Canada's Videogame Tax Incentives Bring Square-Enix to the Yard

Canada's Videogame Tax Incentives Bring Square-Enix to the Yard

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Square-Enix will open a new studio with over a hundred employees in 2012.

The Japanese videogame publishing conglomerate is negotiating with the Canadian governments to open a new development studio in one of the three possible locations: Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. Square already owns Eidos Montreal, which it received in the 2009 merger. Eidos Montreal, maker of the forthcoming Deus Ex: Human Revolution, is the fourth largest game studio in the city behind EA, Ubisoft and Behaviour. The new studio would hopefully benefit not only from the tax credits all game studios enjoy in Canada but also a flat subsidy from the Quebec government. Such deals have been struck with THQ and Warner Bros. (for 3.1 million and 7.5 million dollars respectively) and the director of Eidos Montreal, Stéphane D'Astous, believes that Square-Enix's new studio should get a similar agreement.

"When Eidos arrived in Montreal in 2007, the government made a fair offer, but much water has flowed under the bridge for four years," D'Astrous said, as translated from the original French interview by Google.

"The negotiating process has begun," said D'Astous. "However, each city has its advantages. Vancouver has an interesting pool of available talent with all the studio closures. Toronto is excessively business-oriented. Montreal has an established reputation and great creative potential."

Interestingly, the new studio will be designed work on games for the next generation of game consoles. "The new consoles from Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo will require more attention and more staff," said Stéphane D'Astous. "We want to prepare ourselves." All three major console manufacturers have stated that no new generation was coming anytime soon but perhaps D'Astrous knows something we do not.

In the 60s, Canada was a destination for many American draft dodgers who chose not to participate in the Vietnam War. Then in the 90s, TV and movie production shifted north of the border as Canadian provinces offered a cheaper alternative to filming in the States. We may now be witnessing another great migration as more videogame publishers are choosing to settle in Quebec, Montreal and Vancouver because of the attractive tax breaks these cities offer. Similar programs exist in other countries and/or individual states in America, and while Square is also reportedly looking at locating the studio in Raleigh, NC, Atlanta, GA, or Orlando, FL, the draw of Canadian taxpayers' money continues to fuel the migration.

Will the majority of videogames come from Canada in the next generation of videogame consoles?

Source: lapresseaffaires via GameFocus

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WOO. I seriously hope they come to Vancouver; we have tons of film students wanting to work in games, but the biggest studio we have is EA Sports. And they suck as bosses.

Canada's taxes bring ALL the developers to the yard.

...I'm so sorry.

OT: I'm sort of glad to hear this. Maybe they'll be swayed to try a new, West inspired approach after this? Hey, a guy can dream.

Tax breaks and agreeableness= why america can't have nice things.
This i'll really put Fox News in a bind: Either whine about how taxes are destroying american business, or celebrate the exodus of the gaming industry that is corrupting the youth.

Great news for any Canuck games designer students; glad to see more studios opening up here

I hope they put in Vancouver. If they do I shall apply for a job and secrelty leak all of the goods to the Escapist... for a price... BWUAHAHAHAHAHA

Will the majority of videogames come from Canada in the next generation of videogame consoles?

If the games continue to get worse, as a Canadian, I hope not.

Square Enix? In MY Canada?

Sure, provided they get their asses started on a TWEWY sequel.

Canada brings square enix to my yard? interesting.

oooooooh, plzplzplz come to Montreal!

:P I'm hoping to go into the gaming industry once I'm done university, and I want lots and lots of options!

Come to Toronto! I live here! We need more video game job opportunities.

What?! NO! Fuck, why can't we get someone like Bumgie or Bethesda heading up North, As long as they stay way the hell away from Halifax we'll be fine with each other.

Although this is great news and I can't believe Montreal would possibly be welcoming another large studio.

Don't take anything Stéphane D'Astous says at face value, used to work around the guy and he got "let go" for running his mouth amongst other things.

My wife would be willing to move to Montreal or Toronto if I got a job with SE (unlikely as it seems). But Vancouver is too far.

Sweet, just in time for my graduation from the VFS game design program, hopefully they come to Van.

HankMan:
Tax breaks and agreeableness= why america can't have nice things.
This i'll really put Fox News in a bind: Either whine about how taxes are destroying american business, or celebrate the exodus of the gaming industry that is corrupting the youth.

Not really. All they have to do is flip a coin and then deny any relationship between the two events. If anyone calls them out on it, Fox can just call them liberal terrorists.

