According to the third annual Game Developer Census, game industry employment in North America has risen slightly in 2009, due in part to new Canadian studios and a rise in social and online gaming developers.
It almost seems impossible, considering the frequent reports of studio closings we've reported over the past twelve months, but the survey indicates a slight rise in U.S. game industry employment in 2009, with 44,806 industry professionals in the country as opposed to 2008's 44,400. The census indicates that while major publishers from EA to THQ were closing studios left and right, new casual and online gaming developers were popping up around the country, counterbalancing the rash of layoffs. Still, a difference of only 406 isn't much, and we've still got a week left of 2009.
Canada, on the other hand, saw an increase of nearly 30%, with 12,480 employees to the previous year's 9,500. While some of that growth can be attributed to a sharper focus on the country by census takers Game Developer Research, even more was due to the opening and announcement of new Canadian studios from Ubisoft, THQ, and Funcom.
For more stats and figures from the 2009 video game industry, check out Game Developer Research's full 2009 Game Developer Census, available for purchase via the Game Developer Store for a mere $2,500.