Canada needs more homegrown studios, says former IGDA executive director

New indie incubator launching in Montreal

Montreal is getting a new independent studio incubator headed by former IGDA executive director Jason Della Rocca.

Though Canada has had huge success in attracting major developers through tax breaks, few companies are headquartered there, and Della Rocca thinks that needs to change.

“Despite being an extremely successful and well-known country for game development, a majority of that production is done for multi-nationals,” itbusiness reports him as saying.

“You could say it’s a glorified sweat shop to a certain extent.”

The goal of the incubator is to take the strong talent pool attracted by Montreal’s mega-studios, form them into teams, and support them as they transition into a successful games company.

Della Rocca says part of the problem with Canada’s system is that it is dependent on too many economic variables, and gives control of IP to foreign companies.

By building independent studios, he believes the Country will be better able to weather economic downturn, and hang on to its talent pool regardless of the actions of the mega-studios.

The incubator is unnamed, but interested teams can already make their pitch, with or without a prototype.

Of course a prototype helps, but Della Rocca is looking for experienced teams of 2-5 to create mobile games, with the stipulation that the group has not been formalised into a corporate structure.

Participants will recieve $2,000 per month, per team member, $10,000 for advertising and user aquisition, as well as public relations support, a shared work space, WiFi connection, backup servers, and developer machines with basic software and tools installed.

Registered mentors include such industry legends as Jon Blow, Kellee Santiago, Ed Fries, and Eric Zimmerman.

The incubator will take a thirty percent revenue share if the team profits during incubation, and one percent per $10,000 invested for the first year after, as well as a five percent equity stake for every three months at the incubator capped at a maxinmum 25 percent.

More details can be found on Della Rocca’s blog.

This is not the first startup accelerator to target games in Canada, but its unique hybrid model is the first of a kind.

The incubator is expected to launch in September.

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