Despite Fears, a Good Outlook for the Game Industry

For Immediate Release

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).

VFS Game Design Graduate Salary and Job Satisfaction Survey

The report features the inaugural Game Design Graduate Salary and Job Satisfaction Survey, a snapshot of the VFS Game Design program's 162 graduates' professional careers since the graduation of its first class in 2005.

Among the survey's findings:

• 84 percent of respondents are currently employed in the game industry

• Over 50 percent of respondents expected to earn between $40,001 and $60,000 in 2009

• 77 percent of respondents working in the industry considered themselves to be fairly compensated

• 93 percent of respondents working in the industry enjoy the work they do

• 90 percent of respondents working in the industry are positive about their long-term career opportunities

“It's very rewarding for me to watch our students grow as designers,” says Dave Warfield, Head of the Game Design program at VFS. "Knowing that so many talented graduates are starting a career that they're passionate about is indeed encouraging for the future of this industry."

Copies of the report will also be made available to attendees at Game Design Expo 2009. To be placed on the media list for the sold out Industry Speaker Day at the Vancity Theatre (February 7) and the Game Design Open House (February 8), contact VFS Public Relations Coordinator Thuy Khuc at thuy@gamedesignexpo.com.

VFS is proud to partner with the following event sponsors to realize Game Design Expo 2009: G4techTV, EA, Ubisoft, Annex Pro, Big Fish Games, Obsidian Entertainment, Radical Entertainment, The Georgia Straight, Biz Books, Vancouver Siggraph, Women in Games International, Vancouver, and TechVibes.

About Game Design Expo

Game Design Expo is an annual event for game industryprofessionals and enthusiasts hosted by Vancouver Film School’s Game Design program. Since the inaugural event in 2007 and continuing through the sold-out 2008 weekend, Game Design Expo has played host to such industry luminaries as Don Daglow, Ron Gilbert, and Eric Zimmerman, and creative leaders from companies like Bungie, Activision, EA, BioWare, and Crystal Dynamics/Eidos. The 2009 event features speakers from Ubisoft, Epic, Insomniac, Microsoft, Radical, and many more.

gamedesignexpo.com

About Game Design at Vancouver Film School

Students in the one-year Game Design program at Vancouver Film School train to be part of any video game development team by learning all aspects of game design, from visual storytelling to level design principles to the production process, ultimately creating playable games themselves.

vfs.com/gamedesign

Vancouver Film School's faculty and Game Design Expo speakers are available for print, television, and radio interviews upon request. For more information, please contact:

Thuy Khuc, Public Relations Coordinator

Vancouver Film School

+1 604.631.3563 or toll free in North America 1.800.661.4101

thuy@gamedesignexpo.com


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