By Mark LillaPublished October 05, 2017 06:12:00A team of Java developers from Canada is taking advantage of the booming international game development market, working on apps for schools, companies and governments.
With nearly 500 developers working in over 20 countries and more than 30,000 people employed worldwide, it’s a rare sight in Canada.
And with more than 2,000 Canadian jobs in the pipeline, it certainly helps that the province is well-positioned for the growing market.
“We’re doing a lot of work in the U.S. and Asia and in the developing world,” said Paul Sato, executive director of the Canadian Games Industry Council.
“We’ve got a very vibrant and well-trained workforce here and we’re seeing a lot more of it.”
The industry has a very strong ecosystem here, and it’s growing at a very fast pace.
There’s no question we’re the biggest market in the country right now, but there’s still a lot that can be done.
“While the industry is booming, the Canadian government has been slow to embrace the growth of the industry, said Sato.
He says the lack of support from the federal government has forced developers to focus on getting their apps to the marketplace.”
It’s a very slow-moving market.””
That’s the problem.
It’s a very slow-moving market.”
For a while now, it was unclear how much money the industry was making, with most developers saying they didn’t have any experience and had been working for years without any real exposure to the market.
But recently, industry figures have been coming out and it seems like developers are starting to make money, according to Sato.
“We’re starting to see more people with game development experience and more companies investing in it,” said Scott Sasso, an industry analyst for Ubisoft.
“So, it seems that the industry has been in a bit of a lull for a long time, but we are seeing a tremendous amount of activity right now.”
For example, Sato said, more than 80 per cent of all jobs in Calgary are related to the industry.
“So, we’re getting people from all walks of life who have experience working in game development,” said the senior vice-president.
“That’s something that we’ve seen throughout the world, and the trend is definitely moving in that direction.”
And for companies like Microsoft and Sony, it also appears that the Canadian market is growing.
With the U:N game coming out this year, it is possible that Canadian games could become even more important to the international market.
And for Sato and Sato’s company, the key to success is finding the right people who can work on the games.
“If you’re looking for the right developer, that means you have to be able to find someone who can come in, understand what they need to do, understand the market, and know what the challenges are,” said Michael McBride, a game developer with Ubisoft Calgary.
“And that’s a really hard thing to find, so it’s really hard to find.”