Canada’s growing video game industry pumps $2.3B into economy
Published Sunday, October 27, 2013 10:24PM EDT
With more than 300 video game companies operating across the country, Canada now has the world’s third-largest video game development industry in the world, after the U.S. and Japan.
The gaming industry employs more than 16,000 people and contributes $2.3 billion to Canada’s GDP, according to the latest figures from the Entertainment Software Association of Canada.
About half of the industry jobs are found in Quebec, with 97 video companies operating in the province, including Warner Bros.Games Montreal, Gameloft and Ubisoft Entertainment.
“That whole multicultural aspect that we find in Montreal really sort of drives our creativity, we have great schools that are here that really have the ability to bring out top talent,” said Martin Carrier, studio head at Warner Bros. Games.
Batman: Arkham Origins was created in Montreal by Warner Bros. Games, and gamer Salim Tannous said he was “amazed to see how much detail and how much work they put into these games.”
“It feels cool to know we have a video company here, Warner Brothers, that developed such a great game,” he told CTV News
British Columbia’s gaming industry, which employs more than 5,000 people, was once Canada’s main video game hub.
Russell Kentish is currently studying at Vancouver’s Centre for Digital Media, and once he’s finished his program, he plans to open his own studio.
“It’s never been easier for people to start their own companies, all you need is a laptop and some time and you can create your own software,” Kentish told CTV.
But aggressive tax incentives have drawn companies to Ontario and Quebec in more recent years.
Quebec is also home to a strong indie community, with micro studios accounting for almost 60 per cent of the companies in the province.
“What we’ve seen of late is there are more and more in mobile and casual games as well as strong indie community producing games as well,” said Dennis Chenard, director of industry relations at the Centre for Digital Media.
Indeed, while console and computer games account for the bulk of video game revenue, mobile and casual games have been increasing in popularity.
Handheld systems account for 44 per cent of games most frequently played, while game consoles and computers account for 33 percent and 36 per cent of video game platforms, respectively.
With a report from CTV Ottawa’s Vanessa Lee