Canada's $3 Billion Video Game Industry is Growing in 2015
Entertainment Software Association of Canada's new report showed a strong growth in Canada's video game industry. Although report shows that most of video game developers work at foreign-owned game studio but the growth of Canada's own microstudios is promising.
Venture Beat reported that Jayson Hilchie, president and chief executive of the Entertainment Software Association of Canada (ESAC) said "We have an industry that is growing in studios, employment, and diversity". According to ESAC survey, Canada in 2015 has 472 active game studios, up 143 from 2013. Overall, these companies contribute $3 billion to the Canadian gross domestic product, counting both direct, indirect, and induced jobs, up 31 percent from 2013. Video game industries in Canada employed 20,400 full-time employees in 2015. However, although 85 percent of the companies are Canadian-owned video game studios, but most workers, 88 percent of them work in foreign-owned studios, such as Ubisoft, the France-based company operated in Montreal, Quebec City, and Toronto.
Ubisoft's presence in Canada started in 1997 in Montreal. In 2009, Ubisoft established new studio in Toronto, and collaboration between both Canadian studios in 2013 developed the famous Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell series for Sony PlayStation and XBox. Later in the same year, Ubisoft invest $373 million to establish a new studio in Quebec. Ubisoft Montreal is the largest video game studio in the world with more than 2,700 employees. Ubisoft owns a series of its successful game such as Prince of Persia, Assasin's Creed, Tom Clancy.
Toronto Star mentioned that video game industry is taking flight as an economic force in Canada. As the industry is catching up to TV and film production, the gaming industry wanted to bring more women on board. Jade Raymond, former head of Ubisoft Montreal and producer of Assasin's Creed is the most renowned woman in Canadian video game industry. She is role model for women to enter video game industry. Currently, Miss Raymond is hired by Electronic Arts to lead its Montreal-based game studio, Motive Studio.
In regard to ESAC report, Canada News Wire emphasized positive outlook of game industry will keep going in future as several companies are expecting the growth rate to continue over the next two years. It is estimated thae the industry will have new 1,377 jobs in technical and creative roles in the next 12-24 months.
Canada has established its presence stronger in the game industry as more international video game companies established their presence in Canada. More Canadian's owned video game studios also flourished, contributing to $3 billion to country's GDP. Now, Canada is the center of video game industry.