Montreal International Game Summit has a new website
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For several years this was the official website for the Montreal International Game Summit, a gathering of gaming industry professionals. The summit was founded in order to meet the needs of the rough 9000 video game workers in Quebec.
Content is from the site's archived pages focusing mainly on the 2005 summit

For the most up to date information about MIGS (Montreal International Game Summit), go to their current website at: MEGA + MIGS is an event dedicated to the video game industry. From the developer to the player, Canada's largest B2B2C event brings together hundreds of video game creators from around the globe to meet thousands of visitors every year.
The overall aims of MIGS are to promote, train, network, and hire potential players in the gaming industry. Professionals attending the summit partake in lectures and presentations largely oriented around how to better specific aspects of the industry, such as art and VFX, business, and design.

Mount Royal Centre
2200, Mansfield street
Montreal (Quebec)
H3A 3R8



More than 500 members of the games industry were present to help make this summit an unforgettable event.

Many thanks to our partners, sponsors, speakers and volunteers!






Second edition reunites some 40 speakers and 30 media from across North America

Montreal - November 10, 2005 - Alliance numeriQC, Quebec's digital and multimedia industry network, is proud to announce the success of this year's Montreal International Game Summit (MIGS) held from November 2 to 3, 2005. The second annual gathering of gaming industry professionals surpassed all expectations, attracting more than 750 participants from Quebec, Canada, the United States and Europe, along with more than 30 media from across North America, and over 55,000 visits on the official MIGS website.

"We are really proud of this second edition, which was a total success on all fronts. We knew we had a top notch event, and this year's turnout is a testament to the growing interest from professionals in our industry," said Gilles Bertrand, general manager, Alliance numeriQC. "The success of this year's Summit proves once again the importance of such an event at an international level. I am thrilled to announce that the 2006 edition of the MIGS will be held on November 8 and 9, 2006."

This year's MIGS reunited more than 40 speakers from North America, Europe and Asia. Highlights include the Summit's kickoff keynote by Warren Spector, president and founder of Junction Point Studios, which presented different issues related to the creation of video games. Other keynotes presented include Hideki Konno from Nintendo, who shared the company's lessons learned with Nintendogs, and Neil Young, vice-president and general manager, Electronic Arts. Eric Zimmerman, co-founder and CEO of GameLab also gave a nod to the growing popularity of online multiplayer games, surprising his audience with a massive multiplayer game of rock-paper-scissors.

The Quebec video game industry

Quebec is home to over 50 companies involved in development, publishing, software production and services, representing a workforce of over 3,000 professionals. Several industry leaders have selected Montreal for business. On the development side, these include A2M, Ubisoft, Electronic Arts, Gameloft, Jamdat and Airborne Entertainment. Autodesk, Avid/Softimage and Alias Montreal work in middleware solutions, and Babel Games Services works in specialized services. Quebec City is also home to for a number of important industry players, such as Beenox/Activision, Humagade, Sarbakan and Ubisoft.

Alliance numeriQC relied on contributions from a number of partners to help make this year's event a success: the event's main partner, Autodesk; Microsoft; A2M; Electronic Arts; Nintendo; Beenox/Activision; AGEIA; Avid/Softimage; Alias; Ubisoft; High Road Communications; IGDA Montreal; and ACM SIGGRAPH Montreal. The 2005 MIGS is also supported by government partners, including Canada Economic Development, Canadian Heritage and Quebec's Ministère de la Culture et des Communications, Telefilm Canada and Quebec's Ministère du Developpement economique, de l'Innovation et de l'Exportation.

To present a comprehensive and exciting event for the participants, the Montreal International Game Summit relies on the support of its advisory board. Board members from local companies including A2M, Beenox/Activision, Digital Fiction, DTI Software, Electronic Arts, Gameloft, Jamdat, Sarbakan, Ubisoft, and Jason Della Rocca from IGDA worked hard to gather Montreal's best industry leaders to take part in the event.

About Alliance numeriQC
Alliance numeriQC - Quebec's digital and multimedia industry network - aims to support and accelerate the growth and competitiveness of its industry in recognition of all its stakeholders. Its activities are mainly centered on SMBs with concrete programming focused on business development, skills development and government relations



The Montreal International


The Montreal International Game Summit is intended to serve members of the video and electronic gaming industries. Developed in view of industry needs, the Montreal International Game Summit is designed to become "The Annual Event" for game development specialists from Quebec, Canada and the US East Coast. As an international forum, the summit also host participants from the United States and Europe.

