News Feed: Digital Media - Games
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2014-03-16 - Industrial Light & Magic opened a new visual-effects facility in Vancouver. The company is expected to create close to 200 new jobs, mostly in production and visual effects. ILM is an Academy Award-winning visual-effects company that employs 1,500 people worldwide.
2014-03-09 - France-based BUF is opening a subsidiary in Greater Montréal. BUF Canada will create some 80 new jobs within its first year and has the ability to expand to 125 artists within the next three years. The company will create and develop computer-generated images for movies and animation productions. Its presence in Montréal will bolster the cinema sector and create significant economic spin-offs for the film-production community. BUF Canada will also be setting up a research and development department to create new special effects software.
2014-02-04 - Gameloft, a developer in digital games for mobile platforms announced it was expanding its greater Montreal subsidiary. The company's plan is to continue developing its centre of expertise in response to the logistical and IT needs associated with the ever-growing demands of the online gamer community. ''Expanding the Montreal facilities will give the company an even more competitive position in one of the fastest-growing segments of the electronic game industry,'' said Mario Poulin, General Manager of Gameloft Montreal/Toronto. Headquartered in Paris, Gameloft is an industry leader with over 5,000 employees working in 25 development studios and 40 business offices worldwide.
2014-02-04 - Gameloft, un développeur des jeux pour les plateformes mobiles a annoncé un projet d'expansion de la filiale du grand Montréal. L'entreprise vise à poursuivre le développement de son centre de compétences afin de combler les besoins logistiques et informatiques liés à la demande grandissante de la communauté de joueurs en ligne. ''L'agrandissement de nos installations de Montréal nous aidera à nous positionner de façon encore plus performante au sein d'un segment du secteur du jeu qui présente la plus forte croissance de l'industrie,'' a déclaré Mario Poulin, directeur général de Gameloft Montréal/Toronto. Établie à Paris, Gameloft est un chef de file de l'industrie avec plus de 5 000 employés répartis dans 25 studios de développement et 40 bureaux commerciaux à travers le monde.
2014-01-22 - Ubisoft announced plans to invest $28 million over the course of three years with the goal of creating 100 new jobs at its Quebec City studio. These investments will enable the studio to strengthen its infrastructure and recruit new talents, and take the lead on the development of AAA next-gen games. Since its creation in 2005, the Ubisoft Quebec studio has developed expertise in state-of-the-art technologies and in the creation of online, connected and mobile gaming universes. Ubisoft co-founder and CEO, Yves Guillemot said that the Quebec City studio has demonstrated its ability to manage large-scale projects and it is a natural progression to entrust the team with the production of AAA next-gen games.
2013-11-17 - Savvis announced plans to expand its presence in Canada with the launch of a new data center in the Toronto region in the summer of 2014. The 100,000-square-foot TR3 data center will support up to five megawatts of IT load. The data center will also receive Tier III certification from the Uptime Institute, signifying high availability through redundancy.
2013-09-29 - French videogame developer Ubisoft is planning a major expansion of its studios in Montreal. The company is planning to spend $373 million over the next seven years to expand its motion capture technology and consolidate its North American operations in Quebec. The company says the investment will create 500 jobs in Quebec. The expansion is receiving strong support from the Quebec government. The province is giving the company a $9.9 million grant and making changes to a provincial tax credit program for multimedia developers. According to Ubisoft, Montreal is now one of the top-three game development hubs in the world, after Tokyo and Los Angeles.
2013-09-15 - Ankama Group, a France-based company which offers multimedia authoring and production, opened its first North American studio in Greater Montréal and plans to create about 40 jobs over the next three years. Internationally renowned for its online games DOFUS and WAKFU, the company relies on a transmedia strategy, developing narrative universes that unfold and complement one another over various media, such as video games, animated series, comics and mobile media.
