1. Great article Bruce. I live myself in the video game cluster that is Montreal. Ubisoft, Eidos, Electronic Arts , Trapdoor and Gameloft are fueling this weird feud/symbiose which keeps the industry healthy with competition. I was first reluctant to see EA settle in because of their tendency to swallow smaller companies, but Ubisoft and Eidos are strong enough to stand their groud. In fact, Ubisoft is the main player in town.

    It is still kind of a scramble though because as you pointed out, there is a huge management problem in the industry, so the momentum changes fast. I think Ubisoft keeps the main position in town because they run a tight affair. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think now would be a good time for start up affairs if managed closely!

  2. Mark

    The big difference between Bruce’s clusters and the cluster in Montreal is the amount of taxpayer money it’s taken to bring all those studios to Montreal. At least the British studios stood on their own two feet.

    There is a certain level of arrogance from Montreal right now with regards to its games scene, they seem to think they’re god’s gift to games. It’s a bit like a rich kid thinking his business is so awesome, when actually it’s being funded by his dad.

    Just wait until the Quebec government decides that the Quebecois should stop paying for Ubisoft etc to be there, and you’ll find Ubi off to Asia quicker than you can say “Give me some Poutine” or “Habs for the Stanley Cup”.

    Bruce’s clusters grew organically, Montreal’s was paid for by the taxpayer. In my opinion, there’s a BIG difference.

  3. We’re not all Poutine eaters, but thank you for caring!

    Canada and Quebec specially are reputable for the insane amount of taxes. I don’t really see the problem if my tax money is financing a dynamic sector of business activity. Ubisoft and Eidos are hiring people with a shovel and a bucket. It’s a symbiotic relationship as they have over 2000 workers giving tax money to the government. That’s why I just can see the cluster of Montreal growing, they’ll never get cut.

    As I agree with the arrogant attitude part, well for Ubisoft, I have yet to remember a moment where they didn’t deliver. Their last game with a bad score was like CSI Hard Evidence. I guess when you get good at something you get a little cocky. As long as they deliver, I’m ok with.

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