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    Online or offline? That seems to be the big question in a new survey conducted by the Department of Canadian Heritage on how Canadians prefer to...

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    Online or offline? That seems to be the big question in a new survey conducted by the Department of Canadian Heritage on how Canadians prefer to consume homegrown media.

    The findings of the survey, which was conducted in June 2012, reveal some interesting statistics about the accessibility of Canadian films, books, movies, and television. The results indicate that while the majority of Canadians are interested in homegrown content, they wish it was more widely available to the general public.

    According to the report, digital media may be the key to making Canadian content more accessible. Many Canadians already prefer to buy their music online, with 40% of respondents saying they planned to do so within the next six months.

    At the same time, fewer Canadians are buying physical copies of albums.  Over 10% of survey correspondents said that they are done buying CDs for the foreseeable future.

    A major barrier to accessing music online appears to be cost. Less than a quarter of respondents said that they would be interested in joining a monthly paid streaming service. Those surveyed were slightly more enthusiastic about free streaming services that run advertisements, but they have yet to gain traction with Canadian audiences.

    The study also shows that film and television buffs head online for content. One-third of respondents admitted to downloading movies, and there's been a noticeable jump in the number of Canadians using pay per view or on demand services since 2005.

    The rise of online streaming is accompanied by a corresponding decrease in the popularity of DVDs and Blu-rays. While two-thirds of Canadians still purchase DVDs, video stores are much less popular than they used to be. Compared to a 2005 survey, the number of visitors to stores in 2012 was reduced by almost half.

    The one exception to sourcing online content is in reading materials. While 70% of Canadians read print magazines, only 30% download digital copies. Almost a quarter of respondents replied that they prefer print over digital magazines, and 13% responded that they did not own a tablet or e-reader.

    Whether or not they get their content online, Canadian consumers exemplify the mantra "love where you live." If there's one thing to take away from the study, it's that almost all respondents agreed Canadian media was important. Over 90% said that they valued access to Canadian music and literature, and over 70% were interested in watching Canadian movies.

    Via Techvibes

     January 04, 2013
  • Article

    Vancouver's video game industry has been bleeding talent for several months now, but that trend appears to have reversed with the...

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    Vancouver's video game industry has been bleeding talent for several months now, but that trend appears to have reversed with the arrival of Black Tusk Studios.

    Radical Entertainment and Rockstar Games both shuttered their Vancouver digs over the summer. But Microsoft Studios' Black Tusk operation, which will focus on Triple A games—the video game equivalent of a Hollywood blockbuster—should restore the city's reputation as a hub for game development in Canada.

    "We are talking big budget, big team, long development timeline and very, very big projects that take a number of years to get through," studio manager Mike Crump told The Province.

    The studio will be located in Vancouver's trendy and upscale Yaletown neighbourhood, specifically on the corner of Robson and Cambie.

    Black Tusk Studios will employ 50 people off the bat, with plans to double that number to 100 as soon as possible. Crump says the studio is looking as "exponential growth" throughout 2013.

    "We believe in Vancouver very strongly and that is one of the key things we want to get out there," he told the daily newspaper. "Some of the world's biggest game franchises were created here and that is not going to change going forward."

    Via Techvibes

     November 29, 2012
  • Article

    BC's video game industry is in constant flux.

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    BC's video game industry is in constant flux.

    One week longstanding studios are shuttering orpacking up and moving to Ontario. The next week San Francisco's hottest mobile game developer is opening an studio in Vancouver.

    While there is no doubt that the gaming industry is important to the Canadian economy, many are beginning to wonder where B.C. fits in the mix.

    DigiBC is hoping to shed some light on the topic with an upcoming panel titled The State of the Video Game Industry in BC. Moderated by DigiBC's Howard Donaldson, the panel will include a number of local gaming executives.

    Vancouver has been one of the top video game clusters in the world, with the presence of major publishers, such as EA, Nintendo, THQ, Vivendi/Activision, Disney and Microsoft, but it's leadership is now being eroded. For such a talented province as BC, what’s going on? And what does this mean for the future of the gaming industry in BC? Does our BC tax credit policy need to be more competitive?

    Microsoft Studios' Wil Mozell, EA's John Lutz, Silicon Sisters' Brenda Bailey Gershkovitch, and Zeros 2 Heroes' Matt Toner will discuss the state of the industry, outline how studios are being affected, what is being done behind the scene and most importantly capture your views and opinions on the future of B.C.’s video game industry.

    The State of the Video Game Industry in BC is on September 18 at the Vancouver Rowing Club. Register online to attend and in the meantime weigh-in with your thoughts on our video game industry in the comments.

    Rob Lewis, TechVibes

     August 15, 2012