Which is the biggest British developer/publisher?

Pig 512

Firstly an explanation. I am not writing regularly here now because I am concentrating on another blog, Bruce on Politics.

There are two developer/publisher companies which have consistently claimed to be the biggest in Britain. Jagex in Cambridge and Codemasters, outside Leamington Spa. Let’s put this to the test. The best source of figures are their annual accounts, which are available from Companies House for the cost of £1 a pop. Each of these covers the last year the accounts were filed for and also the previous year for comparison. I have Codemasters Group Holdings Limited accounts for year ended 31 March 2014 and also 30 June 2011, also Jagex accounts for 31 December 2013.

The first measure we can look at is turnover, or sales as it is more commonly known. Jagex has a 2013 turnover of £46,537K down from £53,098K in 2012. Codemaster figures were £51,969K for 2014 and £53,242K for 2013, so there isn’t much in it. But both were down year on year. Interestingly Codemasters turnover was £122,961K in 2010 and £119,182K in 2011. So the company is doing well under half the business it was doing just a very few years ago.

The second measure is number of employees. Jagex had 515 in 2013 and 472 in 2012. Staff costs were £21,699K for 2012 and £22,858K in 2013. Codemasters had 731 staff in 2013 costing £28,202K dropping to 588 staff in 2014 costing £22,063K. So once again there isn’t much in it. Going back to 2010 Codemasters then had 778 staff costing £32,331K and in 2011 814 staff costing £32,782K. So whilst their turnover has more than halved their staff numbers have dropped far less.

The third measure is profitability. Jagex made £9,758K in 2012 and £945K in 2013. A huge drop. The balance sheet for 2013 shows accumulated profit of £7,067K. Codemasters accounts show a LOSS in 2013 0f £12,868K followed by a LOSS of £3,337K in 2014. Accumulated losses in their 2014 balance sheet total £188,957K. So Jagex has Codemasters very comprehensively beaten on this measure but with a worrying trend.

Of interest, considering the above, is the remuneration of their highest paid directors (and we know who these are). At Jagex the highest paid director received £437,166 in 2012 and £381,815 in 2013. At Codemasters the highest paid director received £862,000 in 2013 and £816,000 in 2014. So making losses at Codemasters pays around twice as much as making profits at Jagex!

Overall, on these figures, it is pretty much a draw as to who is biggest. But accounts are always historic, so the current situation might be a lot different.

1 Comment

  1. You should have spent another £ and looked at T17 – Surely them or Rebellion have survived, prospered and then grown to represent “Brit Soft” Frontier also making a rapid entry on the generating profit scale.

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