By Mike MacKenzie
February has been a good month for Halifax's digital technologies industry. Whether locking down deals or looking forward to growth opportunities, digital businesses have been making big moves.
Early next month, representatives from eight made-in-Nova Scotia digital gaming businesses are heading to San Francisco for the industry’s largest annual gathering of top game developers. Held each March, The Game Developers Conference represents a big opportunity for small businesses when it comes to opening doors and closing deals - last year alone, Halifax-based theREDspace made connections that resulted in over $500,000 worth of business. It’s a trend that Nova Scotia Business Inc. hopes will continue, as they accompany the developers and work to promote the province’s digital gaming cluster.
Halifax-based DHX media is posting large numbers, with $1.8M in net income for Q4 in 2011. That figure is up 115% from last year, growth that analysts say is thanks to an increased focus on merchandising from the business that produces, distributes and licenses children’s entertainment programming. Last year, the company joined forces with Vans – the makers of popular urban footwear – for a line based on the company’s television series Yo Gabba Gabba. According to company executives, it was a step in the right direction as the business continues to look for ways to diversify revenue.
Local gamers who aspire to develop their own creation will soon get their chance at this weekend’s Halifax Game Jam. Hosted at The Hub, the weekend-long event will group developers, artists, and other creative people together in the quest to create awesome video games. No experience is necessary, and the Jam starts this Friday, March 2 at 6 p.m., wrapping up at 6 p.m. on Sunday, March 4. No cost, no registration, and no sleep.
With a promising start to 2012, what do you think is next in line for Halifax's digital technologies industry?
Author: Mike MacKenzie
Mike is the Communications and Marketing Assistant with Greater Halifax Partnership, currently working as a Bachelor of Public Relations co-op student. A lover of all things communications and strategy related, Mike is often known to spend his free time analyzing the latest-and-greatest PR/advertising campaigns. As a relative newbie to the Halifax scene, he can also be seen strolling the streets of downtown looking for the next cool thing that the city has to offer.