Speaking to SPOnG, Sandra Pupatello, the Canadian government minister responsible for attracting games companies to the province of Ontario, has said that the region absolutely wants UK games publishers.
Pupatello, Minister of International Trade and Investment for the Ontarian government, was speaking with SPOnG about Ontario's efforts to draw games makers to the region and support its existing talent. Previously, it has been publicly seen to focus on developers such as Silicon Knights and Digital Extremes
. The government has its sights set squarely on publishing too, however. “We want a serious level of publishing in Ontario. Because, that's the mothership, if you will, in any cluster, in any jurisdiction."
This doesn't necessarily mean that the UK games industry has to lose out according to Pupatello, however. "Typically, companies want to be in the continent that they want to have sales in. So, it's in Britain's best interest to have their UK-based companies being outward bound", she said.
“It's always better for the home country when their own, home-grown companies are global. We've certainly seen that with our economy and with the challenges that are worldwide in the economy. The more globally-based our companies are, the better it is for our economy. So, when one economy might be a little bit lower, the others might be coming up. It helps to even out the benefit in terms of who's working and where and how well the companies are doing."
It's the Quebec region of Canada that has attracted the most attention for its government incentives to games makers to date. Ontario is looking to change this with the Next Generation of Jobs fund - a $1.15 billion CAD (£606 million) pot of cash being used for grants to attract, among other things, games companies to the region. The fund is part of an aggressive move towards attracting international business, one that has attracted the attention of UK developers organisation, Tiga
Look for more from SPOnG's interview with Minister Pupatello soon.