CANADA | TOP game SCHOOLS

2021 CANADA RANKING: WHAT ARE THE BEST GAME SCHOOLs?

MEGA - MIGS students talk to indie studios

MEGAMIGS (2019)

An attractive country

Canada is home to a thriving video game industry.

With nearly 30,000 people working there, Canada has become a major industry stronghold over the past 15 years. Montreal especially has a growing number of large and indie studios.

Over 200 studios and 50 schools examined in our rankings

As with the US ranking, Canada required the careful analysis of more than 2,000 alumni profiles from some 50 schools.

The result is a precise overview of their studies and their careers in more than 200 video game studios.

TOP 5 CANADiAn Game Schools

TOP 10 STUDIOs

for hiring young talent from 2016-2020

game schools top 5 CANADA

#1 UQAC - Université du Québec à Chicoutimi | école NAD-UQAC

Chicoutimi / Montreal, Quebec

  • UQAC: 6,500 total students / Ecole NAD-UQAC: 400 total students

  • Public

  • Tuition & fees (2020): $20,272

UQAC offers three video game training courses that focus mainly on programming. It attracts many foreign students, most of whom are French and have a scientific background.

The NAD-UQAC School, Ecole Nationale d'Art Numérique, de l'Animation et du Design, created in 1992 and affiliated with UQAC since 2008, offers four video game training courses focused on game design and game art.


ACADEMICS:

  • Bachelor's Degree with a major in Video Game Design (UQAC) [90 crédits]

  • Short Graduate Program in Video Game Development (UQAC) [15 crédits]

  • Master's Degree in Computer Science (Video Games) (UQAC) [45 crédits]

  • Bachelor's Degree in 3D Animation and Digital Design (Ecole NAD-UQAC) [90 crédits]

  • Certificate in 3D Animation and Digital Design (Ecole NAD-UQAC) [30 crédits]

  • Master's Degree in Art (Digital Design) (Ecole NAD-UQAC) [45 crédits]

  • DESS, Postgraduate Diploma Specialized in Narrative Video Game Design (Ecole NAD-UQAC) [30 crédits]

Cold Sun (2020), winner of the ESAC Award 2020.


GAME PROTOTYPES AND COMPETITIONS:

UQAC-NAD's video game projects have high visual quality.

Cold Sun, winner of the ESAC Award (Entertainment Software Association of Canada) in the Student Video Game Competition in 2020. This student game with fantastic visuals was made in 15 weeks by 19 artists and designers from NAD and 5 programmers from UQAC. The artistry, gameplay and format are reminiscent of AAA games.

Contra 2028 (2017) was designed in 2 months by 8 students. This game includes a gorgeous environment rendered in Unreal Engine 4.

Dies Noctem (2015) earned the Special Jury Prize and the Award for Best Technical Challenge and Innovation at the 2015 Ubisoft Montreal Game Lab Competition.

Record (2017) won the Award for Best Art Direction and Achievement at the 2017 Ubisoft Montreal Game Lab Competition.

STUDENT PROFILES:

UQAC attracts a large number of international students to its video game programs. Since 2016, half of UQAC graduates recruited into the video game industry have been international students, mainly from France. The university also prepares a significant proportion of graduate students (45% of video game graduates earn Master’s degrees).

30% of UQAC's video game graduates hold a double degree in partnership with a foreign engineering school. These degrees come most often from French schools in the field of computer science.

The NAD-UQAC School trains digital artists and the vast majority of its graduates who have entered the video game industry since 2016 hold a Bachelor's degree in 3D animation and digital design.


RECRUITMENT:

The main UQAC and NAD-UQAC recruiters since 2016 are:

  • Ubisoft (Quebec and France) (39% of students)

  • Behaviour Interactive (Quebec) (7%)

  • Beenox [Activision Publishing Inc] (Quebec)

  • Eidos-Montréal (Quebec)

  • Gameloft Montréal (Quebec)


Looking broadly at the UQAC graduates from 2016 to today who work in 58 video game companies, 62% hold technical positions (including 59% of programmers/developers), 26% hold artistic positions (all game artists), and 11% are game designers.

Contra 2028 (2017)

#2 Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning

Oakville, Ontario

  • 23,000 total students

  • Public

  • Tuition & fees (2020): $1,350/year

ACADEMICS:

  • Honours Bachelor of Game Design (4 years)

  • Honours Bachelor of Computer Science (4 years), with specialization in either Cloud Computing, Data Analytics or Game Engineering

  • Advanced Diploma of Computer Systems Technology - Software Development and Network Engineering (3 years)

  • Certificate of Game Development - Advanced Programming (1 year)

  • Graduate certificate of Game Level Design (1 year)

  • Post-grad certificate of Computer Animation (1 year)

Cielo (2020), a 3v3 fast-paced Arena Shooter.


GAME PROTOTYPES AND COMPETITIONS:

Lost Shadows (2016) is a horror game with high-quality realism.

LightFarm (2020) is a serious game that won the Innovation Award at the 2020 Intel University Games Showcase at the Game Developers Conference.

WyrmWood (2020) won 2nd place at ESAC’s Student Video Game Competition in 2020.

STUDENT PROFILES:

Of the Sheridan graduates recruited in video game production since 2016, 67% hold a Bachelor's degree, 35% a Certificate and 1% an Advanced Diploma.


RECRUITMENT:

The top employer of Sheridan College alumni recruited in video game production since 2016 is Ubisoft (Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia locations) with 15%, then Electronic Arts (British Columbia) followed by HitGrab Game Labs (Ontario).

Since 2016, the Sheridan graduates who were recruited by 69 video game employers have held technical functions (27% - all programmers) and artistic functions (30%). Game designers are hired for 39% of these positions.

