Canadian game industry adds $2.3 billion to economy

ESA Canada touts growing game scene despite closures and layoffs; 84% of studios working on mobile devices

In a keynote address at the Ottawa International Game Conference today, Entertainment Software Association of Canada president and CEO Jayson Hilchie dropped a few stats about the Great White North game development industry, including its overall impact on the economy.

According to the ESAC, Canada's gaming industry added about $2.3 billion to the national GDP last year. And despite news of layoffs and studio closures, the number of people involved in the industry is growing.

"There are 16,500 men and women working full time in Canada's video game industry," Hilchie said, "up 5 percent from where we were in 2011. But our industry is responsible for generating employment for approximately 27,000 people across the Canadian economy. These are high paying jobs - paying on average just over $72,000 - going to young workers in creative / artistic disciplines, technical fields and business / administrative functions."

ESA Canada's stats also painted a picture of the shifting industry. According to the trade group, 84 percent of Canadian studios are working on games for mobile devices. PCs were the next most popular platform with 66 percent of developers supporting them, followed by consoles (48 percent), web browsers (46 percent), and social networks (29 percent).

[Correction]: The original headline of this article contained a typo. As detailed in the article, the gaming industry reportedly added $2.3 billion to Canada's GDP, not $3.2 billion.

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Latest comments (2)

Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 7 years ago
They did this by using national and local government money to bribe the industry to move there from the USA, France and the UK.

84% working on consoles, 66% PC, 48% console and 29% social networks is no surprise, it reflects the reality of where the market now is.
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gi biz ;, 7 years ago
I don't think "bribing" is the correct term. The government is just smart and it's investing into attracting skilled people. Why else would you go to the blizzards and biting cold Canadian weather otherwise? Imo, Americans and mostly Japanese are being stupid into making visas almost impossible to obtain. The same is for France (remember the article on about Quantic Dream wanting to move because of high taxes?). I've been wanting to write about this on my blog for a while, and I'm doing it soon: from a Country's perspective is it better to have 10 developers happy with a good salary but only get a few taxes or having 10 unemployed citizens to look after and not get any taxes at all? The UK has done a great job with the Raspberry Pi, moving the manufacturing back here and all. That's the way to go. Technology is an expensive thing to do, government should push it instead of leeching money. They can leech from restaurants, retail, many other things.

In contrast Italy is experiencing an especially bad moment. Companies get charged about 70% of their income, which is causing many of them to shut down or move abroad. As an employee you become quite expensive, which leads to low salaries and all sort of problems Canadian never heard about. Can I blame Italians for moving abroad? No. Can I blame Italians for not having as many game companies as there are in Canada? No. Can I blame French and British for moving to Canada and not to Italy? No. It was smart from them to invest in games and cinema, Italians could've done the same, Sarkozy could've done the same and you Country could've done the same, whatever it is.
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