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Celebrating Canadian Video Games
A country predominantly known for its Maple Syrup and Hockey, little do people know that the great tundra of Canada is becoming one of the hottest spots in the world for video game development. Being Canadian myself, I decided to celebrate my country’s 147th birthday by highlighting the best of Canadian video games and looking into the growing industry up north.
Canada is actually the third largest video game development company in the world, just behind Japan and USA, and there are currently a whopping 329 video game development companies across the country. Some of the biggest names in the business such as Bioware and Ubisoft are Canadian based, and the indie scene is also large and growing. Lets take a look at some of the biggest hits to come from the great north.
Mass Effect (Series)
Mass Effect is a Sci-Fi RPG series created by Bioware, who are based in Edmonton Alberta. The game features deep, immersive story-telling with interesting, memorable characters that have impacted gamers around the world. The series, although relatively new, is already hailed by some as a classic and many have highlighted their favourite moments from the games. The series has received hundreds of awards, and sold approximately ten million units world wide. Somewhere deep within the prairie province of Alberta, Mass Effect 4 is being developed in a high-tech security chamber. Or at least, that’s how I imagine it.
Assassins Creed (Series)
Starting all the way back in 2007, the Assassins Creed series has become a major hit for Ubisoft and has gone on to sell 73 million units worldwide. The series is developed mainly in Montreal Quebec, along with most of the other Ubisoft titles such as Watch Dogs.The games have become somewhat of a staple of the holiday season each year, as each year usually brings a new entry into the hit series. The game is an action platformer which – well, if you haven’t heard of, seen or played any of the Assassins Creedtitles you have probably been living under a rock. Instead of me trying to explain the game’s premise to you, how about you watch this incredible gameplay trailer for the newest instalment in the franchise,”>Asssassins Creed: Unity instead.
Stepping away from high selling AAA titles for a moment, Canada is also a huge player in the current golden age of indie games. Fez, is an imaginative 2D/3D hybrid platformer with unique gameplay elements and beautiful artwork. The title was developed by a two person team in Montreal, Quebec and development process was actually chronicled in a documentary aptly titled Indie Game: The Movie. The game was a critical and commercial success, averaging a 91/100 score on Metacritic and selling more than one million copies. The title, just recently came to Sony platforms if you have not yet had a chance to check it out.
Other titles of note to come out of Canada recently are Guacamelee! (Toronto) , Max Payne 3, Towerfall (Vancouver) and Contrast (Montreal).So, this Canada Day, why not spend some time with some Canadian video games? Luckily Steam is there to help out all of the canucks, and canuck-fans as they are actually holding a Canadian video game sale today, discounting some of the top video games to come out of Canada by up to 80%! Happy gaming to all, and happy birthday Canada!