Develop offers an interesting breakdown of Quebec’s video game industry, which it calls one of the "fastest-growing game development clusters in the world." If the numbers are to be believed (and we trust their research), than Canada is on track to surpass many other countries soon. In some cases it already has. The report is particularly troublesome to regions in Europe, like the UK, a popular poaching ground for talent..
With help from data provided by Investment Quebec develop found that Quebec’s game development workforce has grown by 600 percent since 2003. The industry in the region is comprised of 50 companies employing around 5,000 people. If you add all the related services companies in the region, that number jumps to around 80 companies in a variety of fields including development, publishing, production services, software and middleware. These companies employ around 7,000 people and generate other jobs indirectly.
Based on certain conditions, a game produced in Quebec could be given a 37.5 percent tax break for labor costs. Development costs in the region are 20 percent less than in the United States, 24 percent less in Europe and 30 percent less than in Japan.
Quebec has over 5,000 university students graduate from computer science and multimedia fields every single year. In 2008 the region had 2,852 graduates ready to work.
Quebec has three schools in the region: the National Animation and Design Centre, the National Institute of Digital Entertainment, and the National Audio Visual Institute.
Brand name studios in the region include Ubisoft, EA, Behaviour (A2M), Eidos Montreal, Activision (Beenox), BioWare and Mistic Software. Mobile developers working out of Quebec include EA Mobile, Gameloft, Frima Studio, Airborne, and Longtail Studios. Finally, Online game developers in the region include Funcom, Sarbakan, Frima Studio, DTI Software, and Wendigo.
The point of the report (IMHO) is to show that Canada is doing everything right when it comes to education, tax breaks, and providing opportunities to developers. While some states in the U.S. are providing tax relief for the interactive entertainment industry, the UK continues to flounder because the government is dragging its feet on the issue.