A new census report from TIGA (a UK game industry trade organization) was released today, and it paints a picture for the future of the UK game industry. According to their census, 67% of UK game developers are appear to be turning their backs on retail game development. Only 33% of UK game companies are still exclusively developing retail games; the rest deciding to instead develop mobile, massive multiplayer and social gaming experiences.
71% of companies just starting up in the UK between 2008 and 2011 had their sights set entirely on getting in on the trend the rest of the UK developers are moving towards, according to TIGA's report. It'd be interesting to see how similar or different these statistics would be to the US market, especially seeing the rise in popularity of Steam and other online retailers becoming a launching pad for new indie projects and developers.
What this could mean for future of games companies starting up is that the focus is on digital release as even walking into game shops in the last few weeks there's been a definite lack of stock on shelves and with the tools of game creation getting more readily available to indie developers there could be a new method of game distribution on the rise, especially with services like Steam and ios app store becoming so popular. Perhaps I should open a game studio that focuses on digital releases?