EA, Activision invest in Canadian game development

Top publisher makes $902,000 grant to Vancouver digital media graduate program; archrival tripling its Quebec City studio's staff.

The games industry is alive, well, and apparently thriving above the United States' northern border. This week, two of the world's biggest third-party publishers announced they will be investing millions in training and employing game developers in Canada.

First came Activision's announcement that it will be tripling the size of its Beenox studio. The California-based publisher is aiming to add 200 developers to the Quebec City shop by 2009, and it will focus on making games for "next-generation consoles" based on "Activision's largest licensed properties including movie-based games and super hero titles," according to the company. Beenox will also be the site of a new quality-assurance center starting this summer.

Meanwhile, over on Canada's West Coast, Activision's archnemesis is spending some major coin of its own to foster higher game education. Today, the megapublisher Electronic Arts announced it is making a CAN$1 million (around $902,200) grant to the Masters of Digital Media program (MDM) at the Great Northern Way Campus. The school is located in Vancouver, British Columbia, which is also the headquarters of EA Canada, the studio behind the NBA Street and SSX series, among many others.

The contribution is part of EA's "global educational and talent development effort" and is intended to foster local talent in Vancouver. The MDM program is a joint effort between four major graduate schools in the city: The University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, the British Columbia Institute of Technology, and the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design.

Written By

Want the latest news about NBA Street Homecourt?

NBA Street Homecourt

NBA Street Homecourt

Follow

Discussion

58 comments
mrhuntin
mrhuntin

this best basketball game ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!(REALLY)

mach-stem
mach-stem

Again, I was simply pointing out that it would take a little more than 1 month, or even 6 months for such a grand move to put a province turned country into the level of failure that some people here mention. I believe that yes, it would eventually fall into its own financial crevice that they would create by seperation, it's blatantly obvious. I was simply pointing out that for something as drastic as economical downfall within a couple months, the provincial turned federal government would have to have had absolutely no plan into what it was progressing towards, basically disallowing any financial and economical advice from those in charge. It takes more than a popular vote to make something of this nature happen, there's a reason it hasn't happened yet, and will only happen if my/our people are stupid enough to trust radicals...the last time the French trusted radicals, they won a true revolution, but seperating from the country which has let them live and keep their culture? It just boggles my mind. Thanks for the input zero-pirate and VIP, at least you both had something plausible to add to the conversation. I am no economist, but I do my research.

Aznsilvrboy
Aznsilvrboy

billysea: "How is University of British Columbia?" UBC is one of the top ranked universities in Canada.

the_real_VIP
the_real_VIP

True. Quebec is one of the 3 most financially poor provinces in Canada. Even with Quebecers filing 2 income tax reports & paying both of them, the province is still in serious economic breakdown. Quebec just got 1/3 of the total federal budget that is alotted for all 13 provinces & territories.

Zero-Pirate
Zero-Pirate

mach-stem: As an economist, I fully believe that if Quebec seperated, it would fail miserably economically. It would take much longer than the one month prediction, but it would fail. If they left, they would have to take with them their share of the national debt, which would immediately damage their economy since they could no longer rely on the rest of the country to help with that. And Odion666: You can't forget about Saskatchewan. They are about to boom economically. And as for the article: Great news! It's nice to see a little more support coming for Canada's video game industry.

Odion666
Odion666

Dude trust me on this Quebec does not have the natural resources, the infurstucture or money to sustain themselves.

DaFrop
DaFrop

Actually, Quebec has more natural resources than Ontario. They have lots of hydroelectric power that I might add did not fail like Toronto and the rest of the East Coast. They also have lots of forestry and mining just as Ontario does. And Quebec has way more land to expand into than Ontario does. Just take out an atlas and you can clearly see that.

Odion666
Odion666

Mach Stem I'll edit this is i can find an online version but i read a report done that states that it won't last more the one month. There are only three Provinces in the country that make money, thats Ontario, British Columbia, and Alberta. Quebec like the rest of the country depends on those threee to help support it. It has no major resources nor the land to expand greatly. It would be surronded by Canada, and would be rife with crime. Trust me Quebec would fall it has no legs to stand on when its by itself.

