The 14th edition of MIGS17 has come and gone, but not without leaving a mark. It is the present and future in the video game world. Plenty of interest. So much so that #MIGS17 was trending locally on Twitter for a couple of days. Buzz was created and warranted. Anyone in the video gaming industry and players were hyped up for the three days of MIGS17. On site at the Palais de Congres you could test out some new games and technology, as well as attend master classes, roam around the Expo area, watch live demos, listen to various speakers, socialize at the VIP cocktail, and take in the Mentor’s Lounge.
Sizewise this is the second biggest gaming conference in the world with only the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco besting Montreal. There were some 500 companies from the industry in attendance in one way or another. Around 3,000 people attended over the course of the three days (December 11-13) and none came away empty handed.
“Your Access to Experts” was the theme this year and they took that seriously. The opportunities to meet and chat with game developers from around the world were vast. With enough of a reputation within the industry that MIGS17 attracted the biggest companies from around the world and still remains intimate(something that Montreal does well); it still offers opportunities to come face to face with game developers for attendees. Some of the biggest names like Ian Livingstone (Games Workshop), Amy Hennig (Electronic Arts), Brandon Beck (Riot Games), Marty O’Donnell (Compositor for Halo and Destiny), and Ray Musika (Bioware) were there as speakers. It is also possible to come to the conference in search of employment. Employers and workers got together in a way not usually possible.
All the big names in the industry were in attendance. Well known and respected companies like ArtStation, Execution Labs, CleverEndeavourGames, Ubisoft, Bishop Games, Chainsawesome Games, Sabotage, Berzerk Studio, EA Motive Studios, and Warner Bros Montreal.
Besides networking and trying out of new games there was a whole social aspect to MIGS17. Some of the talks dealt with just that. Trying to find answers to problems that seem unsolvable. Problems like how to remain healthy in this industry that demands long hours from those working in it. How to turn off when you are not at work for developers. Another big topic at this year’s conference was inclusivity. Inclusivity in regards to women being a part of what has largely been a male dominated industry.
Moving seemingly faster than the speed of light, this is an industry that changes everyday. A conference like this offers those involved and interested the chance to keep up. Just walking around the Expo area you could see that virtual reality is what is hot right now. Almost every third or fourth booth had a VR element to it.
Over the past decade Montreal has become the third largest hub for game development in the world. Makes sense that the city now hosts one of the most important conferences in the world. The gaming world is still growing in Montreal despite the fact that we are a relatively small city. Gaming is not just something for nerds anymore. It cannot be just viewed as a niche market as it is becoming really important to the Canadian economy. It brings in tons of money and offers jobs to young people.
See you next year!