Toronto – The entertainment software industry is a growing and vital contributor to the Canadian knowledge economy, according to a new report released today by the Entertainment Software Association of Canada  (ESAC). Canada’s Entertainment Software Industry: The Opportunities and Challenges of a Growing Industry, conducted by respected Ottawa consulting firm Hickling Arthurs Low, and commissioned by ESAC, is the first ever national survey report of the Canadian entertainment software industry, involving original research, surveys and interviews of industry leaders.
“Canada’s entertainment software industry is one of the most promising knowledge-based industries in the country,” said Danielle LaBossiere Parr, Executive Director of ESAC. “This report reveals just how prosperous entertainment software is to the Canadian economy: an estimated $1.7 billion in direct economic activity, 14,000 jobs, and a further $2.2 billion in retail sales figures highlight a strong industry in spite of the economic downturn.”
A successful knowledge-based industry requires exceptional talent. “Canada is viewed as being home to a talented and highly skilled workforce, which is a key driver of the industry’s success,” said Dr. Tijs Creutzberg, of Hickling Arthurs Low. “The survey found that over 70% of respondents felt access to qualified personnel to be very good to excellent.”
The report highlights how highly-export oriented, competitive, and knowledge intensive Canada’s entertainment software industry really is. Further, it reveals the concentration of the industry is in just a few urban areas: Vancouver, Montreal, and the Greater Toronto Area.
Despite the success story highlighted within, the report also reveals some of the challenges that continue to face the industry, particularly in terms of access to financing, outsourcing, and government policy on intellectual property legislation and anti-piracy enforcement. “This research indicates the importance and potential effectiveness of government policy as a key factor in ensuring the continued growth for Canada’s entertainment software industry,” said LaBossiere Parr. “It’s clear from the study that despite increased sales levels year after year, many challenges exist for the industry in the current economy. ESAC continues to work with governments at all levels to secure an environment where entertainment software can maintain its status as a key driver in the Canadian economy.”
The full text of the study is available at ESAC’s website: www.theesa.ca .
The Entertainment Software Association of Canada (ESAC) is dedicated exclusively to serving the business and public affairs needs of companies in Canada that publish and distribute computer and video games for video game consoles, handheld devices, personal computers and the Internet. Association members include the nation’s leading interactive entertainment software publishers and distributors, which collectively accounted for more than 90 per cent of the $2.2 billion in entertainment software and hardware sales in Canada in 2008. The entertainment software industry currently accounts for 247 firms and 14,000 direct jobs and thousands more in related fields across Canada. For more information about the ESAC and its programs, please visit www.theesa.ca .