Facebook has opened an office in Montreal to increase business opportunities in Quebec. The company has two employees based in Montreal to serve businesses looking to expand their presence on the social network. Facebook also launched a temporary office in Vancouver in June, which was expected to stay open for a year-long stint.
The Entertainment Software Association of Canada (ESAC) unveiled new research about the Canadian video game industry. The research shows that Canada's overall video game industry is still growing at a moderate pace, even as the sector and its business models continue to evolve. Jayson Hilchie, President & CEO of ESAC, showed that Canada's 329 video game studios are a critical component of this country's new digital economy generating over $2.3 billion in GDP for the Canadian economy in 2012.
Japanese video-game company Namco Bandai Studios has announced its new Vancouver studio will start up in June. The subsidiary, Namco Bandai Studios Vancouver, will develop social games. "As we build our global development network, we are very honoured and excited to have found Canada as our partner," Hajime Nakatani, CEO of Namco Bandai Games, said. "British Columbia has demonstrated a deep understanding of the digital media and game industries, especially in Vancouver, which has a long history as a pioneer in game development. This makes it a perfect choice for our first step forward in establishing our global network. I am confident that we will be able to achieve new and amazing feats in Canada, thanks to its great talent pool, leading edge academic and research institutions and pro-business federal and provincial governments."
Long-standing U.K. studio Frontier chose Canada when it set its heart on international expansion, according to this interview with Frontier's chief operating officer David Walsh. Strategically Frontier felt North America was an obvious choice for a first studio outside the U.K., explains Walsh, because of its importance in the video game industry. "Canada has risen dramatically to the forefront of games development over the last few years, and as such offered us an excellent new talent pool from which to recruit," states Walsh.
The Canadian government is helping a Spanish telecommunications company buy BlackBerry smartphones. Export Development Canada has loaned 200 million euros, or about $265 million, to Telefonica to purchase BlackBerry's smartphones and related services. The Crown corporation says the agreement will help foster a stronger relationship between the two companies. The Spanish firm has also had a relationship with another Waterloo, Ont.,-based company, Sandvine Corp., which oversees network technology.
CDMN Canada 3.0 2013, Canada's only national digital media conference focused on the commercialization of innovation, will feature world-class speakers, a wide-ranging program and showcase of Canadian entrepreneurship when it gets under way May 14 and 15, 2013 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The conference, organized by the Canadian Digital Media Network (CDMN) is expected to draw more than 2,500 attendees from industry, government and academia to advance Canadian innovation.
Siemens Canada is creating up to 25 scientific and technical jobs at its newly established R&D facility in Fredericton. The provincial government's investment in Siemens Canada's centre of competence in Fredericton will add expertise and growth to the province's ICT industry, one the target sectors in Growing Together - An Economic Development Action Plan for New Brunswick. Under the terms of the agreement, Invest NB will contribute up to $537,000 in payroll rebates with Siemens Canada. The investment will contribute in excess of $1.8 million to New Brunswick's GDP once all positions have been filled.
Ubisoft announced the acquisition of THQ Montreal as well as the publishing rights for the upcoming South Park: The Stick of Truth video game, being developed externally by Obsidian. In addition to the team at THQ Montreal, Ubisoft also acquired a yet-to-be announced IP in development at the studio. THQ Montreal will join Ubisoft's development teams, which has 26 studios in 19 countries and more than 6,250 people dedicated to video game production.
Ubisoft annonce l'acquisition du studio THQ Montréal. Le studio de THQ Montréal, travaille notamment sur une nouvelle marque AAA, non annoncée. THQ Montréal va rejoindre les équipes de développement d'Ubisoft, qui a 26 studios répartis dans 19 pays, avec plus de 6 250 personnes dédiées à la production.
Competitive online combat strategy games maker KIXEYE is expanding to Canada, and will be opening a new game development studio based in Victoria, B.C. This marks the third office for KIXEYE, and second international studio opened in 2012. KIXEYE Canada is actively staffing up to begin work on new special projects. KIXEYE currently has over 300 employees based in its San Francisco headquarters.
