On November 8 and 9, 2023, MIGS 23 took place at Marché Bonsecours in Montreal, Canada.
Remember that it is a B2B (Business to Business, dedicated to business representatives) event of the video game industry in Quebec, but which is also open to the international market.
The Leaders’ Circle was an event organized by the Guilde du Jeu Vidéo du Québec, independently of the MIGS.
This took place the day before the MIGS, on November 7, 2023, to avoid regional leaders having to travel 2 separate times to Montreal.
The circle took place at the Intercontinental Hotel in the Old Port of Montreal. It brought together more than 160 executives from the Guild’s member companies. Each of the leaders could select 3 topics of conversation in advance. At the event, he/she was then assigned to tables with other leaders and could discuss the selected topics in workshops.
This was naturally an excuse for the leaders to meet and talk to each other. It was an enjoyable time and it also allowed other leaders to meet.
The event was successful and very well organized, to the point that everyone wanted to stay and extend their presence. Other similar initiatives have already been requested. Congratulations to the Guild.
VIP Cocktail at the Intercontinental Hotel
For MIGS executives and VIP ticket holders, a cocktail party was held in the evening at the same hotel.
Food and drinks were available, and it was an opportunity to see old colleagues and make new acquaintances.
The MIGS was divided into the following areas:
- Zone Indie Loto Québec to showcase the creations of local independent video game developers
- B2B area for business meetings
- Education and Institution Area with Corresponding Stands
- Company area with corresponding stands
- Conference room for multiple panels and conferences
In addition to the many meetings and networking carried out, what can we see after this MIGS 2023 edition?
There are many concerns right now for the video game industry. The first is quite simply, as it does for everyone, the current economic crisis . It particularly affects video games because people spend less on leisure and budgets are tighter. Video games are a creative industry that has to take financial risks every time they start working on a project. Financial risk-taking is reduced at the moment, at all studios. And it has a domino effect.
Company 1 spends less, so it uses less of Enterprise 2’s services. Company 2 was using the services of Company 3 to do the production of this or that, and therefore limit as well.
The industry is in a kind of torpor right now. This is without taking into account the lack of manpower, and the desire of some managers to hire only experienced staff. Employees with a sufficient level of experience are rare, are expensive, but are quicker in completing tasks. For juniors and school graduates, it is usually necessary to train them in the company, which takes time and mobilizes experienced employees who therefore have less time to work on their tasks.
We are also seeing a total disappearance of the words blockchain, Web3 and NFT in the discourse of companies. No more speculation, the companies that were totally dedicated to it have also disappeared from the landscape.
The big concern for the industry at the moment is, of course, artificial intelligence (AI).
What can we do with it?
Is it ethical?
How is it used?
Are employees being replaced in this way?
Some companies are already using it on a daily basis. Others are more reticent, or discreet about it. Some use AI to perform tasks that a human would not be able to perform, such as computerically isolating an instrument in a musical composition. The advent of consumer AI is shaking up the landscape and the field of possibilities and everyone agrees that this is just the beginning.
Another topic of conversation: studio acquisitions and mergers. In recent months, we have lost some of Quebec’s leading industries to foreign companies. While this may be beneficial in the short term for business owners, in the long term, it is profits and investments that are now going out of Canada. It is now also employees who can lose their jobs at any time, if the stock of their new employer goes down on the stock market.
We’ve also seen a lot of layoffs in the video game industry this year. This is very concerning for employees who often learn this at the last minute. And since hiring is slowing down right now, some of them are finding themselves in a bad financial situation.
I was surprised to learn that some colleagues in the industry that I have been working with for years, give the impression of working with a large team when they manage their entire company on their own and have temporary colleagues, and despite the number of years of seniority of their company, the current crisis does not make things easy.
The video game industry is in survival mode this year, and can’t wait, like everyone else, for the economy to restart.
To conclude, here are some pictures of the event:
Photo credits: Shared Screen / Marc Shakour
And here is a selection of photos taken by my colleague Priss Auvray:
Photo credits: Shared Screen / Priss Auvray
If you would like photos or videos taken by my fellow videographer and photographer Priss Auvray, contact us here.