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 today in 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.
Over 40 B.C. digital media companies will attend the GDC to represent B.C.’s tech sector – one of the province’s fastest-growing industries. 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 Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit , introduced in 2010, was set to expire this year. Instead, the BC government is extending it to 2018 to continue offsetting the cost of developing video games and other digital media products.
“Every year, the Game Developers Conference attracts the best in video-game innovation and offers us a glimpse into the future of the industry,” stated Teresa Wat, Minister of International Trade and Minister Responsible for Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism. “B.C.’s digital media industry is already making waves— our talent and strong connection with Asia and other key markets ensure our reputation as a thriving tech hub. Events such as this give B.C. companies the opportunity to showcase their exceptional skills while making important connections to new markets.”
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 .
Codename Entertainment is proud to be part of the growing community of video-game companies in Victoria BC,” said Eric Jordan, CEO, Codename Entertainment . “The Game Development Conference is a great opportunity to see the newest trends and expand our business through new relationships. We appreciate the support of the provincial and federal governments in connecting us with these new partners.”
“Annex Pro is committed to supporting the well-established video game and mobile game development sector in British Columbia and is proud to be a value-added reseller to our locally-based B.C. developers,” added Annex Pro  president Kerry Corlett. “The Game Developers Conference offers us the opportunity to interact with top video-game developers and hear first-hand where they see the industry heading, and to ensure we are ready to support our local marketplace as it continues to grow.”
- The GDC has grown from an informal gathering of about 25 developers to a week-long conference for more than 24,000 industry enthusiasts.
- 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.
- B.C.’s Interactive Digital Media tax credit was extended in the Province’s Budget 2015 for an additional three years to continue providing support for the digital media industry.
- The credit is a 17.5% refundable tax credit on eligible salary and wages for eligible companies that develop interactive digital media products in B.C.