Meet two companies which have been instrumental in supporting the growth of the Canadian industry…
Number of staff: 220 laywers, approximately 550 total staff
Year founded: 1892
Location: Various offices around the world, including Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Whitehorse, Yellowknife, Montréal, Toronto, Tokyo
Legal experts Davis may be the oldest Canadian firm in this guide – it was founded in the 19th Century – but that doesn’t stop it being a thoroughly modern business serving games developers around the world.
It was the first national law firm in Canada (and one of the few in the world) to create a dedicated video game law department, comprised of a group of lawyers from across the firm: lawyers with expertise in taxation, employment, immigration, commercial law, litigation and other areas of expertise required by video game companies.
And as a spectator watching the Canadian games sector grow, Davis has exceptional knowledge of the industry’s diverse pressures.
“The rapid growth of the games scene in Canada has attracted talent from around the world,” says Craig Natsuhara, one of Davis’ immigration lawyers. “Gaming companies typically relied more and more on foreign workers to fill existing labour shortages in the high tech sector.
“However, from an immigration law perspective, the downturn in the economy resulted in the Canadian governmental agencies responsible for administering immigration-related programs to act swiftly to implement policy changes intended to slow the recruitment of temporary foreign workers.”
As an expert in these fields, Davis is ideally placed to help the industry understand proposed immigration law changes that were announced in October – and urging businesses in the region to work smartly: “We will need to help gaming companies implement solutions to overcome these limitations.”
Year founded: 2002
Location: Ste-Adele, Quebec and Montreal , Quebec (plus Madrid and Tokyo)
Previous projects: Tested over 200 titles in 2008 alone
QA & Localisation specialist Enzyme was founded in 2002 by Yan Cyr and Emmanuel Viau.
The firm has grown with impressive speed. By 2005 100 were employed at the firm, and by the summer of 2008 Enzyme boasted a headcount of over 450, having expanded to Montreal, Madrid and Tokyo.
Confident that Canada provides a stable talent pool to pull from and support, Enzyme handles several projects catering for compatibility, functionality, pre-certification and linguistic testing in over 15 languages. It’s a mammoth undertaking, and one that’s been made a little easier by Canadian authorities’ support.
“The reality is that the governments support the industry and see the tremendous future growth potential it has and the quality jobs it creates now and will in the future. In any country, any type of support helps the development and growth of an industry,” states Cyr.
Yet it is Enzyme’s own effort that underpins its success, and that in part is thanks to a strong culture of customer service. “Our primary business objective is to deliver quality services to our customers at all costs, as we have built our reputation on this foundation and it has contributed to us achieving one of the highest levels of customer satisfaction in the industry.
“Our culture is about having fun. Unlike many companies in the industry, Enzyme Labs prides itself on the large in-house staff that we maintain throughout the year. We value our employees and believe that keeping them happy is the best way to ensure delivering quality to our customers.”