Leading-edge presentations

The summit is a specialized event offering an environment conducive to learning, networking and discussion.

The Montreal International Game Summit presents specialized conferences hosted by world-renowned experts in programming, visual arts, game design, audio design, production and business.


  • Participation of more than 600 members of the electronic game development industry from Quebec, the rest of Canada, the United States and Europe
  • Some 30 courses, seminars, conferences and workshops over a two-day period
  • Big names from the local and international scenes
  • Numerous additional activities including a VIP gala, conference luncheons, cocktail parties, specialized meetings and so forth
  • Some 30 firms will be presenting their wares



Warren Spector, Founder/President and Project Director, Junction Point Studios

During his keynote that kicked off this year's Montreal International Game Summit, Warren Spector drew upon his many years in the games biz to shine a spotlight on some of the issues and choices confronting the video game industry. Warren contends that the choices made by the industry at this critical point in its history will determine whether the industry moves deeper into mainstream culture or stays on the margins of society.

According to Warren, it is currently the best of times and the worst of times for the video game industry. While sales and revenues of games are at record levels and next generation hardware promises more realistic graphics than we could have previously imagined; the industry also faces challenges in a skyrocketing development costs, a glut of new games being released, and the declining quality of life for developers who are working longer hours and facing more pressures than ever before.

Warren urged show attendees to think about how we should respond to a plethora of issues, most notably, how we extend the content offerings which will help further diversify the gamer audience, how we respond to growing government and legislative interest in game content, and what can we can learn from MMOs to find new game styles and delivery systems?

Warren believes that the future is in our control. The crux of his argument is that the industry must offer fresh, new, content, tackling new genres and new types of gameplay experiences. He is putting the onus on developers and publishers to make the right choices to help propel the industry further into a successful future.

Neil Young, Vice President and General Manager, Electronic Arts

Neil Young's keynote presentation was titled "Can a computer game make you cry?" This question was asked by EA co-founders more than 20 years ago and it still helps drive the company forward even today.

Neil spoke to the audience about EA's categorization of a "hit" game, dissecting three key ingredients which are absolutely required to produce a commercial and critical hit. The first required element is high quality execution, on the game design, development and marketing of a game.

The second required element is to feature one to three in-game innovations. Neil assured the audience that not all innovation manifests itself as entirely new games, in fact one of the great challenges is creating innovation inside of existing franchises. Neil peppered his talk with specific examples of incremental innovations which have helped franchises maintain their hit status, such as the GameFace technology of Tiger Woods 2004; the Gravity Gun of Half Life 2; 3-D open world of GTA 3; and the dual wielding feature of Halo 2.

Neil talked about next generation game development at EA, estimating that 50% of the processing power for next generation consoles will be dedicated to rendering, while 50% will be dedicated to the underlying game play processes. (This compares to 80% rendering; 20% game play processes on current generation).

The third magic ingredient for making a hit is to broaden the audience appeal for the game. Neil talked about the need to put the IP of games at the center of cultural storm with books, TV, movies, comics all spinning off from the game. He also talked about the ability to broaden audience appeal by taking advantage of HD performances, not just how characters look but also how they move and act.

Although EA still hasn't answered the question, "Can computer games make you cry?" the industry is learning more about what it may take to have gamers reach for a box of tissues while also holding a controller.



Hideki Konno, Manager/Producer of Software Development Group No. 1, Nintendo Co, What we have learned from Nintendogs

Hideki Konno engaged attendees during his keynote talk with an in-depth discussion of lessons learned from the experience of developing Nintendogs. As part of a successful career at Nintendo, Hideki has worked on many of the company's most popular franchises across its various hardware platforms. But even for an industry veteran like Hideki, the concept behind Nintendogs, and the resulting final product, was an entirely new way of thinking.

The development of Nintendogs and the development of Nintendo DS were happening simultaneously at Nintendo, which enabled Hideki's software development team to work closely with the hardware development group and make minor tweaks to the DS which Nintendogs could take advantage of.

