It may come as no surprise that Canada now ranks 3rd worldwide in the video game industry according to the Entertainment Software Association of Canada. With game studios like Ubisoft producing blockbuster titles such as Assassin’s Creed 3, and a booming mobile gaming app industry in Toronto, Canada is well on its way to rise even higher on the worldwide chart in the coming years. Canada’s success in the video game industry can be attributed to a number of key factors such as:
- University-educated creative talent;
- Desirable cities to work in;
- Canada’s generous tax incentives to help studios get the funding they need.
The majority of game studios are located in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia due to their well-established game developer communities, and partly due to the tax relief programs available in those provinces. Canada’s video game industry is at an exciting stage in its life cycle where it’s expected to continue to keep growing and create more jobs in Canada. Currently, the video game industry is providing $1.7 billion dollars in revenue and employs about 16,000 across Canada. At the same time, it seems like the industry is shifting some of its focus from console systems such as Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony’s Playstation 3 to mobile gaming platforms like iOS and Android to accommodate those new areas for potential growth.
Ontario, in particular, has several lucrative funding programs designed to further encourage investment into the province including: the Ontario Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit (OIDMTC), the Ontario Computer Animation and Special Effects Tax Credit (OCASE), the Ontario Media Development Corporation’s (OMDC) Interactive Digital Media Fund, and the Scientific Research and Experimental Development program (SR&ED).
Government funding programs are critical to the success of the Canadian video game industry, because Canada is competing on the global stage with countries like France, Korea, Australia and the United States. It is important that Canada continues to support established game studios as well as start-ups through government funding incentives in order to make sure that we remain competitive in the global economy.