Canada’s video game industry is expected to reach new levels according to new research that anticipates the industry to create more than 1,300 new jobs in the next two years.

The most recent report from the Entertainment Software Association of Canada (ESAC) shows that gaming studios continue to play a vital role in the country’s economy. With almost 500 active studios across Canada employing 20,400 people in 2014, the study reveals that the industry shows no signs of slowing down.

“Canada’s video game industry plays a positive and vital role in our economy,” said Jayson Hilchie, president and CEO of ESAC, in a statement. “It’s a highly skilled, highly paid industry that employs young creative people; it’s demonstrating how Canada can create jobs and prosperity, export its creativity around the world and ultimately lead in the new economy of the future.”

The industry’s economic impact is also difficult to ignore, with a $3 billion contribution to Canada’s GDP (representing a 31 per cent year-over-year increase). And as the industry continues its booming growth, the ESAC predicts studios will create 1,377 high-paying creative and technical jobs over the next 12-24 months.

“Finding qualified and experienced workers in programming, game design, data analysis and artistic animation continues to be a challenge as our growth outpaces the domestic supply of talent,” Hilchie said in a statement. “There is an opportunity for both industry and for government to find long-term solutions for developing digital skills in our workforce and shorter-term solutions to bring-in qualified workers from abroad to impart innovative techniques and skills.”

A lot of this growth is also fueled by investment. For example, Ubisoft Montreal recently announced an $8 million investment over the next five years in a new CODEX program to train the next generation of game creators who will need top-notch technical skills to take on these jobs.

“Our mission through the CODEX program is to share our technological expertise and our knowledge of creative processes to prepare future generations for the challenges that await them,” said Yannis Mallat, president and CEO of Ubisoft Montréal–Toronto, in a statement. “We are putting all our knowledge of video game production at our partners’ disposal so they can be equipped to motivate, inspire and teach the youth that form our next generation.”

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