for its games successes, there is concern that several challenges are holding it back. Entrepreneurship and commercialisation are lacking, and smaller businesses that make up most of the industry can find growth difficult.

There is also a lack of collective representation and strategic focus at a local or national level.

Academics behind a new video games ecosystem project are giving recommendations about how to address these challenges and create more successful companies that can compete on a global basis.

The findings are being highlighted to industry and policymakers during Scottish Games Week 24-28 October at a Scottish Parliament event and industry conference.

The team analysed the sector through the ecosystem framework, which recognises that games companies are affected by a range of different internal and external factors that provide valuable resources, information, or connections and jointly impact the quality and quantity of businesses.

Dr Helen Mullen, Lecturer in Entrepreneurship at the University of Glasgow Adam Smith Business School, and Principal Investigator in the project, said: “Scotland’s games sector was pioneered by entrepreneurs and has achieved notable success. However, several challenges are now holding it back, particularly the growth and sustainability of the smaller companies who make up most of the sector.

“Working with the Scottish Games Network, InGAME, and several international games experts, we have identified key challenges and actions. The sector is something of a sleeping giant with substantial potential in a growing, global market. We hope that our work will help rouse the sector, improve company successes, and increase overall entrepreneurial activity.”

Dr Michaela Hruskova, Lecturer in Entrepreneurship at University of Stirling Management School, and Co-Investigator in the project, said: “The games sector sits at the intersection of the creative and digital industries which presents it with a set of unique challenges and opportunities. Our project is seeking to explore the factors stifling growth in the sector and identify actions that can be taken to help it realise its full potential.

“We hope our work will help increase the profile of the gaming industry as one of Scotland's key sectors – and ultimately help incubate more successful companies, whose games can be enjoyed by players across the world.”

The work is a cross disciplinary project with the University of Glasgow Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow School of Computing Science and University of Stirling, working with industry partner the Scottish Games Network and InGAME. 

First published: 27 October 2022

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