British Columbia’s video game and interactive technology sectors are taking their skills to the next level at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) that opened yesterday in technology mecca better known as San Francisco.
The GDC is the world’s largest and longest-running professionals-only game industry event, showcasing the best and brightest in video game and interactive technology. It attracts over 24,000 attendees from around the world, including programmers, artists, producers, game designers, audio professionals and industry decision-makers, to exchange ideas and shape the future of the industry.
This year over 40 B.C. digital media companies will attend the GDC to represent B.C.’s tech sector. B.C.’s digital-media industry is a fast-growing industry, generating about $1.2 billion in revenue and employing approximately 14,000 British Columbians.
The Ministry of International Trade is partnering with these companies and with key organizations such as Creative BC, the Vancouver Economic Commission, the Centre for Digital Media and DigiBC to promote B.C. as a growing tech hub in North America and a global hub for video-game development.
The conference runs March 2-6, and showcases the most relevant game-development tools, platforms and services helping to drive the industry forward, including gaming consoles, smartphones and tablet devices. It will feature over 400 lectures, panels, tutorials and round-table discussions on game development topics taught by leading industry experts, including panels led by B.C. gaming companies Hothead Games and Eastside Games.
The Interactive Digital Media tax credit, introduced in 2010, was set to expire this year. Instead, in Balanced Budget 2015, the government is extending it to 2018 to continue offsetting the cost of developing video games and other digital media products. A vital move to keep B.C. competitive with other video game hotbeds around the world. The credit is a 17.5 per cent refundable tax credit on eligible salary and wages for eligible companies that develop in B.C.