This year marks the first time the Montreal Expo Gaming Arcade (MEGA) and the Montreal International Game Summit (MIGS) take place simultaneously, at Le Grand Quai. As a regular attendee to both events over the past few years, I was curious about this fusion and how it opens the future of gaming in our beautiful city.
A MEGA Venue for Sharing
MEGA is still very young. Inaugurated in 2017, the event brought together under the same roof three key players of the video game industry: big studios (Ubisoft, Eidos, etc.), independent studios (Red Barrels, Outerminds, etc.) and most importantly, the fans. In 2017 and 2018, it took place at the Marché Bonsecours, a beautiful venue, but one that was lacking space before long.
MIGS, on the other hand, was founded in 2004. Unlike MEGA, this summit is a call to professionals in the industry. The business to business (B2B) model worked like a charm throughout the years, but as the industry became a lot more “accessible”, MIGS’ audience broadened. Isolating the two would have been harmful in the long run.
This year, a good location was crucial. Since both MEGA and MIGS took place at the same time, it was important that the venue accommodated the attendees. This time around, both share (1) the location, and (2) amazing activities with their audiences.
A Personal Approach
Changing locales began another important challenge: How can the event attract more attendees? Speaking with Guiz de Pessemier (on the left in the picture above), spokesperson for MEGA/MIGS and co-founder of Outerminds, we learned just how important the role of an influencer was.
“I myself am an influencer. I have a YouTube and Twitch channel, so I have quite a presence on social media. Also, I am the co-founder of Outerminds, an Independent Developer in Quebec. I was in a great position to link both events together.
One of the first things I wanted to do was utilize that power influencers had. We created badges at the effigy of certain YouTube and Twitch channels, so fans could enter a promo code and save on entry passes for MEGA/MIGS, which in result encouraged their favorite content creator.”
This was the first time I have ever seen this concept used in Montreal, which I found quite interesting.
“The idea was developed alongside Louis-Félix Cauchon, President at La Guilde, and Borealis,” explained Guiz. “The event is good, but the question was how could we get more people to discover it? We decided to go straight to the source, with gamers and fans.”
A Backward That Oozes Gaming
Montreal is home to some of the best video game developers, publishers, and original minds the world has yet to discover. Having MEGA and MIGS as pillars only demonstrate just how much potential there is for expansion.
"Let face it, when we speak of events like E3, GDC, and PAX, we [Quebec developers] are omnipresent,” said Guiz while referring to how he often hears our famous accent during major video game conferences.
“Quebec is a powerhouse of video games, it is only logical that the event becomes bigger. I believe that with the growth we are seeing at the moment, I have high hopes that the future is looking good for us.”
I for one share that thought and based on the growth we have seen over the past few years, Montreal’s MEGA/MIGS can easily become one and the same entity, as well as have the reach to become something much larger.