Videogame employment actually up in 2009

Growth in games industry revealed

An independent 2009 games sector census reveals marginal growth in U.S. games industry since 2008, while Canada explodes with new development studios and job opportunities.

It's a Christmas miracle, as employment in the North American videogame industry improved slightly in 2009 despite declining sales throughout the latter half of the year.

An industry census report released this month by Game Developer Research indicates that U.S. game development is becoming less dependent on urban hubs like San Francisco and Seattle as many new studios spring up in the wake of significant industry layoffs. Employment is marginally better at the close of 2009 than it was a year earlier, with 44,806 citizens actively working in the videogame industry (44,400 reported active employment in 2008).

"These fundings mean lots of innovation ahead and continued employment for game industry veterans. We know not all of these companies will last. But the successful ones will create revenues, profits and jobs in the years ahead."

Mobile and casual games developed by small independent studios account for a significant chunk of that number, which is surprising given a recent report by GamesBeat reporter Dean Takahashi claiming that video game startups raised significantly less money in 2009 when compared to the previous year, down 36 percent (more than $300 million) from the 2008 year-end totals. Casual game studios like PopCap and Zynga led the fundraising and employment charts this year (Zynga alone netted more than $200 million, including a $180 million investment from Russian company Digital Sky Technologies,) which means "lots of innovation ahead and continued employment for game industry veterans," predicts Takahashi. "We know not all of these companies will last. But the successful ones will create revenues, profits and jobs in the years ahead."

While the U.S. game industry has managed to hang on through 2009, the Canadian game development scene has exploded with a more than 30 percent increase (from an estimated 9,500 at the close of 2008 to more than 12,500 in 2009). This surprising growth is attributed to a rash of new studios popping up throughout the country, especially Montreal and Ontario. With government subsidies and a deep pool of experienced talent to draw from, Canada may be poised to lead the gaming industry's post-recession climb in 2010.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags games developmentvideo games

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Alex Wawro

GamePro
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?