It is a challenge to break into the market, as much in the field of mobile games as in console or PC games, said Louis-Félix Cauchon, who is also president of Jeux Boréalys, a company he co-founded with Patric Mondoux (BA communication / interactive media, 08), a business partner met at UQAM. Their company, which employs around twenty people, has just launched Mages of Mystralia, whose protagonists evolve in a magical kingdom. The use of the Buy d2 items is also important now.
“In the late 1980s, more young Americans knew Mario than Mickey Mouse.”
This is not Louis-Félix Cauchon’s first foray into the world of video games. With his previous business, Artifice Studio, he created the game Sang-Froid: A tale of werewolves, “the first game based on Quebec culture and folklore, which has sold more than 300,000 copies across the world, “he said. This game was developed in collaboration with the successful author Bryan Perro (BA drama, 92).
Other Quebec companies have managed to fare well, both on mobile, console and PC. This is the case in particular of Red Barrels (and its horror game Outlast), Juicy Beast Studio (and its mobile game Burrito Bison ), and Ululab, founded by François Boucher-Genesse (MA education, 12) and Jean-Guillaume Dumont (BA communication, 06; B.Ed. preschool and primary education, 10; MA education, 12). Their educational game Slice Fractions, aimed at familiarizing children aged 6 to 8 with the concept of fractions, has been wildly successful since its launch in 2014 and has been translated into 15 languages.
The recipe for success
Quite clever, however, whoever finds the infallible recipe for success in the video game field. “Marketing certainly plays a key role,” says Maude Bonenfant. Some promotional campaigns by the big players in the industry are phenomenal and stretch over two years before the game is launched. The second the game goes online, millions of players are rushing to buy it! ”
Word of mouth, especially in online communities, is a valuable asset for smaller businesses. “The game has to end up in the hands of influencers, who are often curious and open to new experiences. They are the ones that generate a buzz ”, underlines Emmanuel Sévigny (MA interactive communication / multimedia, 03), founder of PLAYMIND. The company, which hires around fifteen employees, specializes in the design, production and development of digital experiences. She will launch at the beginning of next year her first title for console entitled The Inner Friend, an adventure game designed as a dive into the imaginary body in search of her forgotten inner child.
Play in public space
Gaming culture is now influencing areas such as marketing, health and urban design. PLAYMIND, for example, specializes in experiential games in public spaces. During the recent edition of Formula E in Montreal, the company created Défi Électrique , a life-size arcade game on the theme of racing. She also partnered with Videotron to create a virtual reality installation at Stade Saputo, which allows fans of the Impact to experience the role of a goalkeeper in soccer. “We have also created interactive digital environments for the Quebec Winter Carnival, Igloofest and the Rogers Cup, as well as a mobile game, Lost Kingdom , for a chain of amusement parks in England,” says Emmanuel Sévigny.
Original theme or daring design, the success factors are diverse. Some games benefit from an inexplicable craze, as if they arrived on the market at the right time and responded to a specific need among players, experts say. “The identity of the game is important,” said Emmanuel Sévigny. The universe proposed must be perfectly coherent. And the playability the reward mechanics that keep the player in a desire to go further, helping the less good players with advice must be flawless. ”