2012-11-14 - TELUS is proud to announce that it has won the Canadian Health Informatics Award (CHIA) for Corporate Citizenship. The award, presented at the CHIA Annual Gala by ITAC Health recognizes the leading multi-national for-profit healthcare ICT company that is committed to and passionate about health informatics and has heavily invested in contributing to the industry in Canada. The award recognizes the numerous investments TELUS has made in the health sector.
2012-10-15 - Sixteen years after Quebec’s government made a decision to make the province a hub for multimedia firms and put up the money to stoke their growth, the effort has spawned a thriving industry of about 50 companies publishing video games and 30 others making the tools that support them. Total employment in the sector tops 8,000 workers. Nicolas Van Praet from the National Post says lawmakers chose long ago to bet on video game development with the belief it would generate well-paying creative jobs and help compensate for the declining manufacturing and textile sectors.
2012-10-09 - A U.S. communications company is expanding its footprint to Canada in a bid to capture a slice of the budding telecom market for business customers. XO Communications said it will offer a range of telecom services, including high-speed Internet, now that it has extended its fibre network to a major communications nerve centre in downtown Toronto. In particular, XO is eyeing business customers in industries ranging from financial services to technology. Va.-based XO, which operates a national network across the United States, said its Canadian expansion reflects the "growing demands" of its enterprise and wholesale customers that are increasingly seeking global connectivity.
2012-09-24 - Google announced on its Official Google Canada Blog that Moncton (N.B.), Dorval(Qc.), Parry Sound (Ont.), Canmore (B.C.) and Duncan (B.C.) have all won a Google eTown award. This award is designed to recognize those towns where small businesses are investing in online tools and resources to find new customers, grow their business, and improve their operations. This blog post states that the web is transforming all businesses in Canada, not just those typically considered to be "Internet businesses." The digital economy is already worth as much as Canada’s agriculture, forestry and fishing industries combined, according to the Boston Consulting Group, and it’s forecast to grow 7.4% annually through 2016.
2012-09-12 - Ubisoft announced the launch of its performance capture studio in Toronto, a facility that will support the creation of high-quality content for games. Uniting expertise from the film and game industries, the performance capture studio will help Ubisoft Toronto create deeper characters, more immersive storytelling and more filmic, actor-driven games. According to the press release, Ubisoft says it recognizes Canada as an important hub driving the advancement of virtual production, as demonstrated by its ongoing investment across its Toronto, Montreal and Quebec studios.
2012-08-13 - TinyCo, the San Francisco-based developer and operator of popular mobile games such as Tiny Monsters, Tiny Village and Tiny Zoo Friends, announced it is opening a studio in Vancouver to continue to expand its development of mobile games. Backed by an $18 million investment led by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, TinyCo is looking to broaden its team of engineers, designers, and artists.
2012-07-19 - GREE, a mobile social gaming company with a worldwide network of over 230 million users, announced it will open its first Canadian game development studio in downtown Vancouver. GREE Canada will be the Japan-based company's seventh international studio, creating 10 new jobs in Vancouver when it launches, with plans to potentially double its presence as its first offerings of innovative, free-to-play mobile games are developed.
2012-06-04 - Broadcast equipment company Miranda Technologies has agreed to a friendly takeover offer worth about $370 million from U.S.-based Belden, which is expected to leave Montreal company’s operations untouched. Belden manufactures cable and networking equipment and competes with Miranda. The company has 700 employees, including 380 in Montreal.
2012-03-15 - The vast majority of shareholders of Canadian communications equipment maker RuggedCom have tendered their stock to a takeover offer from Siemens Canada. Siemens will now move to buy the rest of the shares under the “compulsory acquisition” rules available to it. Siemens, which is paying about $400-million for RuggedCom, has promised to keep the Canadian company intact, while giving it access to the German company’s massive international operations.
