15 november 2012

Montreal Digital Festival


The Future Unknown
Source - Montreal Digital Festival

It began with a ‘Web-In’, then there was two days of the ‘Montreal International Games Summit’ and on this final day, it was all about ‘Mobiz’; that’s the mobile business.  The Montreal Digital Festival is intended for professionals from around the world and 1700 of them came to this 8th annual event. There are displays of the latest in all these technologies and 80 keynote speakers sharing their expertise, even as the theme of the gathering is ‘The Future Unknown’.
Emmanuel Viau, chief organizer of the event, said ‘in the last two years everything has changed with the arrival of tablets, that the current generation of consoles is slowly dying, and the next one is not ready, and the change from games as products to games as services sold only online has left the industry trying to cope.’

Tim Sweeney was one of the keynote speakers.  He’s the founder of Epic Games in North Carolina which produced Gears of War and Infinity Blade.  He said ‘we’re all waiting for a new generation of consoles to launch and succeed and take their place – or not, it’s impossible to say.’  “But in the game industry overall, we’re seeing mobile platforms with smartphone and tablet gaming growing at a huge rate worldwide,” he said.  “They’re growing faster than any past platforms in history, and they are bringing gaming to audiences around the world who haven’t one any sort of gaming in the past.’

Gaming is big business in Canada. We’re the third largest employer in the gaming industry in the world. Montreal's Ubisoft studio has over 2100 employees and developed games in the Prince of Persia and Assasin's Creed series.  And 60% of Canadians play.

Carmel Kilkenny speaks with Emmanuel Viau about the Montreal Digital Festival 2012
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