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Taking a look at Canada’s growing indie developer scene

by Marissa Jankowski on Jul 19, 2019

What comes to your mind first when you think of Canada? Maple leaves? Syrup? Hockey? Snow? But does gaming ever come to mind? It should. Canada has been a major player in the gaming space for years with major companies such as Ubisoft and Ludia leading the charge. Today, Montreal is the fifth-largest gaming economy in the world, following Tokyo, London, and San Francisco, and the indie dev community continues to thrive there.

A great example of Canada’s rising indie dev community is the Disco:MTL 2019 summit hosted by GamePlay Space in Montreal. Disco:MTL serves as a place for indie devs to meet and collaborate on games with GamePlay Space helping host everyone. GamePlay Space is a non-profit organization that focuses on giving indie devs a low-cost co-working space to ensure devs spend their time designing a game that actually goes to market and grows. 

Disco:MTL 2019, which took place last week, saw over 50 indie devs in the greater Montreal area come together to learn about getting games discovered and what it takes to grow in the industry. Some of the speakers included Erik Johnson, President of Infinite Monkeys Entertainment and Lottie Bevan, Producer & Co-Director of Weather Factory. The event was sponsored by AppLovin, Razer, [email protected], Arsenal, and others. 

During the same week Disco:MTL was taking place, AppLovin hosted a dinner at the famous French restaurant, Europea, complete with a VR experience and interactive menu, where indie devs could network and share ideas. Studios like Budge Studios, Gameloft, and Outerminds came to share the unique dining experience. 

“All of us know each other. We may have even worked together at a past company but we are not afraid to share what we are working on in fear of someone trying to steal it,” said Outerminds Co-Founder Guiz de Pessemier. “[We] hope that competition is as even as possible. We want everyone to grow to be the best.”

“We hope that competition is as even as possible. We want everyone to grow to be the best.”

De Pessemier’s quote resonated with me because I observed Canada’s unique dev culture first-hand when I attended my first Canadian gaming conference last year. I had the opportunity to meet many game devs and the thing that stuck out to me was how collaborative and tight-knit the indie dev community is. Montreal is, and has been, one of the biggest cities for game development is because of its unique culture and local government. Not only is the city diverse with developers from all over the world, but the government helps kickstart gaming companies

AppLovin is proud to support Canada’s game developers and will continue to do so. We have hosted other indie game events in Canada such as an exclusive wine room dinner at Jacob’s & Co Steakhouse in Toronto and a fireside chat at the up-and-coming Postmark Brewery in Vancouver. Stay tuned for upcoming AppLovin events in Canada later this year! 

Want to come to our next event? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates on where the AppLovin team will be next!

Marissa is Marketing Coordinator at AppLovin.