Brussels, 1 July 2020

The European Commission publishes its EU Skills Agenda today, 1 July, shining a light on a digital skills gap that is impacting EU recruitment in Europe’s €21.6 billion-strong video games industry.

ISFE CEO Simon Little said: “We welcome the European Commission’s 12 actions in this Agenda as an important step forward to address the skills shortage in our industry.  In particular, we welcome the “Skills Pact” as an important element in the up- and re-skilling of Europe’s workforce. Europe urgently needs to increase the digital talent pool and to boost basic digital skills in the EU population, starting already in school. Europe’s video games industry – one of the fastest growing sectors in the digital economy – is facing serious recruitment challenges and a fundamental transformation of education and training in Europe is urgently needed.”

The annual members’ survey of ISFE’s UK member, UKIE, revealed that 76% of the participating video game companies reported difficulties in finding skilled staff, which is well above the average of 40% of businesses in the EU that reportedly have difficulties in finding ICT specialists. 

Similarly, results from the Polish “Gamedev 2017” study -7 confirmed this trend. While nearly 93% of the companies indicated that the skillset is the key determining factor in choosing a new team member, only 10% were satisfied with graduates’ preparedness.

Competition from other countries or sectors is another major concern when vacancies cannot be filled easily. Video games companies around the world compete fiercely to recruit the best talent internationally for roles which are highly specialised and forward-facing. Additionally, as a relatively young industry which relies on cutting-edge technical talent, games businesses often compete not only with themselves but with the wider technology industry.

European Games Developer Federation (EGDF) COO Jari-Pekka Kaleva said: “We welcome the Commission’s acknowledgement of the importance of increasing the attractiveness of STEM studies and careers, with focused actions to attract girls and women. With women representing 45% of video game players in Europe, we need them equally represented in our workforce. As a sector, we invest significantly in the training of our future talent in the EU and in attracting talent from outside the EU, but this alone will not solve our skills gap. The EU needs to drive change at national level to ensure that people receive the necessary knowledge, skills and competences to fill roles that continuously evolve and change. Europe needs to widen its scope from reforming formal education to supporting non-formal education like game development-focused summer camps, youth clubs and game jams.”.

Contact for ISFE:
Heidi Lambert, tel: +44 7932 141291
Twitter: @ISFE_Games

Players are at the heart of what we do

Since 1998, ISFE has ensured that the voice of a responsible games ecosystem is heard and understood, that its creative and economic potential is supported and celebrated, and that players around the world continue to enjoy great video game playing experiences.

ISFE represents the video games industry in Europe and is based in Brussels, Belgium. Our membership comprises national trade associations in 18 countries across Europe which represent in turn thousands of developers and publishers at national level. ISFE also has as direct members the leading European and international video game companies,

Contact for EGDF:
Jari-Pekka Kaleva, tel: +358 40 716 3640   
COO, European Games Developer Federation (EGDF)
Senior Policy Analyst, Neogames Finland ry.
Email: /
Twitter: @jpkaleva       

Uniting the industry
The European Games Developer Federation e.f. (EGDF) unites national trade associations representing game developer studios from Austria (PGDA), Belgium (FLEGA), Czechia (GDACZ), Denmark (Producentforeningen), Finland (Suomen pelinkehittäjät), France (SNJV), Germany (GAME), Italy (IIDEA), Malta (MVGSA), Netherlands (DGA), Norway (VIRKE Produsentforeningen), Poland (PGA), Romania (RGDA), Spain (DEV), Sweden (Spelplan-ASGD), Slovakia (SGDA), Turkey (TOGED) and the United Kingdom (TIGA). Altogether, through its members, EGDF represents more than 2000 game developer studios, most of them SMEs, employing more than 25 000 people.