A global leader in the video gaming industry, Canada has a reputation for being a source of highly skilled talent. Canada’s video gaming industry has the third largest number of employees in the world after Japan and the U.S., according to a report by the Entertainment Software Association of Canada.
Canadians not only make video games but we’re big consumers of them too, downloading 77.6 million games in the six months ending February 2012 – a 46 percent increase over the same period the previous year, says market research firm, NPD Group.
Major talent centres for the gaming industry are located in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal with a mix of 329 small and large companies employing 16,500 people. The $2.3 billion industry is expected to grow 25 percent over two years and it has been around in some form or other for more than 40 years, so if you’re looking for a career in a sector with staying power, this one is it.
Some of the world’s most popular games have ‘Made in Canada’ labels like Assassin’s Creed (Ubisoft) and FIFA Soccer (Electronic Arts). France-based Ubisoft has almost half of its employees in Canada. The largest game company in the world, Electronic Arts, has its biggest studio in Burnaby, B.C.
As a tech sector, video gaming is a bit unusual because it takes both tech and arts to create a great game. Creative talents like art, design and story- telling are as important as the technical programming skills to making all the complex aspects fit together and come to life.
Cool Jobs in Video Gaming
Video gaming combines so many skills, you’re bound to have a personal strength that fits somewhere in the industry – technical, creative, sales, customer support or quality assurance and testing. Here are some examples of careers. Click on the job’s title to see the full CareerMash Career Profile.
Technical Director: The technical director is responsible for establishing a link between the artistic vision of the game and its technical implementation. They are also responsible for developing new techniques to overcome obstacles during the production of the game.
Art Director: Artistic directors focus on three main areas – design, negotiating with other contributors, and monitoring that the tech produces the right results. An artistic director leads a team of graphic designers and integrators, ensuring that the graphics support the context of a video’s gameplay.
Game Designer: Designers get to figure out what will be the most fun for people who will play a game. They then design all the complex elements to fit storylines, characters, environments, devices and scoring levels.
Game Developer: Piece by piece, game developers build all the neat things a player takes for granted like gravity-free flying through space, flashing a light around a cave or simply clicking to competing with a friend online. What the game’s artist and designer envision, the developer turns into reality through program coding.
Sound Designer: Sound designers develop and integrate a variety of sounds into the game such as character voices, music, background noises and special effects. They add an important dimension to video games through both technical and artistic expertise.