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Canada Is Now Hiring – Major Game Studios in Canada

At PAX 2011 (yeah we talk about that event a lot here) I attended a number of ‘how to get into the industry panels’. For more on that see my article So You Want To Get Into The Game Industry.

During Q&A periods at these panels I was saddened to hear a number of fellow Canadians complain that they couldn’t get a job in the industry because “All the good studios are down in the States.”

I call shenanigans. Canada is home to dozens of major game developers and hundreds of small and indie studios.The following is a list of the major players in the Canadian gaming industry.

EA Games

  • Vancouver, British Columbia – EA’s main Canadian office. Located in the heart ofVancouver’s downtown, developers here mostly work on annual titles for EA’s sport franchises.
  • Burnaby, British Columbia – Love cars? Apply here. EA’s Black Box studio works on a number of titles, but is predominately responsible for the Need for Speed franchise.
  • EA also has small Canadian studios in:
    – Kitchener/Waterloo, Ontario – Developing mobile games
    – Charlottetown, PEI – Developing mobile games
    – Lacolle, Quebec – Developing mobile games

Bioware

Although Bioware/Mythic is now owned by EA it deserves a mention of its own. This amazing developer of RPG goodness has studios in:

  • Edmonton, Alberta – Bioware’s main facility producing both the Mass Effect and Dragon Age franchises.
  • Montreal, Quebec – A newly established and growing studio that is currently supporting the Mass Effect franchise but we theorize (with no real evidence, just a gut instinct) will be developing a sequel to Jade Empire.

Visceral Games 

  • Montreal, Quebec – Visceral is also owned by EA but deserves a solo mention for the excellent work done with the Dead Space franchise (let’s not talk about Dante’s Inferno).

Ubisoft 

Find yourself working on Assassin’s Creed, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell, Might and Magic, Prince of Persia and more at Ubisoft.

  • Montreal, Quebec – Ubisoft’s main Canadian studio. Bilingual? You’re hired.
  • Toronto, Ontario – Rainbow 6. Need we say more?

THQ 

  • Montreal, Quebec – THQ’s first North American non-acquired studio. Currently developing a new IP.

Relic Entertainment 

  • Vancouver, British Columbia – Are orks with machine guns your thing? Join the fight with the Dawn of War and Space Marine Warhammer gaming franchises. Now owned by THQ.

Hothead Games 

  • Vancouver, British Columbia – Creators of DeathSpank, Penny Arcade Adventures and numerous iOS games, Hothead is a Canadian company on its way upward.

Slant Six Games 

  • Vancouver, British Columbia – Best known for its SOCOM series, Slant Six rocked E3 this year with Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City.

Silicon Knights 

  • St. Catharines, Ontario – Best known for Too Human and X-men: Destiny, Silicon Knights is a relatively new studio backed by the Ontario government.

Eidos Montreal

Eidos Montreal is the Square-Enix owned studio that just released a little game called Deus Ex: Human Revolution. You may have heard of it. This studio is currently hiring for DE:HR DLC, Theif 4, and several undisclosed new titles.

Got a favourite Canadian studio that we’ve missed? Share the love in the comments below.

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About Lee Guille

Gamer, writer, marketer, husband, oppressed slave to cats. Follow me on twitter: Writeleewrite

Posted on November 11, 2011, in Game Careers and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Sorry JTM while Canada has plenty of studios outside of Quebec and some parts of Ontario most provinces are seeing massive decline in jobs related to the games industry. Especially here in British Columbia, studios and publishers are constantly downsizing either shifting operations east or south. Considering you and I were at PAX I would bet that a lot of the people at the Q&A were from western Canada, which is in decline.

    Montreal is hiring some other cities are hiring a lot less but still hiring. But Vancouver and many other areas of the country are seeing a rapid decline!

    • Thanks for your comment Joe! While I agree that there are certainly fewer jobs in the industry available at major developers in Western Canada, there has been a significant increase in the number of smaller studios. The point behind this article is that there are jobs out there if you look.

      What really got me writing this piece was hearing one guy say he checked the EA employment site, didn’t see the job he wanted, and therefore believed there was no industry here.

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