Most of you have probably heard of Rockstar Games closing their Vancouver studio. Coming on the heels of Radical’s closure, the local AAA studio environment is looking quite depressing. You may be wondering why indies should care about these closures. There are a couple good reasons.
We are a part of a broader developer community in Vancouver. Many of us have worked for local AAA studios and got our first industry job there. It’s also the reason for many of the game schools being active in our city. Having a vibrant AAA developer and student community makes the indie scene stronger as well. If Vancouver becomes some sort of tech wasteland, fewer people will have the skills to make games and there’ll be fewer indies. That’s why the studio closures worry me.
A part of the problem is that other provinces, like Quebec, have more aggressive incentives for companies to work there. If we are going to remain a hub of game development, we need people in government who understand our industry.
Can We Do It
I recently met Matt Toner – someone who’s willing to bring our issues to the attention of Victoria. He’s making the leap from game developer to politician and seeking a nomination for NDP. If you think that our government could do more for the tech industry in BC, perhaps you should check out his campaign page. His plan is to use his campaign to make these issues public and to get BC competitive again.