HyperMetaDragon
HyperMetaDragon

There's enough studios and game development in Vancouver, how about bringing it to Edmonton, Alberta now? If I'm not mistaken, Fable was created by Lionhead Studios which was created in Edmonton.

mach-stem
mach-stem

onemic and odion666: not that I'm saying Quebec should seperate, because I believe strongly that Quebec is part of Canada, and no ifs and buts (born in Quebec, raised in Ontario) but I don't believe either of you are economists nor have the capability of providing any proof to either of your statements. If Quebec seperated, they would surely be OK with import/export revenues, but it would cause more turmoil for the rest of Canada since we (rest of the provinces) depend deeply on some of their coastal imports and other forms of revenue. Now that the radicals won power in their province, it's kind of scary to see the direction in which they are heading, but there is no way it would cause the turmoil you two are suggesting. By any means, a large population of Quebec AND the rest of the country will fight for that seperation never to happen, as it will be a lose-lose situation for the entire country. With the US just underneath us, we need to stick together if we're to avoid any more US influece on us, whether politically or financially... As for the statement that Ubisoft Canada will be more powerful if Quebec seperated, I can't even begin to grasp the lack of logic behind that... PEACE

onemic
onemic

@ odion666 yep, if Quebec ever left Canada, which is extremely unlikely, their economy would plunge within at least 6 months.

Odion666
Odion666

1. The day Quebec Seperates from Canada two things will happen. 1. The rest of Canada will chear that the one culture who is poised to be an jerk and not become part of Canada will be silenced forever, no longer can Quebec whine about the dumbest crap. 2. Everyone will laugh because its be proven that Quebec by itself would only last one month before it went broke, and most likely won't find any support from the nation that it just spat at

GreyFoxV1
GreyFoxV1

Where's the love for Winnipeg? COME ON.

jason_derbby
jason_derbby

Ubisoft Montreal makes one big game, and a bunch of crappy ports. I don't see how they can be the most powerful. They were great, but they are going in a horrible direction.

Agent_OO7
Agent_OO7

UBISOFT MONTREAL STUDIOS WILL BE THE MOST POWERFULL & TALLENTED STUDIO IN CANCADA !!!! powerful than your all capped comment? i don't think so! ubisoft montreal will be the most POWERFUL when quebec is separated from canada.

beckoflight
beckoflight

UBISOFT MONTREAL STUDIOS WILL BE THE MOST POWERFULL & TALLENTED STUDIO IN CANCADA !!!!

mach-stem
mach-stem

smasher4ya: EA is a developer? Since when? I hate idiots...EA are amators? What the hell is an amator? Did you mean amateur? If, by any ill chance, you did mean amateur, I'd like to ask you how an amateur company can be the leading publisher worldwide...oh wait, you can't? Not surprising. Regarding the article now: Great news for Canada. More and more we're seeing great games come from my home country, and I'm proud to say I'm involved in the alpha testing for a couple games created and developed here in Canada, and let me say without a word of a doubt that the talent behind the development process is growing increasingly and at a fast rate. I'd be interested in seeing game development worldwide, since some really talented programmers/designers are never truly given a chance nor the resources to give us great and innovative game. N.A. and Japan seem to be in a stalemate in terms of development, yet other countries are showing their faces and releasing great games: i.e. STALKER, etc PEACE

killroycantkill
killroycantkill

Once more proof that Canada is awesome. YAY!!! / ) / ) ( . . ) (")(")

finalcross
finalcross

Great news to here. I moved to Van-City a few months back and it's wonderful. I'm not in the game-development field, but Western Canada is booming for work. If you're not looking to work in gaming, Alberta might be a great place to move to. There are more jobs than people there and they are the only Province with no Provincial Sales Tax (PST).

mr_gouda
mr_gouda

That's it! I'm moving to Vancouver... or Beenox.

