Electronic Arts receives a belated holiday gift from shoppers

EA employes around 1,300 at its Burnaby campus.

The most in-demand jobs in 2015 and Electronic Arts’ holiday boost

Holiday gains
Electronic Arts had an exceptionally good Christmas: the company posted $1.4 billion in revenues in the last quarter of 2014, beating projections from analysts. Sales were up 40 per cent compared to the same three-month period in 2013. EA, which employs 1,300 in B.C., has fared well in its transition to more digital products. Downloads now account for 49 per cent of the company’s revenue. “Digital revenue is inherently more profitable,” said one analyst to Forbes. Basically, a downloaded video game is cheaper to produce than one that comes in a plastic box; it also cuts out the middleperson, retailers.

While what was perhaps EA’s most successful product last year, the fantasy role-playing game Dragon Age: Inquisition, was made out of its Montreal office (by its Edmonton-based subsidiary BioWare), the Burnaby-made FIFA and Hockey Ultimate Team franchises also fared well. It’s worth noting that EA receives a 20 per cent rebate of the salary costs for producing these games, which could be axed later this year. 

Jobs of the future
Will 2015 serve up a glass half full or half empty for Canadian jobseekers? That depends on the industry of your future employer, according to a survey from temp agency giant Randstad Canada. According to their survey of employers, 2015 will be a great year for manufacturing, warehousing and logistics, with demand highest for welders, warehouse managers, electrical engineers and mechanical engineers. Hiring will be slower (if existent) in the oil and gas industry. And the highest sought workers in 2015? Business and data security analysts. Overall, 47 per cent of Canadians a predict a slide backward in the economy, while 54 percent believe conditions will improve (last year, by contrast, only 31 per cent of respondents foresaw the economy deteriorating).

Online viewing
If you missed Douglas Coupland‘s blockbuster at the Vancouver Art Gallery last summer and lack the time or money for a trip to Toronto, don’t worry, the entire exhibit is now online courtesy of Google. An abridged version of the exhibit, “everywhere is anywhere is anything is everything” has been posted as part of Google’s Cultural Institute project, where it will be hosted indefinitely.