The changing PC game space

I recently completed the main story arc of Torchlight ( and I have to say it has me really excited.  I’ve infected about a half dozen others with Torchlight so far and to me it is a beacon of a brave new future for PC gaming.  I see a new space forming between the 30+ million dollar “AAA” efforts of the big publishers and the self-funded indie space.  With digital distribution a proven reality and a number of skilled developers getting together, I see a new space forming.  These games have professional production values across the board, a more limited scope than expected from a typical “AAA” title and a much better price point.  The Runic fellows have mapped out the high end of this spectrum with Torchlight and I’m certain in the future we’re going to see a lot more of this class of title.  The big guys can’t compete in the space simply due to overhead, so I expect it to be dominated by a new crop of privately funded, independent developers (some ex-big studio, some new to games).  I’m excited to see more of the new Indies and I’m looking forward to working with the scene as part of my latest venture.


Tax credits and Alberta game development

I live in Edmonton.  I want there to be a game development industry here.  In fact I’m willing to work to try and make that happen (once my non-compete wears out ;-). )

Every time I hear about another tax credit or “gift” to some major studio to set up somewhere else it makes me cringe.  Here’s a bit on the Ontario scene: .  Simply put, there isn’t a level playing field and it seems the odds are stacked against building a larger game development community here.  Sure, we’ve got EA/Bioware, but without at least a few more players, the local environment is a one shop scene and not going to grow into a vibrant community.  Tax credits help to feed the local pool where they are given, while at the same time poisoning all the other pools.   We’re one of the other pools.

Here’s the last line of the article: “France-based Ubisoft’s investment in Toronto will create 800 jobs over the next ten years.  In response, the province of Ontario will contribute $263 million to bring the total investment to $800 million”

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$800 million!