Tom Beardsmore, Coatsink

Game on for Sunderland tech sector

Sunderland’s thriving tech sector has welcomed a new report which shows the UK gaming industry recorded its best ever year to date in 2018.

According to the latest report by the Association of UK Interactive Entertainment (Ukie), video game revenues hit a record high of £5.7bn last year, more than the music and movie industries combined.

Digital purchases were at the heart of this growth with popular titles such as Fortnite and Battlegrounds leading to a huge rise in online-only game revenues.

Digital purchasing now accounts for 50% of all game sales and one of the companies really bearing the fruit of this is Coatsink, an award-winning games development company and digital innovator, created in 2009 by Tom Beardsmore and Paul Crabb.

Based at Sunderland Software Centre, the company specialises in producing digital games and has quadrupled its workforce since moving to Sunderland in 2013, employing more than 70 people, and with ongoing plans for expansion, the company that is flying the flag for the region’s video game development industry.

Tom Beardsmore, CEO and co-founder, said: Coatsink has grown rapidly since moving to Sunderland Software Centre and now employs almost 80 people, hailing from all corners of the world.  The North East offers an established, thriving hub of game development comprised of a number of AAA studios and many smaller independent studios.

“All of these companies benefit from lower cost of operation compared to traditional game development hubs such as London, a much lower cost of living, an arguably better quality of life for employees and strong local authority support to generate and maintain jobs in the area.”

Speaking about the latest research from Ukie, Beardsmore added: “The UK games development industry is growing, and the figures suggest acceleration which is great for jobs and GDP.

“The great thing about these figures is that it shows almost identical growth in hardware and software that are not artificially inflated from a major console revision.

“The figures validate Government’s decision to invest in this sector and add strength to the success of initiatives such as the Video Games Tax Credit (VGTC) which is vital to stimulating growth in the sector.”