The development team on Nintendogs was inspired by the DS's innovative capabilities such as dual screen, touch screen, microphone, and wireless communications. Both the hardware and software teams were moving towards the goal of creating unique gaming experiences which would help expand the gaming population, putting games in the hands of people who had never played a video game before. At the same time, both teams were also careful to ensure that the hardware and software would have a wide appeal to veteran gamers.

In the ever-evolving realm of game development, there lies a juxtaposition. On one hand, game developers constantly push the envelope, seeking to leverage the latest software and technology advancements. On the other hand, they often find themselves tethered to legacy utilities and systems that have become obsolete, or no longer supported. This poses significant challenges, especially when these legacy tools are deeply embedded in development processes, and hold valuable data or functionalities that are irreplaceable.

A classic instance of this predicament is the use of Visual FoxPro. Once a stalwart in the developer's toolkit, this database management system was widely employed for its speed, adaptability, and capacity to handle large databases. However, as time moved on and technology advanced, Microsoft announced the end of life for Visual FoxPro, leaving many developers in a quandary. Without ongoing support, systems built on Visual FoxPro were vulnerable to potential security risks, and lacked compatibility with newer systems.

To address this issue, the gaming community, as well as other industries reliant on Visual FoxPro, had to innovate. The solution lay in custom replacement software. Developers began to design bespoke systems tailored to replicate the functionalities of Visual FoxPro, ensuring a seamless transition. These custom systems not only replicated the capabilities of the legacy tool but often enhanced them, leveraging modern technology to offer better performance, security, and integration capabilities.

The challenge, however, was not just technical. Developers had to ensure that the transition from the legacy system to the new custom software was smooth. This involved rigorous testing, data migration, and often training for teams accustomed to the old system.

Yet, it's worth noting that such challenges aren't unique to game development alone. Many industries face similar dilemmas when legacy systems become obsolete. The key to navigating such challenges is adaptability and a forward-thinking approach. In the case of the gaming industry, where innovation is at its core, the shift from legacy tools like FoxPro to custom-built solutions serves as a testament to the industry's resilience and its commitment to delivering state-of-the-art experiences to gamers worldwide.

Hideki talked about how his team's imagination was ignited by the DS capabilities and motivated the team to develop such unique game play features such as touch screens to pet and train the dogs; voice verification to enable the dogs to respond differently to different voices; and breakthrough wireless communications delivered through Bark Mode.

From the moment he first interacted with a puppy in Nintendogs, and a smile broke across his face, Hideki knew that the game was a winner. The final product has enjoyed great success both in Japan and North America, enabling Nintendo of achieving its goal of expanding the audiences for gaming through a truly unique game.

Eric Zimmerman, CEO, gameLab - Making and breaking the rules: Game design as a critical practice

Eric's afternoon keynote was undoubtedly the only session at the Montreal International Game Summit that featured a real-world MMRPS (Massively Multiplayer Rock-Paper-Scissors) game. The game served as a good demonstration of many of Eric's points about game design and the role of game designers in structuring the player's experience by creating rules. An established author and lecturer on game design theory, Eric contends that game design warrants similar status to other design disciplines such as architecture and graphic design.

Eric also unveiled his proposed game developers' bill of rights which generated lots of buzz and discussion among session attendees. Eric framed the discussion of the developers' bill of rights so as not to position it as a guide to contract negotiation between developers and publishers. He wants the ideas to be discussed within the industry as a possible starting point to help change the structure of the video game business and the developer/publisher relationship.

The developers' bill of rights proposed by Eric is certainly a work in progress and he is continuing to gather feedback from various people in the industry. The 13-point framework covered topics such as IP ownership, right to approve marketing and distribution programs, acceptable work conditions, and final approval in creative process.

Eric believes that the adoption of a game developers' bill of rights is required to address the five key areas of the video game industry structure: design, development, funding, marketing and distribution. By furthering the discussion, Eric believes changes can be made to help create a better future for developers and the industry at large.



Day 1

Warren Spector, Founder/President and Project Director, Junction Point Studios
Summary of his conference


Neil Young, Vice President and General Manager, Electronic Arts
Can a computer game make you cry?



Day 2


Hideki Konno, Manager/Producer of Software Development Group No. 1, Nintendo Co
What we have learned from Nintendogs


Eric Zimmerman, CEO, gameLab
Making and breaking the rules: Game design as a critical practice




Here are the available PowerPoints presentations available:

Doug Church, Executive Producer, Electronic Arts
AI in Gaming: what is our point?