Montrealien
Montrealien

Long live the taxe credit the IT and the Digital arts get her in Quebec, it help us out alot here in the last few years, it's simply booming :D BC have the same kind of incentives, been like that for a while now overthere, NFS was born there.

joshuahaveron
joshuahaveron

cool, hope it means more games and better games

jason_derbby
jason_derbby

Tor! Beenox isn't in Montreal!!!! It's in Quebec City? What's the difference you may ask? Well about 3 hours by bus.

speznaz07
speznaz07

Hey !! Beenox is Quebec City, not Montreal !! Good news for us.

wenbin09
wenbin09

hope the returns will be great games for the next gen console

rikhan_z
rikhan_z

This is interesting, it makes me wonder what kind of ideas, gameplay and graphics they would be putting into games in the next few years.

TTDog
TTDog

"Smasher4ya: shut the heck up!! canada is full of amators developers like EA...they should invest in Germany...ten more companies like CRYTEK and EA,valve,ubisoft etc. are left 4 dead" I know I shouldn't be but I can't help being surprised at the amount of anger some people show, if they get this worked up about a small gaming news story and a few posts thereon then god help anyone in a car who cuts them up on the street.

monco59
monco59

Great news! Maybe we'll get more developers like Bioware and Relic once these programs start to pay off some dividends.

atlessky
atlessky

EA has contributed alot in this business

maxmax1234
maxmax1234

i wish they would invest that kinda money in my bankaccount!

Zoomer30
Zoomer30

Wow did not know they even had GAMES in Canada ;)

RaiKageRyu
RaiKageRyu

I see the EA building all the time downtown.

Smasher4ya
Smasher4ya

shut the heck up!! canada is full of amators developers like EA...they should invest in Germany...ten more companies like CRYTEK and EA,valve,ubisoft etc. are left 4 dead

NightRain
NightRain

Fantastic! Now I could get a job at the montreal office? :P

the_real_VIP
the_real_VIP

Actually, there's like only 1% or less of jobs in EA that doesn't require formal training. Even a QA tester is required to have reached the university level. My advice: get a college/university diploma to get into the gaming industry, otherwise forget about it.

metroid_dragon
metroid_dragon

That is awesome that Canada is getting a good boost to the games department, I'm actually attending BCIT myself.

Chainblast
Chainblast

This is most excellent news. Don't forget Relic, one of the best developers in the lower mainland! ilikegodalot, I have a friend that is graduating this year from Emily Carr. It's a great school, but it depends what you're wanting to do. I have another buddy who works for EA in the Vancouver area that graduated from the Arts Institute of Vancouver. There are many positions within EA that don't require formal training. They're entry level but it's a great way to bust into the industry. Still I know a couple people who work in the game industry up here and half have formal training while the other half don't. Unless you're doing a technical job like coding it's more or less about your creativity and what you can put together to show the company what you can do. My advice would be to check out job postings on various company websites and see what qualifications are needed for the kind of position(s) you're looking for. You may be able to bypass schooling if you so choose.

ilikegodalot
ilikegodalot

did anyone here ever go to emily carr? I was either thinking of going there or vancouver film school to get into EA or act.... wow...

VegetaMaelstrom
VegetaMaelstrom

The last that I heard, Canada was the most "broadband connected" country on the planet when it comes to the internet. Maybe thats why these large publishers are interested in expanding up here. Plus our government bends over backwards taxwise for many industries while keeping the ordinary citizens taxed to death.

KnightsofRound
KnightsofRound

This is all because of the fact that CANADA KICKS ASS.

themyth01
themyth01

Canadians developers are very talented, titles like Prince of Persia, Mass Effect... are simply amazing.

onemic
onemic

it's no surprise considering studios such as bioware and relic make the best games in their respective genres. Man, even chris taylor is canadian.

pundog
pundog

When you look at some of the quality developers in Canada (Bioware, Sillicon Knights, Ubi Montreal, EA Canada etc.) it's hard to believe there hasn't been more invested in Canada already.

NinjaWallace
NinjaWallace

EA and Activision both make generally crappy games. Ubisoft is better, as far as Canada goes.

zsc4
zsc4

Yeah, Canada does need some help. Well good on them :)