Despite 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 per cent annually and is forecasted to grow 17 per cent in each of the next two years. Executives from the Ontario Technology Corridor are at GamesCom in Germany to demonstrate the province’s “winning combination” of talent and tax credits. Canada is one of the world’s top three game producing nations.
“Ontario continues to offer the talent and the financial incentitves that make this region such a strong part of the digital entertainment industry,” says Larry MacKinnon, Director of Business Development for Technology in London Ontario and member of the Ontario Technology Corridor. “Our job at GamesCom is to add to our tremendous home-grown crop of companies and help demonstrate that Ontario is a prime destination in North America for gaming investments.”
On July 19, 2011, Arkadium Inc. opened a Toronto, Ontario, office to focus on mobile gaming titles. Company executives stated “key factors” in the move were assistance from the Ontario government and the Digital Media Tax Credit, plus help from the Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance. Arkadium’s Toronto office has a goal of producing ten new games to introduce to the market within the next 12 month.
Gameloft Inc. has started hiring 205 people for a new Toronto office that will be a state-of-the-art gaming studio. The company’s General Manager for Canada, Mario Poulin says, “We remain at the top of our game by partnering with jurisdictions like Ontario where there is a real interest backed by sound policies to make the gaming sector a strong contributor to the economy and the creation of jobs.”
Also in July, Silicon Knights Inc. announced it will nearly double its staff by adding 80 new jobs. Morro Images is working with Silicon Knights as it expands their current visual effects operation in St. Catharines.
The Ontario Technology Corridor employs nearly 260,000 people among 6,400 Information and Communication Technology (ICT) companies in the Greater Toronto area, Ottawa region, Waterloo region, city of London and the Niagara region.