2012-03-14 - Wooshii, an online marketplace for video and animation, has chosen Halifax as its North American base of operation, citing the city's location, infrastructure and talent pool as deciding factors. The branch of the Manchester-based business will house a development team and an agency team, and manage the network of account managers throughout North America. Its newly appointed president, Paul Ryan, is a veteran of highly respected New Brunswick social media company Radian6, and its seed investors were two Albertans, Timo Ewalds, founder of social-media site Nexopia, and Mike Sikorsky, co-founder of such start-ups as Cambrian House and Robots and Pencils.
2011-12-14 - The work of McGill University computer science professor Jérôme Waldispuhl is allowing video game players to advance science's understanding of the genetic basis of such illnesses as Alzheimer's disease, diabetes and cancer. The Web-based video game that Waldispuhl's team has designed, called Phylo, allows players to contribute to scientific research by arranging sequences of coloured blocks that represent DNA. These DNA sequences provide researchers with insight into genetically based diseases. Waldispuhl started about a year ago and has had more than 500,000 visits to the website and has provided a huge pool of about 350,000 solutions to help improve the alignment for 521 genes
2011-11-20 - Eidos, the video game studio known for its Tomb Raider and Deus Ex franchises, is expanding its Montreal operations and creating 250 new jobs. Eidos Montreal said it will build a new development centre next year and create 150 jobs and expand its current operations, adding another 100 jobs. Eidos Montreal said 100 of the jobs will be to create a new video game as well as R&D on gaming platforms. The other 150 jobs will be part of the new Eidos studio in Montreal. The technology company is now part of Japan's Square Enix video game publisher.
2011-11-08 - A Japanese e-commerce company has reached a deal to acquire Canadian e-reader and tablet maker Kobo in a USD$315-million deal that represents a huge vote of confidence in the technology company on the international stage. The acquisition by Rakuten provides a sizable windfall for Indigo Books & Music and a vindication of CEO Heather Reisman’s decision to invest in e-reader technology, creating Kobo and then spinning it off into a separate company. Tokyo-based Rakuten’s agreement to acquire 100% of Kobo’s total issued and outstanding shares will equal a more than 300% return on Indigo’s investment. Kobo will maintain its headquarters in Toronto. Its management team, including Mr. Serbinis, and Canadian employees will remain with the business.
2011-09-05 - According to this article in Reuters, Quebec has become the preferred place of establishment for some of the biggest names in video games. According to the economic development agency Invest Quebec, 86 companies and 8,236 jobs have migrated to Quebec as a result of a government program under which 37.5% of a video game company's payroll is subsidized by the majority French-speaking province in the form of a refundable tax credit. THQ, the Southern-California based company that makes the popular "WWE Smackdown vs. Raw" video game, recently made Montreal its adopted home, has hired 145 employees for its new studio. The company says its next step is to hire 100 employees every year for the next five years until it reaches a staff of 500.
2011-09-01 - L'entreprise japonaise Square Enix annonce qu’elle doublera la taille de son studio de jeu vidéo à Montréal, créant 350 nouveaux emplois chez Eidos Montréal, a appris La Presse. Square Enix négociait depuis le début de l'année avec les gouvernements du Québec, de l'Ontario et de la Colombie-Britannique pour installer un nouveau studio de 350 employés au pays. Selon les informations obtenues par La Presse, Eidos Montréal créera une première centaine d'emplois avant la fin de l'année 2012. Les 250 emplois restants seront créés avant 2015. En passant de 330 à 680 employés en 2015, Eidos Montréal deviendrait ainsi le numéro trois du jeu vidéo à Montréal derrière Ubisoft (2100 employés) et Electronic Arts (800 employés).
