Tessa Bousfield posted an articleVancouver Island’s smaller talent pool pushing some developers to recruit from outside video game... see more
Source: Business in Vancouver
Author: Tyler Orton
Victoria video gamers grapple with HR challenges amid growth
Vancouver Island’s smaller talent pool pushing some developers to recruit from outside video game sector
It’s been nine years since three University of Victoria (UVic) grads launched their first video game aimed at Facebook (Nasdaq:FB) users.
Viking Clan was monetized almost instantly and managed to gain 250,000 players within weeks of its launch, and by the end of its first year on the market, Kano/Apps CEO Tim Teh said the Victoria-based company was profitable after generating $1 million in revenue from the game.
“We try to create games that are built around communities that last for a really long time,” said Teh, who met his co-founders on their first day at UVic.
Kano/App’s latest game, Free Rider HD, is the fifth game the team has developed for iOS after expanding beyond Facebook games. The company recently moved into its second office after growing from the initial UVic trio to 25 developers.
Despite Kano/Apps’ significant growth, Vancouver Island-based video game developers still face talent recruitment challenges.
There are 5,500 full-time employees at 128 companies in B.C.’s video game industry, according to a 2015 Entertainment Software Association of Canada report.
Vancouver Island accounts for “roughly” 250 of the province’s developers, according to Eric Jordan, a DigiBC board member who also serves as CEO of Victoria-based Codename Entertainment.
The talent pool is significantly smaller, which makes recruitment from within the industry tricky.
But Jordan said the broader tech industry has usurped tourism as Victoria’s main economic driver.
BC Stats’ 2016 profile of the B.C. tech sector estimated the tech industry accounts for 20,000 jobs on Vancouver Island.
“Certainly there’s a love of video games in the broader tech community, so we can recruit people out of the broader tech industry,” said Jordan, whose company just released Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms, a Dungeons & Dragons-themed game.
Codename Entertainment CEO Eric Jordan, left, says his company is recruiting from Vancouver Island’s broader tech industry | Submitted
Kano/Apps has been using the same tactic of recruiting from the broader tech industry already living on Vancouver Island.
“The rising cost of Vancouver definitely helps in terms of trying to drive talent Island-side,” Teh said, adding Kano/Apps also recently recruited a game designer from India.
Meanwhile, Jordan said flattening distribution channels – app stores, for example – has made it easier to develop and release games into the market anywhere in the world.
“And so that then combined with, ‘So if I don’t have to be in Vancouver, well, where would I like to be?’ You have studios in Victoria, of course, but then you’ve got some really interesting stuff happening up-Island, too.”
Jordan added that Vancouver Island developers like Cloudhead Games are in locations “that make Victoria look astronomically large.”
As for future growth, Jordan said gaming is acting as a “natural bridge” between the public at large and the tech sector.
“And the tech sector’s really growing so much here in Victoria, it’s been a real boon for video game companies.”
Clive Gorman posted an articleCodename Entertainment CEO Eric Jordan hosting video game career panel at Tsukino-Con 2017 see more
Codename Entertainment CEO Eric Jordan will be hosting a panel entitled 'Live the Dream! Work in the Video Game Industry' as part of Tsukino-Con 2017.
The video games industry on Vancouver Island is one of the most exciting places to work with 20 studios in the Victoria area alone. Anyone with aspirations of turning their passion into a career need look no further than the opportunities on their doorstep.
Eric will host a panel covering all the avenues for students and professionals to enter the industry here on the island. The discussion will include what kind of credentials and focus are required to successfully secure a role in the growing epicenter of interactive creativity in the Pacific Northwest.
The panel will be held on Saturday 18 February from 4 pm to 5 pm for all attendees of Tsukino-Con 2017. For more details on Tsukino-Con, check out the official website here: www.tsukinocon.com
Tsukino-Con is a not-for-profit, community-oriented convention held annually at the University of Victoria with a focus on anime fandom and Japanese culture. Established in 2009, following the seven-year run of our predecessor convention, Kei-Kon, the first official Tsukino-Con ran in February 2010 and continued to run annually during Uvic’s winter reading break.
The name “Tsukino-Con” literally translates to “Convention of the Moon.” This relates to the location of the convention, the University of Victoria, and the ring road that surrounds the campus.
The Frosty Pop Corps posted an articleLocal indie dev featured in App Store. see more
Today, The Frosty Pop Corps launched their new game Walls & Balls, a golf-pinball-pong hybrid with a Swiss design aesthetic, only on the Apple App Store.
The first game in founder Faisal Sethi's ball trilogy, Walls & Balls is currently featured in "New Games We Love" sections of the Apple App Store, and is featured in over 440 App Store lists accross the world.
This is The Frosty Pop Corps's 10th feature on the App Store, and the first from their new home in Victoria, British Columbia.
"It's exciting to be living in such a vibrant gaming community here in Victoria, " said Sethi. "Although I am new on the scene, at some point I hope to represent the Victoria gaming community on a global level with the same creative reputation as Kano Apps, Tiny Mob, Codename, and many, many others."
Walls & Balls can be downloaded at: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/walls-balls/id1083708143
Tessa Bousfield posted an articleThe video game industry in Greater Victoria is booming. see more
The video game industry in Greater Victoria is booming. With 19 studios, 240 jobs and an estimated $24 million in local annual spending, this sector is a growing hotbed of activity for the Capital Regional District.