Countries outside of North America are starting to take note of what’s happening in Canada’s video game scene.
Keywords Studios has acquired the Ottawa-based Snowed In Studios from owners Jean-Sylvain Sormany, Tim Vito and Evan Hahn for approximately $4 million CAD. Snowed In was founded in 2010, providing engineering and co-development services to the video-game industry. The firm has strong ties with massive video-game heavyweights like Ubisoft, who have a major presence in Quebec, as well as Bethesda.
Snowed In, along with its 29 employees, will remain in Ottawa with its current leadership. They will work to drive Keywords expansion into Canada and grow both companies’ engineering services.
“The addition of Snowed In to the group will add strength and scale to our recently established engineering service line and enable Snowed In to take advantage of the group’s very strong presence in the region to support its growth,” said Andrew Day, Keywords’ CEO. “Having grown the engineering service line from nothing in May 2017, we now employ over 300 software engineers in multiple regions, and I’m delighted that Jean-Sylvain, Tim, Evan and their highly talented and creative team are joining the Group as we continue to grow.”
Keywords is based in Ireland and recently agreed to a €75 million three-year revolving credit facility and launched a venture capital arm. The company has a market value of over $1 billion and provides services to 23 of the top 25 most well-known game companies in the world, including Tencent, Activision, Microsoft, Electronic Arts and more.
“We are very excited about the acquisition of Snowed In Studios by Keywords as it will strengthen the gaming sector in Ottawa by having a large key player setting foot in the region,” said Jean-Sylvain Sormany, Studio Head for Snowed In. “It means stability, growth and more opportunities for talents to continue fostering in our local industry. ”
The video game industry is extremely important to not only Canada’s tech industry, but its overall economy. In 2017 alone, the video game industry contributed $3.7 billion to Canada’s GDP along with close to 22,000 full-time well-paying jobs. The industry had an extremely successful 2017 in Canada, with studios releasing acclaimed games like Cuphead and For Honor developed entirely by staff in the country.