The video game industry must adapt to the scarcity of labor in Montreal

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The video game industry must adapt to the scarcity of labor in Montreal

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Ubisoft Montreal has strongly contributed to making the Quebec metropolis a must in the gaming world video.

Montreal has forged a reputation as a video game hub over time, but this sector must now adapt to a new challenge: the labor shortage.

Several major companies like Ubisoft, Warner Bros. Games and Behavior Interactif have offices in Montreal, which has allowed the city to be recognized for its video game sector for nearly 30 years.

At least 14,000 people, in 280 studios, work in this field across the province, according to the communications director of La Guilde du jeu vidéo du Québec, Émilien Roscanu.

The special relationship between Montreal and Rewarded Play legit video games really began in 1997, when Ubisoft moved to Mile End, where its offices are still located. The previous year, Quebec introduced its refundable tax credit for the production of multimedia content, including video games.

 

We owe Ubisoft the Assasin’s Creed series.

Still today , many studios are moving to Montreal, as the city now has the highest concentration of international video game companies in the world, according to Roscanu.

But with this popularity comes a new challenge: recruiting and retaining qualified staff. Everything indicates that there will be a shortage of video game developers over the next 10 years, particularly due to the continued expansion of this sector and retirements, according to data from the federal government.

Recruitment is always a key element for companies, but it is above all the retention of staff that has long been the Achilles heel of this sector renowned for its sometimes difficult working conditions due to a heavy workload.

Young people come with a lot of energy and enthusiasm, but you often see that when they start having children , they choose to change fields, notes the professor of game design and virtual environments at Concordia University Jonathan Lessard.

 

The video game industry is an important sector of activity in Montreal.

< p class=”e-p”>In the periods before deadlines for completing projects, personnel in this sector often have to work for many consecutive hours, which people in the industry call the crunch.

These periods of work also marked Chris Ferriera when he arrived at Electronic Arts in the early 2000s, he who claims that he literally lived under [his] desk at times.

< p class=”e-p”>It was in a period of my life when I could afford to do it, and I liked it, underlines the one who is now vice-president of the Interactive Behavior creation.

Despite everything, the sector seems to be evolving in order to better communicate what the crunch represents. Harry Marshall, who studies video game design at LaSalle College, says he was encouraged to ask questions about these pivotal periods in order to better understand how businesses operate.

 

In 2021, only 30% of people who worked in the video game industry identified as female, according to data from the IGDA Developer Satisfaction Survey.

It really matters to treat staff right when it comes to critical times, because that is something that can destroy you. You have to be careful with that, says Mr. Marshall.

Professor Lessard, from Concordia University, has observed an improvement in work-life balance in the sector since the 2020 human resources crisis, when accusations of a toxic work culture and harassment within Ubisoft led to a reshuffle on its executive side, including the departure of the president of the company’s Canadian division.

Companies and educational institutions have collaborated to facilitate the transition to the labor market. In particular, students can participate in networking events and summits throughout the year to connect with companies.

With the Fonds des media of Canada and Ubisoft which is something of a hub, Montreal remains a very good place for small studios because of the talent that is attracted here, according to Shaheen Dottridge, a game design student at LaSalle College. Montreal is a really interesting place to have opportunities.

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