Games and creative industries

Find out more about the facilities, talent and tech that make up Scotland’s world-renowned creative industries, from games development to film and TV production.

Did you know?

Scotland is one of the top games and software developer locations in the world and has a reputation for being pioneering, award-winning and, quite literally, game-changing.

90,000 people

are employed in the Scottish creative industries.*

£4.6 billion value

the amount that the creative industries are worth to the Scottish economy.*

175+ gaming-related courses

across our 16 universities, three of which are in the global top 200.**

Source: Scottish Economic Statistics, Scottish Enterprise February 2021; Skills Development Scotland, February 2021

Scotland is changing the game

For the last 20 years, Scotland has been one of the leaders  of video gaming innovation. Some of the best-selling video games of all time have emerged from Scotland, such as Grand Theft Auto (GTA), Crackdown, Lemmings and, more recently, Angry Birds Stella POP.

These global successes have been borne out of a vibrant and connected games environment. Come to Scotland and you’ll join a culture of innovation and creativity. Academic institutions such as Abertay University, the Glasgow School of Art and award-winning digital skills academy CodeClan, have an outstanding record of industry collaboration.

By locating in Scotland you’ll find staff costs and property significantly lower than London, San Francisco or Boston. Above Scotland’s thriving urban social scene, we’re famous for our stunning scenery offering you the perfect work-life balance that complements business and lifestyle pursuits in equal measure.

What Scotland can offer your creative company

Join a connected and collaborative community

Scotland is one of the most exciting and cost-effective locations in Europe with an array of business hubs and incubators perfect for games developers. With gaming clusters in Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and beyond, you can rest assured that you’ll find the right match for your company’s requirements and the ideal environment for growth.

Dundee is widely recognised as the birthplace of Scotland’s gaming industry and is renowned for its expertise in digital media and creative industries. Having gained international recognition as a UNESCO City of Design, Dundee has a solid design pedigree which has drawn many games investors to the area.

Glasgow is home to a large digital technology cluster, employing almost 34,000 people, and has been named the top cultural and creative centre in the UK. Boasting the top ranking for both the number of digital tech students and graduates in the UK’s core cities, Glasgow has the skills and talent your business needs.

Edinburgh enjoys a growing reputation as a global tech hub and was recently named as one of the top UK locations for tech companies by CBRE. The cultural network within the Scottish capital is also thriving, fuelled by an energetic and connected creative community.

Read our interview with FanDuel co-founder, Nigel Eccles on Edinburgh's tech scene

Access the skills and talent you need

By choosing Scotland for your games project, you’ll find a community of ambitious, passionate and globally connected leaders. You'll have access to:

  • Workforce-ready talent from CodeClan, Scotland’s first accredited digital skills academy that runs acclaimed intensive coding courses
  • Over 96,000 highly skilled people working in digital technology roles
  • The UK’s first Centre for Excellence in Computer Games Education at Abertay University, a founding partner of Sony’s PlayStation First programme
  • Highly sought-after graduates from specialist university courses such as Computer Gaming Technology and Glasgow School of Art’s Games & Virtual Reality programme

Digital skills support for businesses locating to Scotland

Benefit from ongoing support

Invest in Scotland and you’ll benefit from close connections to the best academic institutions, both in Scotland and abroad. You’ll also enjoy access to dynamic industry clusters and meet potential partners working across mobile, online, educational and console markets.

You will find support from UK bodies such as the Independent Game Developers’ Association (TIGA), the Association for UK Interactive Entertainment (UKIE) and Innovate UK. By locating in Scotland you will also benefit from the expert support of the following Scottish organisations:

How we can help

Why Texan games tech firm AdInMo moved to Scotland

Gaming veteran Kristan Rivers set up AdInMo, an in-game advertising platform, in 2017 in his home city of Austin, Texas. He opted to switch headquarters to Scotland in November 2019, building its team during lockdown with our help. "AdInMo is very much a child of Covid times," says Kristan. 

Watch this video to hear Kristan explain why Scotland is a fantastic location for tech companies to set up and grow.

"We’re already seeing the benefits of our move to Scotland. The proximity to world-class universities as well as established and vibrant tech and gaming ecosystems allows us to hire a high calibre team. This has accelerated our platform roadmap as we continue to grow the organisation. The whole team is super excited about the future."

Kristan Rivers, co-founder and CEO of AdInMo

Scotland’s technology expertise

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Financial and tax incentives

Want to bring your project to life? You can benefit from a range of attractive incentives to help you upskill your staff, develop new products and services and access growth capital.

Digital skills support

Discover how Scotland's digital talent is benefiting businesses around the world and how Skills Development Scotland can help you access that talent.

Want to find opportunities in Scotland to grow your games or creative business? Get in touch to see how we can help.