Hideki Konno, Manager/Producer of Software Development Group No. 1, Nintendo Co
What we have learned from Nintendogs (entire speech, english and japanese



Frank Lantz, Creative Director, area/code
Away From Keyboard: Designing Real-World Games


Pascal Luban, President, The Game Design Studio
Multiplayer Level Design


Patrick Premont, Head of Technology, JAMDAT Mobile Canada
3D on Cell Phones


Warren Spector, Founder/President & Project Director, Junction Point Studios
Presentation of his conference


Randy van der Vlag, Lead 2D Artist, Gameloft
Pixel Dreams: The highs and lows of 2D games


Day 2 - Game Design Challenge: Sex in Games



The call for speakers is open. We are looking for the best speakers who are willing to share their experience and skills with our crowd for the 2006 Edition. We invite you to submit a session proposal for our next MIGS:


If you were a participant of the MIGS 2005 conference and did not have a chance to fill out our survey, you are welcome to do so by downloading it at this address: MIGS_Survey.pdf Please send us your comments by fax 1 (514) 848-7133 or e-mail



  Early Registration Rates
In effect through
Regular Rates
In effect from
Individual registration $325 $380
Student * $150 $150
Show only $25 $40
Group rates (per participant) :
2-9 persons $300 $360
10-25 persons $275 $330
26-50 persons $250 $300
50 + persons $225 $275

(Plus tax: GST = 7% and QST = 7,5%)

Rebates and special rates:

  • Alliance numeriQC members: -20%
  • IGDA members: -10%
  • ACM SIGGRAPH Montreal members: -10%

*Students :

  • Discounts to members of IGDA, ACM SIGGRAPH Montreal or Alliance numeriQC do not apply.
  • Passes will only be given out to the first 100 students to register.
  • Proof of full-time enrolment (at the time the summit is held) and a photo ID (driver's licence, health insurance card and a student card) must be presented along with the pass at the entrance to the event.
  • Students must be enrolled in college, university or a private institution such as the Centre NAD, Institut ICARI, INIS, etc.
  • Passes are not transferable.




Alliance numeriQC - Quebec's Digital Industry Network, aims to support and accelerate the growth and competitiveness of its industry in recognition of all its stakeholders. Its aim is to give a voice and a strong brand image to the Quebec multimedia and digital interactive content industry and make its own contribution to the development of this sector.


Its work is focused on the needs of small and medium size businesses, offering a range of programs and resources directly related to business development. Alliance numeriQC puts special emphasis on activities that provide marketing and financial planning support along with market research.

Alliance numeriQC also lobbies on behalf of policies and measures aimed at supporting this industry. Alliance numeriQC maintain close contact with government agencies, public and private institutions along with other bodies in related sectors.


The clientele targeted by Alliance numeriQC is mainly comprised of companies, corporate executives and managers as well as individuals working in Quebec's interactive digital content and multimedia sectors.

Alliance numeriQC represents:

  • Over 200 corporate members, including: Bell Canada, Cogniscience/Micro-Intel, Copernic, De Marque, Digital Fiction, Discreet, JAMDAT Mobile (Canada) ULC, Ingenio, a subsidiary of Loto-Quebec, Musitechnic, QA International, Societe Radio-Canada, Sarbakan, Ubisoft, Virtools Canada, Zone 3 and several others.
  • Over 3000 industry players who subscribe to our weekly newsletter.
  • 15 associations and organizations who forward our communications to their members, including: Federation informatique du Quebec (FIQ), Centre de recherche informatique de Montreal (CRIM), Centre francophone d'informatisation des organisations (CEFRIO), Groupe des partenaires en technologies de l'information (GPTI), la Voix des Entrepreneurs en T.I. de Quebec (VETIQ), Montreal International, International Game Developers Association, Le Regroupement des producteurs multimedia (RPM), Societe des Arts technologiques (SAT), TECHNOCompetences and the World Trade Center Montreal.
  • 7 government partners, including: ministère de la Culture et des Communications du Quebec, ministère des Finances du Quebec, Societe de Developpement des Entreprises Culturelles (SODEC), Canada Economic Development, Industry Canada, Telefilm Canada and Canadian Heritage.
  • 13 specialized learning institutions, including: Centre NAD, Institut Icari, Institut national de l'image et du son (INIS), Cegep@distance, Cegep du Vieux-Montreal, Collège de Maisonneuve (ITI), and Universite de Sherbrooke.