2011-09-01 - With its first Montreal-designed game launched, Tokyo’s Square Enix has announced plans to more than double the size of its Montreal video game studio. La Presse reported the company will add 350 employees to its Montreal studio, which runs under the Eidos banner. There are currently 330 people working in the Montreal studio, which was established in 2007. According to La Presse, the studio will get 100 new employees by the end of 2012, and the rest of the hiring would be completed by 2015. With 680 employees, Eidos would become the city’s third largest studio behind Ubisoft and Electronic Arts.
2011-08-17 - According to the Ontario Technology Corridor, despite various global economic challenges, the digital media and video game industries continue to thrive. Over the past two years, Canada's gaming industry has expanded 11% annually and is forecasted to grow 17% in each of the next two years. Executives from the Ontario Technology Corridor are attending GamesCom to demonstrate the province's "winning combination" of talent and tax credits. Canada is one of the world's top three game producing nations.
2011-07-27 - Frima Studio, a video game company based in Quebec City, has continually hired new talent in the past few years, according to The Montreal Gazette. The company has grown in eight years to more than 300 employees, and now pulls in development contracts from the world's top entertainment companies, including Disney, Warner Bros. and Nickelodeon.
2011-07-17 - Publisher and developer of downloadable video games, Gameloft, has opened a digital gaming studio in Toronto which will create up to 205 jobs. With Ontario’s support, Gameloft’s new Toronto facility will help create digital games designed specifically for smartphones, iPhones, iPad, smartphones as well as social networks. Gameloft Canada, a subsidiary of France’s Gameloft S.A., has established partnerships with licensors including UNO, Ferrari, Shrek, CSI, Spiderman and Iron Man.
2011-07-12 - California-based social gaming company Zynga Inc. has announced plans to establish a Canadian headquarters after adding Toronto-based mobile developer Five Mobile Inc. to their team. Five Mobile produces the Score-Mobile applications for Score Media Inc. and is behind the mobile applications for Cineplex Odeon Inc.
2011-07-04 - A new video game incubator will open at George Brown College in Toronto to accelerate the growth and development of the city's digital media cluster. The President of George Brown College says the college is increasing its commitment to the digital media sector by housing its gaming development and design programs in a new learning environment set to open this September. The incubator will provide 10 offices, between 100 and 150 square feet, for start-ups and small companies. By including industry innovators alongside students, the college hopes to create a real-world environment that helps its learners better prepare for future employment and business growth.
2011-06-26 - TIGA points to the report for the Entertainment Software Association of Canada, which revealed that Canada was successfully attracting investment and jobs away from the UK and that the Canadian games industry was enjoying significant growth fuelled in part by tax credits. The report, Canada's Entertainment Software Industry in 2011, showed that Canada itself has been notably successful in attracting investment and skilled personnel from jurisdictions like the United Kingdom. It also found that the Canadian games industry is expected to grow by 17% over the next two years.
2011-05-30 - The Canadian video game industry employs approximately 16,000 artists, innovators, and designers, according to a new report from Secor Consulting, released by the Entertainment Software Association of Canada (ESAC). According to the report, over the past two years, despite the economic recession, the industry grew by 11% annually and is projected to grow more rapidly over the next two years at 17% per year. And with nearly 350 companies, Canada's video game industry is conservatively estimated to contribute $1.7 billion to Canada's economy and remains the third largest in the world, or in first place on a per capita basis based on the employment levels in other countries.
2011-05-29 - The Huffington Post is the latest digital media company to use Canada as an "international testing ground" with the launch of its Canadian edition. The newly created company, Huffington Post Canada, began hiring in Toronto in April 2011. "I have been wanting to launch in Canada for a while," founder Arianna Huffington said. AOL recently bought The Huffington Post in a $315 million deal, which gave the unit the capital and an established base of Canadian staff to expand. Currently the AOL Canada team and the Huffington Post Canada team have merged, with about 24 staff running the sites.
