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Ukie report outlines regional impact of UK video games industry

The Ukie “Think Global, Create Local” report outlines the regional economic impact of the UK video games industry.

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Ukie

The Ukie ‘Think Global, Create Local’ report outlines the regional economic impact of the UK video games industry.

Ukie, the UK video game industry trade body, often undertakes research. This is to help the body to best advise its members and policymakers, and to assist with lobbying for the industry as a whole.

Its latest report, ‘Think Global, Create Local’, examines the regional impact of the industry on the UK’s economy. Building on BFI’s 2018 ‘Screen Business‘ report, which showed that the UK games companies directly employed full-time roles and collectively generated £2.87b, Ukie examined the impact of the games industry on the regional economy.

Spoiler alert: London isn’t the only show in town.

Admittedly, four of those eight games hubs mentioned are in the South East, within a stone’s throw of the M25. But it’s still heartening to see the likes of Edinburgh, Manchester, Newcastle Upon Tyne and Leamington Spa represented among the biggest video games industry hubs.

That’s backed up by figures that show 55% of roles are based outside of London and the South East, and that Scotland generates £131m GVA (Gross Value Added) annually.

Ukie Think Global, Create Local – Key findings:

  • Eight games hubs contributed over £60m in GVA to their local economies: Edinburgh, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Leamington Spa, Crawley and Horsham, Manchester, Guildford, Slough and Heathrow, and London.
  • 55% of game development roles are based outside of London and the South East.
  • The North West, East of England, West Midlands, Scotland and the South East all employ over 1,000 FTEs in development studio roles.
  • London’s game sector is a billion-pound industry, generating £1.4bn in GVA for the economy and directly employing over 5,100 FTE roles
  • 23 towns and cities across the UK are home to more than 20 local game companies.
  • Scotland is home to a thriving games industry, with three major hubs generating £131m in GVA for the nation.
  • The North East games industry has the biggest impact on the local economy outside of London, contributing £1.90 of every £1,000 of regional GVA.
  • 99.5% of UK games companies are officially SMEs (Small to Medium Enterprises, employing less than 250 people), which collectively contribute £1.6bn in GVA.
  • £339m in GVA is generated by micro-businesses of less than 10 employees, representing 13.7% of the industry total, and employing 3,664 FTEs.
  • The very largest games companies, each employing over 250 people, are hugely important to the UK economy, alone contributing £840m in GVA and employing over 4,200 FTEs, or 26% of the industry workforce.

You can read the full report on the Ukie website.


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Tom is an itinerant freelance technology writer who found a home as an Editor with Thumbsticks. Powered by coffee, RPGs, and local co-op.

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A delightful indie game is free on the Epic Games Store

Pikuniku, a pleasantly daft indie adventure, is free on the Epic Games Store.

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Devolver Digital

Pikuniku, a pleasantly daft indie adventure, is free on the Epic Games Store.

Be sure to grab Sectordub and Devolver Digital’s brightly coloured delight, Pikuniku, before it’s too late. The deal is good, no strings attached, through next Thursday.

Our own Tom Baines loved it, writing in his review: “The dialogue in Pikuniku switches from casual, off-hand, inane chatter – delivered in all lower-case, with little punctuation – to statements shouted and all in caps, with multiple exclamation points and the text literally jumping up and down for dramatic effect. It’s a use of language and delivery that is born of Twitter, wholesome memes, and a degree of internet and media-savvy that most self-proclaimed ‘comedy’ games can only dream of. It’s genuinely very funny.”

In addition to its brilliant little main story, Pikuniku also features a fun co-operative mode, where two players get to play as the titular Piku and Niku. Some of the co-op levels feature little cars, and something really neat happens if you beep the horn to the right rhythm.

And I know I said there are no strings attached, but there is one string. You’ll need an Epic account. (You can sort that out here.)

Once you do, you’re all set to grab Pikuniku. And, now that Pikuniku is free, Epic has unveiled next week’s pair of freebies. Abzu and Rising Storm 2: Vietnam will be up for grabs on October 8.


You love free stuff, right? You could always bookmark our dedicated free games landing page – or follow us on Twitter or Facebook – to get the latest updates.

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Four new Minecraft fighters announced for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

The shock reveal of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s new Minecraft characters coincided with a Twitter outage as delight poured in.

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Minecraft Steve Super Smash Bros Ultimate
Nintendo / Microsoft

The shock reveal of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s new Minecraft characters coincided with a Twitter outage as delight poured in.

Nintendo announced on stream that Minecraft’s Steve, Alex, Zombie and Enderman will all be joining as playable fighters for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Once this second Fighters Pass is through, the total roster will number an impressive 86.

The announcement coincided with widespread Twitter downtime, leading to many users (half-) joking that the announcement had “broken Twitter“.

Nintendo confirmed that Steve and Alex will either be available to players who purchase the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Fighters Pass Vol. 2 for £26.99 or Challenger Pack 7, which can be bought separately for £5.39. This challenger pack includes the two fighters as well as a new stage and seven music tracks. 

