The Edmonton Metropolitan Region is a world leader in videogames and interactive entertainment. Combining a powerhouse of international experts in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and computer science with a robust and diverse arts and creative community positions the Edmonton region as the ideal place to grow a games company.
“There’s a unique spirit here. A belief — no, an expectation — that we can compete with the best in the world, and win,” says Casey Hudson, Studio GM at BioWare. “That spirit, combined with the talent and work ethic of Albertans, makes the Edmonton region an ideal place to build a world-class company.”
Powering development is our incredible technical talent pipeline with proven expertise in art and design, publishing, video, creative writing, computer science and especially AI. The Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii), based in the Edmonton region is one of three national Artificial Intelligence hubs that make up the Canadian AI Strategy along with Toronto-Waterloo and Montreal. The University of Alberta (UAlberta) is globally ranked in the top 5 for Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning research according to the world Computer Science Rankings. Researchers from UAlberta and Amii have been at the forefront of AI-game advancements since beating the world’s top checkers players in the 1980s, to tackling the world’s best at poker and Alpha-Go. Today, our researchers are creating AI’s that can build their own playable video games. The advances taking place in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region are at the forefront of internationally recognized AI research and game development.
Founded in 1995 by University of Alberta trained medical doctors Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk, BioWare was started to make simulators for the health market before the staff quickly decided they would rather be making videogames. Quickly, BioWare established itself as one of the world’s leading voices in narrative games.
Now in 2020, the region is host to dozens of game companies, including BeamDog – a spiritual successor to BioWare run by many veterans from the company – and Improbable Edmonton, which makes both game engines and next-generation videogames.
In December if 2018, “The Doctors” as they are warmly known as within the community, were recognized with the order of Canada for their impact on narrative games and the creation of the games community in the Edmonton metro region.
Commander Shepard is one of the globally recognized characters from BioWare’s Mass Effect series
The Edmonton region’s Startup Ecosystem is built to attract global companies. According to a 2019 assessment by Startup Genome, 64% of Edmonton startups sell to customers both inside and outside of the country, more than double the North American average for ecosystems. This means that the talent in the Edmonton metro region isn’t just trained to be world class, but that the founders and entrepreneurs fuelling the system have world-class ambitions as well. BeamDog’s Axis and Allies, pictured, is an example of an Edmonton region developer working on a brand with global reach.
With 7 universities and colleges in the Edmonton metro region and over 130,000 students, companies looking to grow should set their sights here.
Canada’s Global Skills Strategy makes it easier for businesses to attract the talent needed to build an international team. The Global Talent Stream allows employers to bring top international talent to Canada quickly. Eligible international workers with employer-approved applications can receive work permits within two weeks.
Improbable’s SpatialOS allows companies to streamline the process of creating multiplayer games with real-time data
A collaboration of the Edmonton region’s games industry, Innovate Edmonton, Edmonton Global, and The Edmonton Screen Industries Office is proud to announce that they will collectively be title sponsors of Reboot Develop Red 2021 — as Games Edmonton.
Now in its second year, Reboot Develop Red is a rapidly growing conference offering industry professionals from across the world a berth at the world-renowned Fairmont Banff Springs. The first year of the conference featured over 100 speakers from across the international games industry and additionally offered B2B and independent games activations.
Reboot Develop Red attracts both the leadership of many of the world’s biggest names in game development and smaller up and coming indie developers from across North America. By working with Reboot Develop Red, we’re bringing the world to our doorstep and highlighting the best and brightest of the robust games and interactive industry in the Edmonton metro region. As Games Edmonton, we are proud to support and foster the conference’s continued presence in Alberta and Canada.
Red is put on by the same group that puts on its world-renowned European counterpart, Reboot Develop Blue, which happens each year in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Founded in 1995 by University of Alberta trained medical doctors Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk, BioWare was started to make simulators for the health market before the staff quickly decided they would rather be making videogames. Quickly, BioWare established itself as one of the world’s leading voices in narrative games. In December if 2018, “The Doctors” as they are warmly known as within the community, were recognized with the order of Canada for their impact on games and the creation of the games community in Edmonton.
Formed in 2009, Beamdog is now the largest independent game studio in Edmonton. The Edmonton-based company of close to 60 people has one eye on the city’s legacy as a game developer, producing remastered versions of past-hits produced in the city, while keeping another eye on the future with talent focused on new, original projects set to grow the studio.
Led by former BioWare GM Aaryn Flynn, Improbable Edmonton is combining the specialty of the studio’s parent company — building highly technical middleware to ease development across the industry — with the core specialty of the game development community in Edmonton — building award-winning Role-Playing Games. Currently, working toward announcing details of its first project, Improbable Edmonton sits at the heart of Edmonton’s downtown in a custom office space.
Founded in 2005 as 3D Interactive, Edmonton-based Serious Labs is an award-winning technology company that develops virtual reality (VR) training solutions for the global heavy equipment industry. An experienced team of videogame industry veterans, eclectic professionals, and subject matter consultants, Serious Labs applies the benefits of gamification to non-entertainment fields.
Offering companies a significant competitive advantage in the form of innovative skills training and data-driven assessment, Serious Labs’ mission is to provide workforces with the tools they need to get home safely each day.
The purpose of Edmonton Global is to radically transform and grow the economy of the Edmonton Metropolitan Region.
Edmonton Global promotes the region globally and is focused on attracting and retaining business investment and trade in the city. It is the first ever regional economic development corporation in the region, working to create local, regional, provincial, national, and global partnerships.
Screen industries include the full range of screen-based entertainment, education and training – from audiovisual programming for theatrical, mobile, television, Internet streaming platforms to virtual and augmented reality and interactive games for console, mobile or PC.