Montreal International Game Summit director Alain Lachapelle discusses the upcoming event

Interview: The man behind MIGS

The Montreal International Game Summit has, over the past six years, steadily grown in size and stature.

And this year’s event – set to open Monday Nov 16 – is set to be the biggest yet, with 1500 attendees expected and keynote sessions from the likes of Square Enix’s Yoichi Wada.

Develop sits down with event director Alain Lachapelle to discuss the show in more detail.

For those unfamiliar with the Montreal International Game Summit, could you explain the core ambition of the event.
MIGS is an annual event for the members of the video game industry, which promotes the transfer of knowledge and expertise, raises the international profile of the Quebec video game industry and cultivates information sharing and dialogue among industry stakeholders. A specialized, top-tier event, MIGS covers a broad range of fields, from artistic creation through to design, production, programming and business.

Are you satisfied by the number of people attending MIGS 2009? Surely organisers have a goal for who and how many people will to come?
MIGS attendance has been growing exponentially since its very beginning. We are expecting 1,500 people this year.

Which sessions, or tracks, do you have high hopes for at this year’s event?
We are happy to count on very big names as keynotes -Yoichi Wada, CEO, Square Enix being an example- but also as speakers and panellists in every five tracks: arts, business, design, production and tech.

What is MIGS’ priority: to be an internationally focused event, or one that serves Canada?
MIGS focuses on bringing to front Quebec’s videogame industry while offering international content to professionals.

How does it differ from other trade events in Canada?
MIGS is the largest industry gathering in Canada and on the East Coast. We truly aim at presenting the best content from the best experts.

Obviously Canada has a world-leading tax break policy for game production. Do you think this is the main attraction for developers moving to Canada and – by extension – an incentive to find out more about the Canadian industry at MIGS?
The gaming industry is doing great on its own. While subsidies make it appealing for foreign developers to open studios in Quebec, what attracts them the most is the great talent pool to their disposal, the knowledge we’re investing in the training of resources, as well as our geographical position in North America.

Ubisoft just announced a huge investment in Canada with the new Toronto studio. Should we expect more of this from the likes of EA, Activision, Capcom, Square Enix?
We know that other companies are currently negotiating. Let’s wait and see.

What opportunities does MIGS give local developers?
MIGS gives them a chance to showcase their talent by becoming speakers and to showcase their products and services by participating into the Business Lounge or the Exhibition Zone.

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