Canadian video games shine at the Game Awards 2023

The Game Awards 2023, held last week in Los Angeles, celebrated the best achievements in the video game industry. Among the winners, two games from Canada-based studios stood out, showcasing the talent and creativity of the Canadian gaming sector.

It Takes Two, a co-op adventure game developed by Hazelight Studios and published by Electronic Arts, won the most prestigious award of the night: Game of the Year. The game, which follows a couple going through a divorce who are turned into dolls by their daughter, impressed critics and players alike with its innovative gameplay mechanics, charming story, and humorous dialogue. The game also won Best Family Game and Best Multiplayer Game.

Canadian video games shine at the Game Awards 2023
Canadian video games shine at the Game Awards 2023

The director of the game, Josef Fares, delivered an emotional speech on stage, thanking his team, his family, and the fans. He also praised the diversity and creativity of the video game industry, saying that “we can do anything” and that “video games are the best entertainment medium in the world”.

Forza Horizon 5 races to victory

Forza Horizon 5, a racing game set in Mexico, developed by Playground Games and published by Xbox Game Studios, also won big at the Game Awards 2023. The game, which features stunning graphics, realistic physics, and a vast open world, won Best Sports/Racing Game and Best Audio Design. The game also received the Players’ Voice Award, voted by the fans online.

The game director, Mike Brown, thanked the team, the partners, and the community for their support. He also dedicated the award to the people of Mexico, saying that “they opened their hearts to us and showed us the beauty of their country and their culture”.

A thriving industry in Canada

The success of these two games at the Game Awards 2023 reflects the growth and resilience of the video game industry in Canada, which contributes $5.5 billion to the country’s GDP and employs over 32,000 people. According to a recent study by Nordicity Group for the Entertainment Software Association of Canada, the industry has grown by 23% since 2019, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The study also reveals that 75% of the video game companies in Canada are Canadian-owned, and that they produce games for various platforms, genres, and audiences. The industry is also geographically diverse, with 80% of the companies located in Ontario and Quebec, but also with a significant presence in British Columbia, Alberta, and other provinces.

The video game industry in Canada is also recognized for its innovation and quality, as evidenced by the awards and nominations received by other Canadian games at the Game Awards 2023, such as Far Cry 6, Deathloop, Chivalry 2, and Kena: Bridge of Spirits.

The Game Awards 2023, hosted by Geoff Keighley, featured not only awards, but also musical performances, celebrity appearances, and exclusive announcements of upcoming games. The event was watched by millions of viewers online, making it one of the biggest events in the entertainment industry.

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