Here’s an article written by Marke Andrews in the Friday edition of The Vancouver Sun that discusses the current state of the Canadian video game industry. It mentions a newly released report commissioned by the Entertainment Software Association of Canada (ESAC) and prepared by Arthur Hickings Low. The industry was surveyed from June to October, 2008, just before the layoffs happened at multiple studios in Vancouver. A colleague told me the other day that approximately 550 game developers were laid off from different local companies in the last six months.

Here are some highlights from this report:

There were 14,043 game developers in the Canadian video game industry  employed by 241 active game and game related companies.

Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver are Canada’s three principal centres of game development activity.

There were 31 game development companies in Canada that employed between 100 and 500 people and accounted for 42% of the video game  industry. 53 companies employed between 20 to 100 employees, 84 companies employed between 5 to 20 employees, and 76 companies employed 1 to 5 employees.

There were 61 game and game related companies in Vancouver employing 5,842 people.

British Columbia accounted for 44% of people employed in the Canadian video game industry. Quebec accounted for 37%, and Ontario accounted for 14%. Alberta accounted for 3%, Nova Scotia accounted for 1%, Prince Edward Island accounted for 0.6%, Manitoba accounted for 0.2%, and New Brunswick accounted for 0.1%.

85% of Canadian game development companies were involved with production. 14% in were involved with application and software tool development, and 1% were involved with game support services.

In 2008, Canadian game development companies generated $1.7 billion dollars in revenues and contributed $2.2 billion dollars to video game retail sales.

16% of Canadian game developers had one to five years of  video game industry experience. 39% of developers had five to ten years of experience.
27% of developers had ten to fifteen years of experience. 20% of developers had more than fifteen years of experience.

You can download a copy of this report from the Resources section of this blog.

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