SteakHeart:
Canada's taxes bring ALL the developers to the yard.

...I'm so sorry.

OT: I'm sort of glad to hear this. Maybe they'll be swayed to try a new, West inspired approach after this? Hey, a guy can dream.

They already have. They have/will publish(ed) a few Western styled games this gen (Nier, Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, etc).

They've also actively campaigned for more Western games in Japan. They did publish MW2 in that country.

Why do people always hold Square up as some unchanging Japanese poster boy, when they're actually far more progressive than most video game companies period (including over those unchanging Western companies)?

redisforever:
Come to Toronto! I live here! We need more video game job opportunities.

I second this, as I intend to finish college here and then move to Toronto! Go Squeenix!

Wait... Tax breaks on games, funding from the provincial government AND everything we have to fund except paychecks is socialized?

Canada shall make its mark on the world through games.

Because burning the white house, thus giving it its name didn't work. Nor having one of the most effective militaries in the world despite its tiny size. Or being the birthplace of an overwhelming number of musicians (including some good ones). [/nationalpride] Hmm... maybe we can't win...

HankMan:
Tax breaks and agreeableness= why america can't have nice things.
This i'll really put Fox News in a bind: Either whine about how taxes are destroying american business, or celebrate the exodus of the gaming industry that is corrupting the youth.

No, not agreeableness (or agreeability, thank you). At least not in Montreal.

I think you could replace that statement with "slightly more isolated redneck population".

s69-5:

SteakHeart:
Canada's taxes bring ALL the developers to the yard.

...I'm so sorry.

OT: I'm sort of glad to hear this. Maybe they'll be swayed to try a new, West inspired approach after this? Hey, a guy can dream.

They already have. They have/will publish(ed) a few Western styled games this gen (Nier, Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, etc).

They've also actively campaigned for more Western games in Japan. They did publish MW2 in that country.

Why do people always hold Square up as some unchanging Japanese poster boy, when they're actually far more progressive than most video game companies period (including over those unchanging Western companies)?

I wasn't aware they made those games. Next time I'll think before I type.

Maybe they'll now reconsider not having pre-order bonus to Canadians, those cheap Squeenix bastards.

HankMan:
Tax breaks and agreeableness= why america can't have nice things.
This i'll really put Fox News in a bind: Either whine about how taxes are destroying american business, or celebrate the exodus of the gaming industry that is corrupting the youth.

Option three. They'll completely ignore it. That's probably the most likely scenario, unless they can tie Jack Thompson to it.

Greg Tito:

In the 60s, Canada was a destination for many American draft dodgers who chose not to participate in the Vietnam War.

While the rest of the article is really great I don't understand why this is included when the analogy to the film industry works so much better. I'm very happy that Canada is very rapidly becoming one of the top countries for video game development.

i think you are better off listening to the console manufacturers since i have noticed an interesting thing about D'Astrous name its quite like disastrous, D'Astrous ??

Well you guys know what dumping is right? Tax breaks are legal 'cos the governament does that, but they can generate an international dispute, don't fool yourself that american CEOS are not getting in contact with their lawyers because they are. Canada is no threat to american games studios because the big ones are still very proftible. Oh well, that's why there is the WTO.

redisforever:
Come to Toronto! I live here! We need more video game job opportunities.

100% agreed. I'm sick of there only being iOS jobs available here. I want more console dev opportunities in TORONTO!

Evil mr dave:
What?! NO! Fuck, why can't we get someone like Bumgie or Bethesda heading up North, As long as they stay way the hell away from Halifax we'll be fine with each other.

Dude, why not Halifax? It's a great city, and an alternative to Canada's "Three cities" (Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal). I bet there would be lots of would-be game developers pumped to finally have a studio come to Halifax. The east coast gets over-looked far too often.

Javex:

Evil mr dave:
What?! NO! Fuck, why can't we get someone like Bumgie or Bethesda heading up North, As long as they stay way the hell away from Halifax we'll be fine with each other.

Dude, why not Halifax? It's a great city, and an alternative to Canada's "Three cities" (Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal). I bet there would be lots of would-be game developers pumped to finally have a studio come to Halifax. The east coast gets over-looked far too often.

I'm not a fan of Square, i don't like any of the games that they have developted and I want to be a game dev but do not want to work for Square. If anything i'd want to work for bioware, even if ea are dick and it means moving to Edmonton.

Hey Square, if you're going to open a studio in Vancouver, can you hire me? Pleasepleaseplease?

 

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