By Nathan Rudyk

The economic development team from across the Ontario Technology Corridor is "game on" in Germany this week on behalf of regions and cities from Toronto, Ottawa, Waterloo, London and Niagara along with reps from the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation.

Major gaming studios including Arkadium, Capcom, Electronic Arts, Gameloft, Rockstar Games, Ubisoft, and Zynga have already set up shop in Ontario. They're joined by home-grown success stories including Christie Digital, Digital Extremes, Keyframe Digital Productions, Nulayer and RocketOwl. What's the draw for gaming companies setting up studios in Canada's largest province?

In a post on Arkadium’s Inside Access site on Facebook, Director of Operations Daniel Sennet states that his New York-based company’s decision to locate a major studio in Ontario wasn't just because everyone there is nice and says ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’ It also wasn't because hockey is clearly the best sport in the world. It was mainly because as a company, we were looking for an educated, skilled and motivated workforce. We were also looking to open an office in a welcoming city – and by welcoming, I mean one that extends business opportunities to you including significant tax incentives. When we thought about how few cultural or language barriers there are and that we can walk to the office from the airport … it was a clear no-brainer.”

And what's the draw for Ontario? From a 2011 article by David Malmborg in Techvibes entitled What Gaming Means to the Canadian Economy:

The gaming industry provides high-quality, high paying jobs that on average pay $40,000 to $73,000 annually.

In addition to those developing, selling and marketing video games at video game companies there are other jobs needed for things like artwork, animation, IT support, motion capture and quality assurance and testing.

... The industry remains concentrated around traditional console game development and publishing with 68% of all employees working on these types of games.  This is changing because the share of the development of other types of platforms, for example social gaming and mobile gaming.

Besides social and mobile gaming increasing, cloud-based games ranging from vast immersive worlds with thousands of other players are also on the rise.

Canada plays a major role in the gaming industry in terms of amount of activity, talent and resources. It’s not only the video gaming companies themselves that make up the industry it’s also the other creative services like artwork, animation which all contribute to the total economic impact.

With an 11% increase over the past two years and an expected 17% of growth over the next two years, Canada [and especially Ontario] will continue to play a more significant role in the global gaming industry.

You can read more about those targeted digital media/gaming-focused tax incentives by clicking on the link above or reading our press release (in English here, and in German here). You can also follow the news and progress of the Ontario Technology Corridor on the Corridor's news page.

The Ontario Technology Corridor is supported by market2world clients at the Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance (GTMA), Invest Ottawa, Canada’s Technology Triangle, the London Economic Development Corporation and Niagara Economic Development.

(Nathan Rudyk is President and CEO with market2world communications inc., the public relations and product marketing agency for global innovators.)