Monday, August 02, 2010

Digital Media and Canada: The Future Is Here

Profitability is child’s play

It takes serious brainpower to produce next-generation games and Canada boasts both brainy game creators and governments that make smart investments to nurture innovation and cultivate partnerships.

Canadian companies are global leaders across the entire gaming value chain – from tools development to casual games and serious games, to both mobile games and gameware development.

Look what Canada has to offer:

  • 14,000 skilled digital media workers
  • 60 universities with gaming studies
  • 260+ digital media companies
  • Internationally renowned urban centres
  • 1st in the G7 for quality of life

Console games

Canadian developers are responsible for creating some of the most-loved franchises in the console games sector. Bioware created the Neverwinter Nights Role-Playing franchise and Digital Extreme’s Unreal and Unreal Tournament series of games, which are universally known and successful.

Casual games

Canadian companies are important players in the rapidly growing casual games market. Calgary-based, Games Café, created a game which was the top seller on Real Network’s “RealGames” network. Toronto-based Ganz, is the creator of the wildly popular Webkinz toys and website for children.

Serious games

Canada is also developing significant expertise in serious games. Defence simulations are being undertaken by CMLabs and CFB Gagetown, industrial training by Coole Immersive, Artifact, and Xpan Interactive. Spongelab and Project Whitecard are working on math and science games.

Mobile games development

Canada is home to numerous mobile developers. Ubisoft has a substantial presence in Montréal through their Gameloft division which focuses on mobile games and content. Research in Motion (RIM), creator of the blockbuster Blackberry, is also developing free Java games for its smartphones.

Tools development

Canadian companies are recognized leaders in the development of innovative animation tools, digital models and artificial intelligence. Game developers increasingly turn to Canada for graphics software developed by Autodesk’s Alias and Softimage to make their games more life-like. Companies such as Side Effects and Rainmaker are also making 3D animation and visual effects that are customized and integrated into their games to provide a more exciting gaming experience.

Large Canadian cities such as Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal are hubs of creativity. All three centres are home to strong motion picture and video clusters, creating operating environments well suited to software gaming and digital media companies, game developers and publishers, tool developers and animation studios. Many other cities offer investors excellent cost-competitive options to locate their game development operations that offer all the benefits without the price tag of Asian and European Gaming Software hotspots.

Vancouver and Victoria
Vancouver and Victoria are home to cutting-edge video game development attracting leading companies such as Electronic Arts, Radical Entertainment Radical Entertainment (now part of Vivendi Games) and Relic Entertainment (now part of THQ Inc).

Edmonton hosts many of the province’s 700 digital media companies including trailblazing developers in the gaming industry such as BioWare, a global electronic entertainment company, XGen, a developer and publisher of flash games, and Hot Rocket, specializing in 360˚ play.

Winnipeg has seen revenues in the gaming industry grow 850% over the past three years, in large part because of business incubators like Fortune Cat Games Studio and the Eureka project. The city hosts 125 digital media and gaming companies, such as Prizzim 3 and TMFX Studios.

Toronto is internationally renowned for its world class artists, designers, animators and programmers, and its high calibre post-secondary institutions that offer more than 124 digital gaming educational programs. The city has attracted global giants such as Koei and Capcom.

Montréal is rapidly becoming one of the most attractive cities in the world for the establishment and expansion of companies in the game development industry, which has grown over 400 percent in the past five years. The industry employs over 5,000 people in traiblazing companies such as Ubisoft, Eidos Interactive, Electronic Arts and Activision. Successful creative studios such as Artificial Mind & Movement and Sarbakan have also made this province their home.

Halifax is home to HB Studios, which specializes in creating spectacular and challenging computer and console video games, and Huminah Huminah Interactive, an industry innovator in flash and 3-D casual games.

Charlottetown is recognized for cutting-edge products and services for all major game platforms, including console, handheld, PC, online and mobile. It has spawned or attracted firms such as Other Ocean Interactive, Bight Interactive, Telos Productions and Longtail Studios.

London is one of the leading game development centres in the province of Ontario and home to well known action developer Digital Extremes, award winning casual game developer Big Blue Bubble, and London’s newest developer of online games, Antic Entertainment

Jason Kiwaluk

Mower & Shoveller,

Ideation | Ecommerce | Fintech | Innovation | Strategy | Opinionated Agitator RevenueWire,FuturePay+PayMotion

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