Image Gradient
BOP Consulting Logo | HomeButton
What's next for a video games cluster?
image gradient

Image Credit: Fredrick Tendong

What's next for a video games cluster?

Our ‘blueprint for growth’ strategy has just been published

Richard Naylor

Director, Research

Richard is a world leading expert in research methodologies for the culture and the creative industries, having been an early innovator in the development of frameworks for measuring the economic and social impacts of cultural activities.

Richard Naylor - Director, Research | BOP Consulting

Planning a new project?

If you are interested to learn more about our work or if you have a project you would like to discuss, get in touch.






Projects Sectors

Our review of the video games sector in the West Midlands, sponsored by the Coventry & Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership and Ukie, has been published.

Focusing on the established cluster of games businesses around Leamington - known as ‘Silicon Spa’ - it develops a ‘blueprint for growth’ of the sector across access to finance, skills training, education, development of eSports, and promoting ‘games as culture’ to engage young people to study computing.

Some of our key findings were:

  • The West Midlands’ Games Sector is a 21st century growth industry. Around 130 of the UK’s best games businesses are based in the West Midlands, creating, highly skilled, productive jobs and opportunities throughout the region. The games industry in the West Midlands generated an estimated £224 million in GVA in 2015 and employed around 3,500 people.

  • The global video games industry is an economic and cultural success story – but despite the health of the industry at a ‘macro’ level, difficulties in accessing development finance and talent make life harder than ever for smaller games developers.

  • Increasing competition in the console games market – still the most profitable sector, despite the growth of mobile games – leads to higher budgets for both production and marketing, increasing risk for medium and large developers.

  • Games are an example of ‘digital manufacturing’, requiring and developing a blend of transferable 21st century skills. Making games is a fusion of art, design, programming, data analysis, science, maths – all skills transferable to other sectors. The process of developing games creates innovation in technology and tools for their manufacture – many of which are transferable to other sectors.

  • eSports is the biggest spectator sport you have never heard of. A form of competitive team-based multi-player gaming watched by live, TV and online audiences, by 2019, eSports will be a billion-dollar industry.

The interrelationship between history and culture, quality and technological innovation are the drivers of the dynamism and competitiveness of ‘Silicon Spa’. To allow the cluster to ‘punch its weight’ and act as a driver for regional competitiveness and growth, the factors that drive the international standing and competitiveness of Silicon Spa need to be differentiated from widespread and generalised growth of the creative industries in the region and celebrated as one of the UK’s leading digital manufacturing clusters.

The full report can be downloaded below.

Recommendations on how to grow a two-year programme for the games industry and wider digital creative sector in the West Midlands

Project Report

Games Industry in Coventry and Warwickshire – A Blueprint for Growth

Building on our contribution to the second edition of the report in 2018, BOP has led as the Data and Research partner on this report to help find out how policies can protect people working in the creative and cultural sectors.

UNESCO's Re|Shaping Policies for Creativity Report – Addressing culture as a global public good


Our strategy will guide the creation of a new digital service aiming at supporting and developing the creative scene in Downtown Kingston.

Leveraging the creative potential of Downtown Kingston through technology

Inter-American Development Bank - IDB

Our research into the UK's high streets found that 69% of people think culture on their high street makes their area a better place to live.

Culture: The cornerstone of the UK’s high streets

Arts Council England

BOP’s updated Handbook for the Inter-American Development Bank sets out strategies for sustainability and urban resilience

Creative and Cultural Industries and Urban Revitalisation in the post-COVID era

Inter-American Development Bank - IDB

We investigated the potential impact of AI on the cultural and creative industries.

Opportunities and Challenges of AI for the Cultural and Creative Industries

European Commission

Published today: ‘Design for Good: 90 Years of the RSA Student Design Awards’, a new publication from the RSA, co-authored by BOP

A History of Bright Ideas: 90 Years of the RSA Student Design Awards

The Royal Society for Arts (RSA)

New skills research in the Gulf Co-operation Council States

An evidence-base for the growing Gulf festivals sector

British Council

Our research into the museum workforce is launched

Conscientiousness, optimism, and curiosity

Museums Galleries Scotland

BOP’s report for Nanjing City Government demonstrates the importance of cross-cutting policies with a compelling cultural offer at the core

Creating Healthy Night-time Economies in World Cities

Nanjing Creative Center

Findings from our work at Great Ormond Street Hospital

Creativity in health settings


How is China influencing the future of Cultural Tourism?

Cultural Infrastructure for the 21st Century

Chengdu Media Group

Based on our impact analysis we estimate $750 billion in lost GVA for the CCI as a result of the pandemic so far.

Economic impact of COVID-19 on the Cultural and Creative Industries


Our analysis of the strengths & challenges of music in the Midlands is published

Hitting the right notes in the Midlands

Arts Council England

New handbook published for city leaders

How can cities make space for culture?

World Cities Culture Forum (WCCF)

Our report sheds new light on how building the capacity of the heritage sector can assist working internationally

International working builds stronger heritage sector at home

National Lottery Heritage Fund

Our new report with Nesta published

Opportunities for China-UK Cooperation through Equity Crowdfunding


Our new research report for the National Trust

Protect urban heritage to prevent growth in inequality

National Trust

Our latest research for the Reading Agency shows we should read year-round

Reading is for life, not just for August

The Reading Agency

Our review of the Scottish Animation Sector, commissioned by Creative Scotland, has just been published

Review of the Scottish Animation Sector

Creative Scotland

UK-wide study of visitor experience practice provides new benchmarks for cultural and visitor attractions

Sharing Operations and Visitor Experience insight


Related Projects

Research, Data and Insight, Strategy and Policy Design

Richard Naylor - Director, Research | BOP Consulting

Richard Naylor

Director, Research