- The above question is what our Game Developer Research division, in the form of Alistair Wallis and a cadre of helpers, has been pondering for the last few weeks, and we just debuted a Gamasutra story with the results, as follows (we're selling the report to outsourcing firms and other services companies so they can get a head start on who lives where in the North American game biz):

"The CMP Game Group’s Game Developer Research division has revealed its first-ever Census - determining, through in-depth research, the number of people working within video game development and publishing in North America.

The key findings of the Census include the fact that there are more than 39,700 professionals developing or publishing games within the United States, with more than 8,100 professionals doing so across Canada.

More than 46% of all of those creating games within the United States (around 18,300 employees) are based in California, with Washington (11.63%) and Texas (7.37%) rounding out the top three states. In total, seven states (also including New York, Massachusetts, Illinois, and Florida) have more than 1,000 game professionals working in them.

Not included in the current Census estimate are game tools companies, game contracting/services companies, external PR, marketing, legal, and other business services, and liaison or licensing divisions at larger media companies. Game Developer Research putatively puts this figure at around 15,000 across North America, though it intends to research this part of the market in detail at a later date.

The Census report lists nearly 600 companies alphabetically by U.S. state and Canadian province, along with addresses, website information, estimates of employee numbers and details on their market specialties (from casual gaming, online gaming, mobile gaming and serious gaming to PC, handheld or console gaming). The report is intended to be a valuable tool for game industry contractors, service companies, and other entities wanting to acquire an accurate list to reach out to the North American game market as a whole.

“The game industry has long been asking for a census to better understand just how many people are creating games professionally in North America, and as the organization behind Game Developer magazine, Gamasutra.com and the Game Developers Conference, the CMP Game Group felt that it was our responsibility to use our expertise to establish an accurate view of its size,” said Simon Carless, publisher of Game Developer Magazine and director of Game Developer Research.

For more freely available information, including sample data, or to purchase the complete Game Developer Census 2007 report, please visit the official Game Developer Research website. Purchase of the full report includes both a 150-page in-depth report with listings by U.S. state and Canadian province, and a separate Excel document featuring the full, comprehensive data set in sortable and exportable form."