Death by Economy: Winnipeg Videogame Incubator to Close

Billed as North America’s first videogame business incubator, Fortune Cat Games Studios is preparing to close up shop after four years of operation.

The Winnipeg, Canada-based initiative provided rent-free office space and computer systems to small project teams and hooked up the fledgling developers with mentors and contacts in order to advance their skill sets.  According to a Winnipeg Free Press story, the non-profit is shuttering because it could not secure any funding for operations in 2011.

Federal funding for the incubator ceased about a year and a half ago, while provincial funds run out this year. The provincial government stated that it seeded the business with $662,954 between 2005 and 2010.

Fortune Cat’s Executive Director Ryan FitzGerald said about the closing, “I cannot blame anybody. The worst thing I can say is that we had the right idea, but bad timing for federal reasons and provincial reasons and for industry reasons.”

At least eight local game development companies credit Fortune Cat Game Studios with assisting in their creation of commercially viable products, including Complex Games, Myzan Research, Nightshift Interactive, Perentie Games, Project Whitecard, Red Reptile Studios, Tomkorp & We Heart Games.

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