Video games project aims to awake ‘sleeping giant’ industry in Scotland

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Rear view of young gamer wearing gaming headphones with backlight and playing in computer video game on computer

University of Stirling experts are setting out key recommendations to boost Scotland’s video game industry.

Academics, including Dr Michaela Hruskova from the Stirling Management School, analysed the sector through an ecosystem framework, to help the sector address key challenges and create more successful, global companies.

Although Scotland’s video game industry is recognised worldwide for its success, 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. 

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

Dr Michaela Hruskova has long red hair with a fringe, black rimmed glasses and is pictured against a patterned background  

Dr Michaela Hruskova, Lecturer in Entrepreneurship at Stirling Management School

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.