Vancouver Hosts Fourth Annual Canadian Videogame Awards

The Canadian Videogame Awards | BCBusiness
The Canadian Videogame Awards

Vancouver hosted the fourth annual Canadian Videogame Awards at Canada Place on Saturday, celebrating the best mobile, console and online games developed in Canada last year

“Far Cry 3” picked up six awards including game of the year, and the fans’ choice award. Montreal’s Ubisoft collected eight awards in total, taking home half of the night’s hardware.

Vancouver’s Klei Entertainment took home two awards for its mobile game “Mark of the Ninja.” The B.C. studio won the titles of best downloadable game and best indie game.

While “Mark of the Ninja” was the only game developed in B.C. to take home an award last night, nominees noted that 2012 was a big year for the local gaming industry.

“We went from huh to god damn amazing,” said Nels Anderson, lead designer of “Mark of the Ninja.”

Long considered the heart of Canada’s gaming industry, Vancouver slipped in recent years as Quebec and Ontario have lured global giants like Ubisoft and Electronic Arts with multi-million-dollar incentives and big labour tax credits.

In 2012, traditional industry players like Rockstar Games and Radical Entertainment laid off local teams, and in some cases moved out of Vancouver entirely.

But the announcement that Japanese game developer Namco will set up shop in Vancouver and a thriving local startup scene indicate that Vancouver’s game development scene has room to grow.