Digital distribution is the future in the UK -- for the sake of a lot of jobs, it had better be. UK game industry trade organization TIGA issued a new census report today, revealing a heavy focus on downloadable or social games.

71% of UK game company startups between 2008 and 2011 are "focused exclusively on network gaming," the report indicates. Taking all of the UK industry in consideration (not just new companies), 67% work on digitally distributed games.

"For too long developers have laboured under the traditional 'give your IP away, never see royalties' model," said TIGA Self-Publishing Committee Patrick O'Luanaigh. "So TIGA strongly supports the trend towards online gaming and self-publishing. Online gaming can deliver greater company stability and revenue sustainability for studios. This is because studios can circumvent traditional publisher business models and build relationships directly with customers. Network gaming businesses can create original games, retain their IP and attain greater financial stability."

We suspect this boost in digital gaming involves two major factors: the rise of iOS and Android games, and the end of large UK game companies like Bizarre Creations.