Canada spits out the most games per capita, study says


It seems like it’s a good time to be a game designer in Canada. The great white north may only rank third behind the USA and Japan when it comes to game industry size, but a new study by Nordicity and the Entertainment Software Association of Canada (ESAC) has revealed that Canada is the world’s number one producer of video games per capita.

Revealed at the Ottawa International Game Conference on Friday, the study states that video game development now accounts for $2.2 billion of Canada’s gross national product. The industry employs over 16,500 people between 329 studios, paying an average salary of $69,450 a year.

To anyone paying attention, this should come as no surprise. Many of the biggest and brightest triple A series are developed almost entirely in Canada, including Mass Effect, Far Cry, Splinter Cell, Assassin’s Creed, FIFA Soccer, NHL, and the Batman Arkham games. And things are only getting better; by the end of the year 25% of Canadian gaming companies are expected to increase their staff by one-quarter or more. Canada even has its very own video game award show. The Canadian Video Game Awards, presented by local retailer Futureshop, celebrated their fourth year on April 20th, handing out Game of the Year 2013 to Far Cry 3.

However, as with everything, there is a flip-side. While there are many triple A studios in Canada, the majority are not owned by Canadian companies. BioWare stands out among the crowd with their Edmonton headquarters, but Ubisoft, who have three Canadian studios, are French-owned despite their Montreal studio being their largest with over 2,000 employees. But with the still shaky state of the economy, high paying jobs are high paying jobs and the video game industry certainly looks like it is here to stay. As Jayson Hilche, chief executive officer and president of the ESAC, says, “This industry – with its marriage of high-skill creative, artistic, and technical disciplines – is a source of national pride.”

Source: The Ottawa Citizen, the ESAC

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