The Great Canadian Videogame Industry: 329 Studios Pump $2.3 Billion into Nation’s Economy

In a keynote address at the Ottawa International Game Conference, Jayson Hilchie today revealed new research regarding Canada’s videogame industry.

Hilchie, the CEO of the Entertainment Software Association of Canada, describes the industry as “a source of national pride.”

“Many people are still surprised to realize that Canada is the largest producer of videogames on a per capita basis, producing critically acclaimed video games on nearly all platforms and enjoyed all over the world,” he noted.

According to fresh data from Nordicity, Canada has 329 videogame studios employing 16,500 full-time workers that generate more than $2.3 billion in GDP annually for Canada. Job growth is up 5% and average salaries exceed $70,000, high above national averages, despite the average age of a worker in the industry being just 30 years.

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“Video game developers and publishers have a positive outlook on the future. Four out of 10 respondents expect to grow by over 25% in the next 24 months, while 17% expect to grow by 15 to 24% in the same period,” said Hilchie. “Although there have been studio closures and shifts in the types of games produced here, there is an optimism about the future of the industry in Canada.”

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Over 84% of Canadian video game studios are now working on games for mobile devices, while just over 48% of studios are devoting some of their resources to console games. Studios in Canada are also developing PC games (66%), as well as games for the web (46%) and for social networks (29%).

Companies report that the average budget for console games is $8.7 million, produced by an average team of 65 persons in 583 days, as compared to an average budget of $300,000 for mobile games, a team of 7 persons and 156 days of production.