You and I both know that every person that has ever said, “If [so and so] gets elected, I’m moving to Canada!” is lying. Well, it seems that Canada is starting to call our bluff, doing everything it can to attract game developers to the area — when Canadian provinces aren’t duking it out over studios, the country’s cultural industry agency, Telefilm, is handing out boatloads of cash, reports Gamasutra.
Recently, Telefilm has been giving Canadian indie development what I’m sure is a much-appreciated shot in the arm, handing out “repayable advances.” Here’s how they work: the loans must be paid back out of the game’s profits, but not if the game doesn’t make any money. Developers can knock off an extra 10% if they release English- and French-language versions.
So, who’s been taking advantage of Canada’s institutionalized dedication to cultural progress? Well, Metanet (the developers of N+) received a bit of change and Klei Entertainment received $70, 238 for Eets: Chowdown and Eets: Hunger. It’s Emotional and $90,000 for the original PC version of Eets. Polytron Corporation, responsible for sure-to-be-hit Fez, were the proud recipient of $73,682, and Hothead Entertainment (of Penny Arcade fame) received $536,069 for DeathSpank, the latest game from Monkey Island creator Ron Gilbert.
Unfortunately, it might not all be rainbows and ice cream sundaes and butterflies up North: Polytron’s Jason DeGroot commented that while Telefilm did provide pre-production funding for Fez, they “decided to pull the carpet from beneath our feet for 2009,” noting also that next year, the Canadian New Media Fund (where Telefilm gets these loans) will be merged into the Canadian Television Fund. Translation? In 2010, television, film, and games development will all be competing for the same pieces of the pie.