Despite Fears, a Good Outlook for the Game Industry

With all this bad economic news coming from the Canadian gaming industry as of late, you would think that the 2009 outlook would be rather bleak. While growth is indeed expected to slow this year, a new report by Vancouver Film School paints an optimistic future for the industry.

The new report, entitled The Game Industry: Now & in the Future will be presented for the first time this weekend at the Game Design Expo 2009. NextGen Player writer Clinton Ma will be on-hand at the event to get the scoop on the report's findings. Expect lots of coverage of the event in the days and weeks ahead.

In the meantime, here's the press release announcing the new industry report:

VFS to Release Industry Report at Game Design Expo 2009

February 3, 2009 – Vancouver, BC – The world economy is paralyzed by uncertainty but the video game industry remains on strong footing, according to a report by Vancouver Film School (VFS), Canada's premier post-secondary entertainment arts institution. Produced for prospective, current and past VFS Game Design students, The Game Industry: Now & in the Future focuses on the $42 billion industry, its phenomenal performance over recent years, and what the future is likely to hold in light of the current global economic crisis. The report also presents, for the first time, exclusive findings from VFS's Game Design Graduate Salary and Job Satisfaction Survey.

Coinciding with the upcoming Game Design Expo 2009 event in Vancouver, BC on February 7 and 8, the report offers a closer look at the game industry's sales, growth, and employment figures. It also reveals an optimistic outlook from industry observers: that while growth is likely to slow somewhat in 2009, the game industry won't feel the economy's worst effects.

Key industry trends for 2009 that the report identifies include:
  • A move towards cooperative rather than competitive game experiences
  • Growth of casual games
  • Continued rise of Massively Multiplayer Online games (MMOs)
  • Focus on the mass market
These trends and more will be at the forefront of Game Design Expo's Industry Speaker Day (February 7), beginning with Ubisoft Creative Director Clint Hocking's keynote, "The Next Generation of Player". Speakers and panels throughout the day will tackle this fundamental evolution in how games are developed, distributed, and played.

The VFS report also touches on the significance of women in games, with recent years showing a substantial growth in the percent of females making up the industry workforce. As a means of further encouraging women who aspire to be game designers, VFS will be launching a $30,000 Women in Games scholarship at its Game Design Open House on Game Design Expo's second day (February 8).