The Canadian video game awards were presented last week in Vancouver. Seven of the 15 prizes have been won by Montreal firms, and five by Eidos-Montreal for Deus Ex: Human Revolution in these categories: best game console, best sound, best game design, best script, and best new character. Toronto won five prizes for the game Superbrothers: Sword & Sorcery EP. Vancouver won three prizes.
Nominees came from many different cities around Canada, and not just big cities. The best game studios are doing also business in Quebec City, Victoria, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Sudbury, Ottawa, and Markham.
If Montreal has the best performance among Canadian cities, most of the winners in the city were foreign firms with a branch in Montreal such as Eidos and Ubisoft. In comparison, the nominees were composed of five different studios in Vancouver and seven in the Greater Toronto area.
In Quebec, the biggest game studios have long been foreign firms, which create fewer games and produce more in sub-contracting big and long projects for the head office. Thus, it took four years to Eidos-Montreal to produce its first video game, Deus Ex. Smaller games studios have emerged in the Quebec province to create an interesting industry cluster.
FIFA Soccer 12 from Electronic Arts was the public’s choice for Game of the Year, and NHL 12 from Electronic Arts was named the top selling video game in Canada. Other individual winners included Margaritaville Online from Exploding Barrel Games, and Assassin’s Creed Revelations and Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2012, both from Ubisoft Montreal. All the awards were for work developed in Canada and released in 2011.