The Fighters Pass Vol. 2 currently boasts only Min Min from ARMS, but four more characters/challenger packs are yet to be announced.

A full live-stream presentation on the Steve & Alex fighters is due October 3rd, which you can watch on the Nintendo UK YouTube channel. Expect a release date during that stream.

Minecraft seems a natural fit for the mega-franchise, given smashing is among Steve’s main activities. As for building, I’m not holding my breath that we’ll see a redstone calulator in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate anytime soon.


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Nintendo: Remember to charge your Switch at least every six months

Nintendo Support tweets out a warning to all those letting their console gather dust – it might not be the same when you return.

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Nintendo Support tweets out a warning to all those letting their console gather dust – it might not be the same when you return.

Lithium batteries are a pain as much as they’re a convenience. Whilst we’d love them to be magic items we can imbue with power, instead the darn things are subject to real-world physics and require good maintenance practice. Typical.

Nintendo Support took to Twitter to push this message home for the Switch, saying:

“The battery built into the game console may become unchargeable if it has not been charged or used for too long. Please charge it once every six months.”

I’d go further and recommend you cut that to every month. Keep your batteries at room temperature and aim for partial discharges over full ones (around 50% is the sweet spot). Since batteries are under the most strain when they’re fully charged or completely empty, neither overcharging nor completely draining is ideal.

A few months ago PSPs were similarly suffering from underuse, leading to battery swelling and even bursting.

Who are these Switch-owning monsters who leave their consoles so unloved for half a year at a time? Have they not seen that Super Mario 3D All-Stars is out? That said, I know I’ve been guilty of leaving my own console discharged for perhaps two months at a time. Don’t look at me.

Whether it’s the battery of your Switch, your phone, (or for god’s sake check that PSP now!), we could all probably do better to look after the future explosives we sleep next to at night.


Follow Thumbsticks on Twitter and Facebook for daily video game news updates.

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Super Mario Bros. 35 is out now on Nintendo Switch

The new Super Mario battle-royale game is out now for Nintendo Switch Online members.

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Nintendo

The new Super Mario battle-royale game is out now for Nintendo Switch Online members.

The Super Mario Bros. 35th anniversary celebrations continue apace with the release today of Super Mario Bros. 35 on Nintendo Switch. The game is based on the 1985 NES classic but adds a battle-royale gameplay twist similar in format to Tetris 99.

The game sees 35 players compete online across classic Mario courses, beginning with the iconic World 1-1. The platforming gameplay comes as naturally as breathing, but this time, defeated Koopa Troopers and Goombas are sent over to other players’ courses to disrupt their progress. You’re also up against the clock which counts down from 35 seconds and has to be topped up by stomping on enemies. The fun continues until there’s one Mario left standing.

It’s a simple concept, and in our brief time with the game, a well-executed one. Matches are chaotic and pleasingly clumsy with familiar levels made significantly more challenging. The game is also exquisitely produced with a user interface that echoes Super Mario Maker.

Here’s the launch trailer.

Super Mario Bros 35 is free to download and play for Nintendo Switch Online members at no additional cost. Weirdly – and just like the recently released Super Mario 3D All-Stars collection – the game is only available until March 31, 2021. To get it, navigate to the Nintendo Switch Online section of the Switch eShop.


Get updates on the latest Xbox One, Switch, and PlayStation 4 video games via our new releases page. And follow Thumbsticks on Twitter and Facebook for daily news updates.

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Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.

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October’s PlayStation Plus games are fast and frightening

Sony has confirmed the two PlayStation 4 games coming to PlayStation Plus in October 2020.

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Sony / Thumbsticks

Sony has confirmed the two PlayStation 4 games coming to PlayStation Plus in October 2020.

First on the starting grid is EA’s Need for Speed Payback. Which Need for Speed is that you ask? It’s the 2017 effort from Ghost Games. The racing isn’t actually that bad, but the game is dragged down by creaky storytelling and aggressive microtransactions. It’s worth a quick spin.

Next up is Vampyr, Dontnod’s 2018 tale of bloodlust and revenge set in Edwardian London. It’s a distinctly AA game but not without merit for fans of gothic fiction and Hippocratic hokum. In our review, we said that a “vivid sense of time and place, and a fantastic central idea, soon turn pale with repetitive combat and a forest of conversation trees.” It certainly doesn’t suck.

Both of next month’s free PlayStation Plus games are available to download from October 6, 2020.

PlayStation Plus free games – October 2020

  • Need for Speed Payback
  • Vampyr

September’s PlayStation Plus games – PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Street Fighter V – are available to download until next week. And if you’re playing on Xbox One, Microsoft has also confirmed the four titles coming to Games with Gold in October.


Take a look at our new releases page for regular updates on the latest Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PS4 games. You should also follow Thumbsticks on Facebook, Google News, Twitter, and Flipboard.

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.

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