Ubisoft is looking to inject some more lifeblood into the video game industry with a new announcement.
The video game developer, which was founded in France but has offices in Toronto and Montreal, announced their second annual Indie Series at an industry open house last week. The series is a competition between small video game studios meant to drive leadership in the industry. Indie Series is presented by National Bank as a lead sponsor.
Up for grabs are two grand prizes, one each for Quebec and Ontario. The winning studios will take home $50,000, mentorship from Ubisoft experts, distribution on the Uplay PC store, marketing support and a lot of training and mentorship. On top of this, National Bank will select a winner from each province based on its own criteria and give those studios $25,000 and industry mentorship as well.
Finalists in the competition will receive a financial diagnosis by National Bank experts.
“Making games is difficult and presents many challenges: financially, creatively, and more,” reads the Indie Series site. “This is precisely why we want to connect with our colleagues, share knowledge and expertise, and together, ensure Canada continues to grow as a game development leader worldwide.”
The competition targets Ontario and Quebec studios with between two and 50 employees. The company must be independent and 50 per cent Canadian-owned, with a minimum 80 per cent of the team working on the game full-time.
The game that will be entered in the competition must be at the beginning of production, have some funding already, and be based on PC. There must also be a financial plan for how the cash prize will be used.
The application deadline for Ontario studios is December 15, 2017, while Quebec studios have until December 22. From there, 10 studios will be invited to pitch and demo their games before an Ubisoft jury during the week of March 5, 2018. The winners will then be announced during that event.
Reptoid Games took home the grand prize last year with their game Fossil Hunters, and they used the new money to bring on three new hires and expand the reach of their work to new audiences.
Ubisoft opened their first Canadian studio in 1997 and established a Toronto presence in 2010. The company recently pledged to open two new offices, hire over 1,000 new employees and invest $780 million in their Quebec operations.