Alliance numeriQC offers products and services aimed chiefly at promoting business development and extending the industry's influence in local and international markets.

  • Participation and support in organizing trade missions
  • Greeting missions and delegations
  • Offering network support services
  • Staging events related to attracting investment capital
  • Multimedia Experimentation Fund (financial aid to start-ups)
  • Information on funding programs
  • Information on training programs
  • Research and dissemination of market information
  • Participation in public hearings and consultations
  • Newsletters for the new medias sector
  • Networking activities
  • Special interest groups (games, privacy protection, Internet advertising, etc.)
  • reference Web site for the multimedia sector: (french only)



AN ASIDE: Jump to 2019. I just returned from the Montreal Expo Gaming Arcade, which has become an annual event for the public that offers activities focused on video games and the MIGS, which is really centered around recruiting and partnerships for passionate professionals in the video games industry. 2019 was its third edition of MEGA which took in mid November, at the Grand Quai de Montréal. This year, the MIGS conveniently merged with the MEGA. Walking the expo floor at MIGS is not a place to see the latest and greatest games, nevertheless I had a chance to check out some games, meet some interesting developers, and enjoy a few really great panels. The Montreal International Game Summit is not a bombastic trade show, but it is certainly a very interesting one. Last years MEGA was incredible.

The night before the expo, there was a presentation by the Montreal Orchestra Company, L’Odyssée musicale du jeu vidéo (The Video Games Musical Odyssey). It featured music from games created in Montreal and beyond, including Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, the world premiere of Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and classics from The Legend of Zelda and Mario Bros. I really liked the specialty areas. There was an educational room for the kiddies, and a capsule-like play zone where older gamers could sample The Inner Friend. The Playmind’s horror game about childhood fears which plunges the gamer into a veritable nightmarescape was incredible. It was a strange world of bizarre monsters where players must save themselves from the shadows. The gaming pod was likely the most immersive experience at MEGA, as it blocked out some of the expo’s ambient sounds, and offered players, like me, a cloaked miniverse surrounded on three sides by black curtains.

This year like 2018 also included Tournaments that were ongoing all weekend, and exhibitors encouraged questions at the many indie games booths. For those who like tech gadgets and activities, there were remote control toys and a human-powered Pong game. A lot has changed within video gaming since the early Montreal International Game Summits. MEGA really brings in the public. The panel discussions also reflected the huge shifts in awareness that is permiation out western society. The Mental Health in Video Games panel discussed not only gender and identity but also race. The panelists brought to light the many differences that polarize not only gamers but also dev teams. Also consider Take This, a nonprofit organization that aims to help alleviate such issues as social anxiety or awkwardness which is prevalent in the gamers world, both behind the scenes and in front of the games. Take This has introduced the AFK room at large gaming conventions. People suffering from crowd anxiety, noise pollution, and just over-socializing in such an animated setting, can come to have a timeout in this safe room. It is staffed by clinicians and volunteers and can provide a listening ear, advice, or simply a place to get away from the crowd for any given amount of time. Pretty progressive, to say the least.

Anyway, I returned to NYC hyped up and excited about the brand new and as yet unreleased games I saw there. I walked into my studio apartment to a disaster. My upstairs neighbor obviously had a leak or they let their tub overflow. I had soggy carpets and damaged floors, ceilings, walls. First I called my upstairs neighbors and when they didn't answer, the super. Turns out there was a leak- ongoing. The neighbors were away for the weekend. The super sprang into action to stop the leak. I started the clean up process. I reached out to Agara Cleaning Carpet who I consider to be excellent NYC rug cleaning pros. I have used them for both rug cleaning and restoration of some antique carpets I inherited from my grandmother. They arrived the next day to take all the carpets to clean. I called my insurance company and then hired professionals to clean up the water mess. Everything was packed up and moved to storage. Meanwhile I moved to a friend's place for several months while my studio was basically redone- new plastering, painting, new floors, etc. What a bummer. I took my mind off the entire episode by playing Fortnite Battle Royale. I certainly needed some distraction.

I am now back in my studio apartment which is sweet. The rugs arrived yesterday, clean and looking great. I am just finishing up getting settled in. I think I'll spend the evening playing Fortnite Battle Royale, not as a distraction, but for the thrill.