Gaming is Driving the Growth of Canada’s AR and VR Industries

What might be a wake-up call to those looking to play video games all day—now’s the chance to hopIt’s not a shocking statement to say Canada has a robust video game industry. But new reports keep indicating just how important the field is when it comes to the overall growth of innovation in the tech sector.

One particular area that has seen exponential growth is augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). In fact, job postings in those fields have grown by 199 per cent since December 2015, according to a new report from Indeed Canada. Job seekers have taken notice as well: searches for those areas have grown by 148 per cent as well. A lot of these jobs are coming directly from the gaming industry.

“Gaming is big business in Canada—and it’s also a big employer, with openings for game designers, producers, programmers, artists, not to mention business, sales and marketing roles,” said Jodi Kasten, managing director at Indeed Canada. “There’s no doubt that behind the glamor and excitement, gaming is a serious business subject to ups and downs like any other major industry. New technologies bring innovation and a demand for talent and new skills which leads to the creation of new job opportunities.”

There are a few interesting insights included in the report that dive a bit deeper into jobs within the gaming world. With the incredible rise of esports, job seeker interest in the field has grown by 134 per cent since 2015, even though employer demand dropped 57 per cent. The same kind of trend exists for game designers: interest grew by 96 per cent, while employer demand dropped by 33 per cent.

Game testing and QA had an opposite effect. Employers looking for talent in those roles grew by 114 per cent, while interest only grew by three per cent since 2015. That might be the wake-up call to those looking to play video games all day—get out there and apply.

Not all cities are created equal when it comes to being hubs for video game careers though. Montreal comes in at number one with 41 per cent of gaming jobs thanks to help from giants like Ubisoft and their $780 million investment pledge last year, while Vancouver is second in the country with 20 per cent of the country’s video game jobs thanks to companies like Electronic Arts. Toronto is third with 13 per cent, while Burnaby and Edmonton round out the top five.

In case it isn’t clear, video games contribute a massive amount to Canada’s economic sector. The industry has created over 40,000 direct and indirect full-time jobs and contributes $3.7 billion to the country’s GDP each year. With the rise in AR and VR and continued pushes from both international and domestic studios, that number will only increase.