Lost Shadows (2016)

#3 Isart digital

Montréal, Quebec

  • 250 total students

  • Private

  • Tuition & fees (2020): $23,000 / year

ACADEMICS:

  • Master’s in Game Programming (4 years)

  • AEC (Attestation d'Étude Collégiale) in Game Programming
    (2 years)

  • Bachelor’s in Tech Game Art (4 years)

  • AEC in Tech Game Art (2 years)

  • Master’s in Game Design (4 years)

  • AEC in Game Design (2 years)

  • Game Data Analyst (1 year)


Nawa, finalist game at Gaming Digi Awards 2016 (Ontario)


GAME PROTOTYPES AND COMPETITIONS:

Nawa, The Sands Blossom (2016) is a 3D flyer in which the player interacts directly with the obstacles blocking the character’s path.

Chroma Blast (2017) is set in retro-futuristic China. Within an outside world destroyed beyond repair, two factions battle each other inside a simulation they both want to control.

E-Ro was a finalist at Aniwow! 2017 (China)

STUDENT PROFILES:

62% of ISART alumni who graduated from 2016-2020 and were recruited into video game production earned a diploma in Game Design, 28% in 3D Film, 12% in Game Programming, and 3% in Game Data Analyst.


RECRUITMENT:

The largest video game production employer of Isart Digital Montreal alumni is by far Gameloft Montreal (29%), ahead of Ubisoft (Montreal and France) (11%), Nvizzio Creations Inc. Montreal (9%), and Behaviour Interactive Quebec (5%).

Among 38 employers, 17% of these alumni hold technical functions (all programmers) and 27% artistic functions, mainly as game artists. Game designers represent the majority of profiles with 51%.

E-Ro, finalist game at Aniwow! 2017 (China)

#4 Udem - université de montréal / Polytechnique Montréal

Montreal, Quebec

  • UdeM: 45,502 total students. Poly MTL: 8,251 total students

  • Public

  • Tuition & fees (2020): $19,459

ACADEMICS:

UdeM

  • Bachelor's Degree in Digital Music (3 years)

  • Major Diploma in Video Games (2 years)

  • Master's Degree in Computer Science (2 years)

  • D.E.S.S. in Game Design (1 year)

  • D.E.S.S. in Digital Music (1 year)

  • Certificate, Minor in Video Game Studies (1 year)

Poly MTL

  • Bachelor's Degree in Software Engineering (4 years)

  • Bachelor's Degree in Computer Engineering (4 years)

  • Professional Master's Degree (DESS) / Option AI in Digital Interactive Entertainment (2 years)

  • Diplôme d'Etudes Supérieures Spécialisées (DESS) in Usability and User Experience (UX) (1 year)

Zorya (2017), awarded at the Ubisoft Game Lab Competition and ESAC 2017.


GAME PROTOTYPES AND COMPETITIONS:

Zorya (2017) is an aesthetically pleasing game that received the Best Prototype Award, the Best Creativity and Theme Integration Award, and the Audience Award at the 2017 Ubisoft Game Lab Competition. It was also crowned winner of ESAC’s 2017 Student Video Game Competition and was the first game originally developed in French to win this prize. It was produced in 10 weeks by 4 developers from Polytechnique Montréal and 6 artists from the Ecole NAD-UQAC.

STUDENT PROFILES:

70% of the 2016-2020 alumni working in video game production hold a bachelor's degree and 35% hold a master's or DESS degree.

Due to its programs in digital music, UdeM prepares many audio designers. Its students have designed the soundtracks for several beautiful student game projects such as Space Morons (2017), Siren's Lullaby (2016), and Sea Shepherd (2015). This 2016-2020 alumni group shows the strength of this audio design specialization where 9% are audio designers, the highest rate of this top 5.

Polytechnique Montréal, for its part, mainly prepares programmers. These students have programmed several collaborative games that have excellent finish, such as Obsolescence (2020), Zorya (2017), Eco Squad: Winds of Change (2018) and ADA (2016).


RECRUITMENT:

The leading video game employer of the 2016-2020 Université de Montréal and Polytechnique Montréal alumni is Ubisoft Montreal (38% of the alumni) followed by Behaviour Interactive Quebec (14%) and Gameloft Montreal.

More broadly, among 32 employers, 63% of these alumni hold technical positions (all programmers) and 8% artistic positions, mainly as game artists. Game designers represent 15%.


#5 Uqat, université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue

Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec

  • 1,456 total students

  • Public

  • Tuition & fees (2020): $17,430

ACADEMICS:

  • Bachelor's Degree in Video Game Creation

  • Bachelor's Degree in Digital Creation

  • Bachelor's Degree in 3D Creation

  • Master's Degree in Digital Creation

  • 3D Creation Certificate

  • Certificate in Digital Creation

Against Light (2017)


GAME PROTOTYPES AND COMPETITIONS:

Against Light (2017) is a simple game that was made in less than 2 months by 35 UQAT students plus 6 music composers.

Minors (2018) was created by 9 students in 10 weeks. Minors received the Best Prototype and Best User Experience Awards at the 2018 Ubisoft Montreal Game Lab Competition. It also won the ESAC’s Student Video Game Competition in 2018.






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STUDENT PROFILES:

Almost all of the graduates who have entered the video game industry since 2016 hold a bachelor's degree (67% in video game creation and 28% in 3D creation) with 6% having a certificate and 4% a master's degree.


RECRUITMENT:

The leading video game employer of 2016-2020 UQAT alumni is Ubisoft Montreal (19% of the alumni), ahead of WB Games Montreal Inc (7%) and Gameloft Montreal (6%).

More broadly, 6% of these alumni recruited by 35 employers hold technical positions (all programmers) and 55% hold artistic positions, mainly game artists. Game designers represent 28%.


Minors (2018)