Gaming Community Holds Job Fair Following EA Layoffs

Vancouver Social Games | BCBusiness
The event was organized by Vancouver Social Games and local studio A Thinking Ape

Hit by layoffs and the closure of PopCap Vancouver and Quicklime Games, members of Vancouver’s gaming industry organized a job fair for their out-of-work colleagues

Following the latest round of layoffs at EA, Vancouver’s gaming industry is pulling together in an effort to help their freshly unemployed colleagues.

Vancouver Social Games and A Thinking Ape and will host a pop-up job fair at EXP Bar on Friday, May 3, for job seekers looking for a position in the social gaming industry.

PopCap and Quicklime, both subsidiaries of Electronic Arts, shut down last week, leaving dozens of employees with pink slips.  These latest closures only compound the impact of the withdrawal of big-budget studios like Ubisoft and EA on the local industry. The so-called AAA studios, with titles that sell more than one millions copies, have migrated operations to Ontario and Québec in recent years lured by tax breaks and incentives.

But structural changes in B.C.’s gaming industry have also opened opportunities for smaller social and mobile studios, says Tayber Voyer, founder of Vancouver Social Games.

“A lot of the people employed in the AAA industry have moved into mobile and social games because the barriers of entry are so much lower. So people can come out and make a mobile game very quickly and very cheaply, as well as Facebook games,” says Voyer.

“The talent pool in Vancouver is so rich that now we’re starting to attract a lot of foreign studios as well,” says Voyer pointing to the recent moves of Japan’s Namco Bandai and DeNA Studios to the area.