2011-05-25 - Canada's digital industries are mainly small businesses, most of which are less than eight years old, have eschewed government financing and expect revenue to increase in the next year, according to a Pixel to Product research study. The study shows that Canada's digital media industry is fuelled by the growth of the mobile application, digital marketing and social media industries. In addition, Canada has quickly evolved into a hotbed of technology innovation, and the report represents the most complete snapshot to date of the country's emerging digital economy. “We learned that the Canadian digital media economy is strong," Justin Kozuch, lead researcher on the study.
2011-05-23 - Hollywood film financier and producer American United Entertainment said it will "embrace tax credits and other taxpayer subsidies in Ontario" with an investment of $40 million in future film, TV and digital media production. The company's CEO mentioned that they are open to the possibilities for American United Entertainment expansions in gaming, special effects and social media. Ontario earlier secured outside investment from Ubisoft, Electronic Arts and Capcom Entertainment as it looks to build out its digital production sector beyond traditional film and TV product.
2011-05-11 - Microsoft Game Studios has announced the creation of a new studio in Vancouver, with the developer rumoured to be working on a new core title for Kinect. The company describes itself as, "dedicated to making games for 'core' gamers. Our mission is to push the limits of proven and unexplored game development and show the world what's possible on Microsoft's game consoles," referring to this studio.
2011-04-07 - Ontario is fast becoming a major player in the interactive gaming world with incentives for companies to create their products in the province. In 2010, Ontario supported 341 digital media projects, leading to over $175 million in production and development activity. Digital media production contributes almost $1.5 billion annually to Ontario's economy and employs 16,000 people, up from 8,000 in 2000.
2011-03-28 - According to UK's culture secretary Jeremy Hunt, no country offers video game makers more incentives than Canada. Hunt also knows a change needs to be made in the UK games industry. "We need to offer the video game industry a package as financially competitive as Canada," Hunt told The Guardian. Canada houses some of the world's biggest and best developers: BioWare, Ubisoft, Relic, EA Canada, EA Black Box, Silicon Knights and Digital Extremes to name a few. Canada's "great package" helped the industry grow by 33% between 2008 and 2010.
2011-03-16 - Japanese games publisher Square Enix is planning a second studio in Canada, looking to take advantage of subsidies and generous tax incentives to create games for a new wave of home consoles. Planned to open in 2012 and host at least 100 employees, there are three locations in the running - Montreal, Quebec and Toronto.
2011-03-06 - In 2010, Ubisoft has opened its fourth studio in Canada, which already has created more than 100 jobs and helped cement the region's hold in the gaming industry. Premier Dalton McGuinty said that Ubisoft investment will help build Ontario's economy now and for the future. The gaming industry in Canada already employs 14,000 people, according to the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) of Canada and is worth $1.7 billion in direct economic activity, not including retail sales. In addition, ESA said that Canada is set to be the fastest-growing entertainment and media market in North America, with a projected annual growth of 5% between 2010 and 2014.
2011-03-02 - Executives from Ontario's talent-rich tech cities are promoting "pixel-perfect" business conditions for expanding digital media companies. The C.D. Howe Institute states that Canada's international reputation as a destination for capital and investment is better than it has been for a generation. Ontario's digital media tech talent bank has attracted international companies like Ubisoft, Electronic Arts and Capcom Entertainment. In addition to a deep talent pool and strong economy, targeted tax incentives helped the Ontario Technology Corridor push Canada past the UK in 2010 as the world's third largest centre for video-game development talent.
2011-02-07 - Over the past 15 years, Canada has developed into a world power in video game design, being the third biggest employer in the trade than anyone. Much of that is attributable to the hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies and tax cuts offered by provincial governments in Quebec, British Columbia and Ontario. The incentives have attracted multinational game companies such as Ubisoft, Eidos and Electronic Arts, which in 2007 bought BioWare. Some of these game companies say that if Canada would ever stop the incentives, the country would still be a major player in that market.
