More than 2,000 workers with an average salary of $ 76,000 per year are in demand in the Quebec video game industry, which is on the rise despite the full pandemic.
Montreal, Quebec, Sherbrooke, Saguenay … the video game ecosystem has not aged a bit while COVID-19 plunged thousands of Quebecers into unemployment.
Better yet, believes Nadine Gelly, general manager of La Guilde du jeu vidéo du Québec, workers who have found themselves with their heads in the water in recent months should think of a career in the industry to seize the windfall.
Photo courtesy Nadine Gelly
CEO of the Quebec Video Game Guild
“Tomorrow morning, hairdressers who have just lost their jobs could retrain in the video game industry by going back to school and becoming hairdressers of video game characters,” she enthuses.
Developers, 2D, 3D animators … business development professions are particularly sought after in the industry, which continues to grow smoothly despite the backlash of the second wave.
In 2002, some 1,200 people worked in the industry. There are ten times more today, more than 13,000. And the curve is not ready to flatten.
In the effervescence, Quebec studios are not the only ones hungry for talent. Giants Ubisoft, EA, Eidos, WB and Google Stadia, which are well established in Quebec, are playing elbow to recruit the rare pearl.
Not to mention Amazon, which will launch its platform in turn and which is already interested in Quebec talent, the company confirmed to the Journal .
“We are like the village of irreducible Gauls. It is a metaphor that we have used a few times internally ”, launches with humor Philippe Morin, co-founder and president of the Quebec studio Red Barrels.
Founded in 2011, the 40-employee studio has sales of more than US $ 75 million, but finding the gem remains a daunting task.
“We do the maximum we can with the salaries. The employment context can be a factor, such as the type of game. In our case, there are not many horror game developers in Quebec, so if there are developers who are interested in this style of play there, it is to our advantage, ”he explains.
After the success of its MEGAMIGS career fair last weekend, the Quebec Video Game Guild invites job seekers to a virtual showcase on November 12 and 13.
“You need people in marketing. In Quebec, we will have to tackle this, continues its director general, Nadine Gelly. It's all well and good to make products, but if they stay on a shelf because we don't sell them well, that's not good. ”
A problem faced by Angela Megia, general manager of the Quebec studio Clever Plays.
“It took a long time to find people with experience in marketing. We have one now, but it took a long time, ”shares the one who founded the Montreal video game studio of ten employees in 2013.
“It's very hard to recruit seniors,” adds Alexandre Martel, CEO and co-founder of the independent studio 3Mind Games. Looks like they're good at the big guys. They have job security, and everything. ”
Worse with the pandemic
For Julien Jacob, director of talent acquisition at Behavior Interactif, the question of the workforce has become more serious in recent months.
“Since COVID-19, immigration delays have been slow. It causes headaches. Before, it took three or four months to find a European candidate, now it takes between six and eight months. It puts pressure ”, concludes the one who is looking for more than 140 people to fill key positions.
► The Quebec video game industry in figures
◆ 13,000 workers
In comparison :
- 7,300 in British Columbia
- 5,000 in Ontario
◆ Average age of workers: 28 years old
◆ Average salary: $ 75,900
◆ Studios: 230
◆ Economic impact: $ 1 billion
◆ Companies: Beenox, Gameloft, Behavior, Ludia, Google Eidos, Frima, Square Enix, Ubisoft, VMC Warner Bros. Games
Source: The Quebec Video Game Guild