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TIGA Survey Reveals That Unity 3D Engine Dominates the UK Third Party Engine Market

Over a Quarter of UK Studios Deploy Internal Proprietary Engine

LONDON, Aug. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- TIGA, the network for games developers and digital publishers and the trade association representing the UK video games industry, has released new data showing that 72 per cent of UK studios use the Unity 3D Engine, while 27 per cent use an internal proprietary engine. TIGA's data is based on a survey of over 10 per cent of UK games studios. A representative sample of small, medium and large studios developing games for mobile/tablet, PC, console and VR took part in the survey.


Percentage of developers using engine[1]

Unity 3D Engine (Unity Technologies)


Unreal Engine (Epic Games)


Internal proprietary engine


Amazon Lumberyard (Amazon)


Cocos2d-x (Cocos)




Corona SDK


CryEngine (Crytek)


GameMaker Studio


Phyre Engine (Sony)








Clickteam Fusion 2.5 


Marmalade SDK (Marmalade)






Dr Richard Wilson OBE, TIGA CEO, said:

"Our survey shows that 27 per cent of participating UK studios use an internal proprietary engine, whilst Unity Technologies dominates the third party engine market.

"The majority of UK studios now self-publish. Studios often look for a third party engine that supports self-publishing operations, monetisation and analytics. The more that third party engine providers enable studios to self-publish effectively, the greater will be the opportunity to grow market share."

Chris Kingsley OBE, CTO at Rebellion, which uses the internal proprietary engine Asura, said:

"Whilst the initial investment in developing your own game engine is greater, the technical challenges are higher and the time to start is longer, the ongoing costs tend to be lower, the general frustration level is lower and the long-term gains are greater.

"Your game engine will be tuned to your game type and its requirements. You will have all the access you need to the source code and at no extra cost, so you can find and fix bugs quickly. You will not have to constantly integrate changes every few months, which can take your engine and your game out of use for weeks. You will not have to pay engine royalties to anyone, or manage multiple seat licenses. Unless you want them to, no one can buy your engine and take it off the market, or redeploy the engine development team onto another project. Finally, your engine can be used for free on your next project."

Research methodology

TIGA's data and information on PC, mobile, console and VR/AR is based on research with Games Investor Consulting (GIC). GIC continuously maintains a database of all extant, closed and exiting British games companies including all verified discrete independent and publisher-owned games development studios. It counts as a single studio all entities with holding/parent, sister and subsidiary companies that do not represent separate development concerns. It excludes companies in the process of being liquidated as well as any company that uses games-related Standard Industrial Codes (SIC) codes but which either are demonstrably not in games (e.g. are gambling or board gaming businesses) or cannot be verified from their published company profiles as operating in games development. Between September-November 2018, TIGA and GIC conducted an email and telephone survey of British games companies involved in the development of games including studios, publishers, service companies and broadcasters with games divisions. Distribution, manufacturing, peripheral device, marketing and retail companies were not profiled. Companies were asked how many staff worked full time in development or in roles supporting development. HR, admin, sales, marketing and commercial staff were excluded. GIC takes the latest data on development headcount to scale total development expenditure, and then uses current ONS economic data and Oxford Economics' calculations from their report, "The economic contribution of the UK Games Development industry," to establish estimates of the development industry's GDP and tax impact.

About TIGA

TIGA is the network for games developers and digital publishers and the trade association representing the video games industry. Since 2010, TIGA has won 28 business awards and commendations and has been successfully accredited as an Investors in People organisation four times. TIGA focuses on three sets of activities:

• Political representation
• Media representation
• Business services

This enhances the competitiveness of our members by providing benefits that make a material difference to their businesses, including a reduction in costs and improved commercial opportunities. It also means our members' voices are heard in the corridors of power and positively represented in national, broadcast and UK video games trade media.

Get in touch:

Tel: +44-(0)-845-468-2330
Email: info@tiga.org
Web: www.tiga.org
Twitter: www.twitter.com/tigamovement
Facebook: www.facebook.com/TIGAMovement
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/tiga

[1] Percentages exceed 100, because studios were allowed to select more than one response. For example, a studio might use both an internal proprietary engine and a third party engine, depending on the nature of the game being developed.


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