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Canada becomes third biggest industry employer

UK falls to fourth place as Canada eyes further expansion

Canada is now the world's third largest employer of videogame professionals, pushing the UK into fourth place according to new data from the Electronic Software Association of Canada (ESAC).

As reported by the Canadian Financial Post more than 14,000 people are now directly employed by more than 247 Canadian videogame companies. The ESAC claims this is more than the UK and behind only Japan and the USA.

Other statistics show that 138,000 people were employed in general programming and development roles in Canada in 2008, suggesting that videogame developers account for around 10 per cent of all software jobs in the country.

The ESAC attributes Canada's success to generous tax incentives, which have helped to attract large scale investment from companies such as Electronic Arts, Ubisoft and Eidos.

Up to 29 per cent more videogame employees are expected in Canada by 2011, with Ubisoft already suggesting that its headcount will nearly double in the country to 3,000 employees by 2013.

EA however famously cancelled plans for a new studio in Vancouver, as part of the company's more general cost-cutting measures.

Frontier Developments founder David Braben recently suggested that the UK could soon become only the sixth largest market for developers in the world, as it risks also falling behind France and China.

Although all three UK political parties have promised tax breaks in a new parliament, Braben also emphasised the need for improvements in computer science courses throughout the UK education system.

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