2011-01-30 - Zoic Studios is expanding its Vancouver office. The company, headquartered in California, anticipates a dramatic increase in staff in Canada in the very near future. Zoic Studios provides services in commercial, television, and theatrical vfx and editorial, among other areas. Zoic Studios Vancouver, which has been operating since the 2006-year, will see a workforce increase of 60%, according to the company. Staff of 2D and 3D artists currently occupy the facility. The company praised the city's wealth of young animation talent. The expanded facilities will include upgraded equipment and a screening room for future clients.
2011-01-23 - EA Sports has announced plans to adopt Virgin Gaming as a service for competitive games, sponsored and pay-to-play tournaments. "Competitive online gaming is an increasingly popular component of our industry and a great way for EA Sports and Virgin Gaming to help connect gamers around the world through the global language of sports," said EA Sports boss Peter Moore.
2010-12-22 - Technicity, a one-day gathering that recently brought together more than 300 delegates from business, government and education concluded that digital media, including social networking and mobile development, is the fuse that will set off an explosion of industry development, business growth and new employment opportunities in Toronto. Canada's High Tech Hub: Toronto, a report tabled at the event provides a comprehensive overview of Toronto's ICT sector and cites several concrete examples of the successes realized so far.
2010-11-04 - India-based Toonz Animation has taken another step towards expanding its activities for a larger international presence, with a joint venture with Canada-based Mediabiz. Toonz Animation CEO P. Jayakumar said Toonz Entertainment Global, a new entity, had been set up as a production house based out of Montreal. The new company is a joint venture between Toonz Group and Mediamax International, Canada. Jayakumar said a key objective of the Canadian unit was to take advantage of the benefits offered by the Canadian government and leverage it with the cost-arbitrage of production in India.
2010-11-03 - The Quebec gaming industry is looking to hire about 1,700 employees within a few years, for a growth of 18%, according to a recent survey. Currently, there are 6,602 employees working in 49 of the province's 81 gaming companies that participated in the survey by TECHNOCompétences. And by early 2012, that number is forecasted to grow to 8,300. according to TECHNOCompétences.
2010-09-26 - Music libraries are currently the next big thing for universities. Efforts are afoot in Canada, as the University of Calgary will be expanding its library with a gaming collection in March 2011. The University of Calgary aims to have a collection that will "rival that of any other academic institution," according to a report. University librarian Jerremie Clyde told the paper that adding games to the library collection could go a long way toward legitimizing the medium in the eyes of the academic community.
2010-09-06 - Edmonton-based BioWare is doubling the number of employees at its Montreal offices, with the ultimate goal of creating an autonomous studio that will design its own video games. The Montreal office this week announced that it will double in size to 55 employees this year, from 27 last year. "The studio will ultimately employ about 150 people," said Montreal studio director Yanick Roy. The company also has a studio in Austin, Texas, as well as an operation in Fairfax, Va. BioWare was acquired by Calif.-based Electronic Arts in 2007.
2010-09-02 - According to Dagensit.no, Montreal is the center of Quebec's large-scale investment in programs to encourage new industries to establish themselves in the city. And Norwegian's Funcom has moved much of its development department in Montreal, similarly to big game companies like Ubisoft, Electronic Arts and Square Enix. "The province really paves the way for us. Among other things, we have reduced labour costs for skilled labour by up to 37.5%," said CEO Trond Arne Aas. In addition, Quebec's Multimedia Tax Credit program allows Funcom to pay four developers for the price of three.
*Article translated from Norwegian to English by an embassy employee.
2010-08-15 - A combination of a deep talent pool, strong economy and targeted incentives has helped the Province of Ontario push Canada to the world’s third largest centre for video-game development talent, trailing only Japan and the United States. Executives from the Ontario Technology Corridor are attending the Game Developers Conference (GDC Europe 2010) in Cologne to show digital entertainment companies that Ontario is the best place in North America to expand or relocate their businesses. Ontario’s fast-growing entertainment and creative cluster produces $15 billion in revenue and over 200,000 jobs, contributing $12.7 billion to the province's GDP.
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