‘I’m the only one left’: Tech company seeks to expand into Canada’s online gaming market
I can’t believe it, but this week I found myself in the same room as a bunch of tech giants: The folks at Microsoft and Amazon, both of whom are spending billions of dollars building out their online gaming businesses in Canada.
But Microsoft is going a different direction.
The Redmond, Washington-based company, which owns a stake in a number of gaming companies like Zynga and Zyngi, announced Monday that it will expand its operations to Canada and the United States by the end of 2020.
The announcement comes amid an unprecedented push from Microsoft to expand its business in Canada, as the Canadian gaming market is in its infancy.
For a company that’s been trying to get more online players into the United Kingdom and France, the announcement comes as no surprise.
It also comes amid the Canadian government’s recent push to ease the entry requirements for online gaming companies in the country.
“We are incredibly excited to join forces with Microsoft in Canada,” says Paul Hines, president and CEO of Canadian gaming company, Theta Games.
“We see great potential for growth in this country.
We see tremendous potential for partnership, we see tremendous opportunity for collaboration.””
We see tremendous opportunities for partnership.”
Microsoft, which is based in Redmond, is a major player in the Canadian online gaming industry.
Its $5 billion acquisition of developer Playful earlier this year saw the company create a subsidiary called Playful Games, which helps develop games for mobile devices.
The company also has an agreement with Nexon, which makes games for smartphones and tablets.
The new Canadian operations will be the third major expansion for Microsoft in the past few years.
The software giant has also announced a deal with Sony to produce more games in Canada than ever before, and it has invested $250 million in the Toronto-based Canadian video game company, Gamespot.
The company’s new Canada operations come on the heels of the launch of its new platform, The Xbox, which will launch in the United Arab Emirates in 2018.
The Xbox will provide more gaming power to Canadians and give them access to the Xbox Live community of over 2.5 million gamers across the country, making it easier for Canadians to get their games into their homes.
Hines says the new Canadian offices will also give Microsoft a better understanding of the local market and provide a better way for them to sell its games to consumers in other countries.
“They’re going to have a lot of knowledge and a lot more experience in the markets they’re going into,” he says.
“They’re not just going to be a marketing company.
They’re going, ‘OK, we’re going in to play a game, and we’re here to sell it.’
They’re a part of the Canadian gamer community.
They want to be part of that.”
Hines believes that the Canadian markets are ripe for the Microsoft of today.
“In the United, the market has always been dominated by one company, Microsoft, and in the U.S., we’ve always been a smaller player,” he said.
“The United States is a very fragmented market and it’s a very important market for Microsoft.”
Microsoft is spending $1.4 billion in Canadian and U.K. to expand online gaming operations, with more to come.
The deal is a significant increase in the company’s Canadian operations, which already includes $250,000 investment from Microsoft in Zyngo and $250m investment from Nexon in Zygba Games.
The Xbox One is expected to be available to buy in the Canada and U, U.Y., and Australia markets starting at the end.
The console will also be available in North America starting in 2019.