Toronto, June 7, 2018 – The Entertainment Software Association of Canada’s (ESAC) 4th annual Student Video Game Competition drew in a record number of submissions for 2018. This year’s title was awarded to students from the University of Quebec Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT) Centre in Montreal for their game Minors, a cooperative game touching upon the reality of child labour in the mining industry. The group of 9 students, including William Homs, Delyan Farashev, Eva-Léa Longue Ngambi, Felix Liberali, Lydiane Beaulne-Bélisle, Nicolas Crevier, Alex Battista, Sijia Mao and Léandre Monette competed against their peers from more than 20 schools across Canada. The Minors team will be showcasing their game to industry and fans at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, California from June 12-14.

Minors is the second team in a row from Montreal to win ESAC’s Student Video Game Competition. “We are seeing amazing young game dev talent emerging from Canada’s post-secondary institutions” said Jayson Hilchie, President & CEO of ESAC. Specifically, one third of this year’s submissions came from the province of Quebec, a well-known hub for video game development in Canada. “Since the competition’s inception in 2015, the level of skill we have seen has increased dramatically across the country, leading to a very difficult decision by our team of expert judges” he added.  The 2018 Student Video Game Competition was scored by judges from Xbox Canada, Relic Entertainment, Other Ocean Interactive and Solutions2Go Inc.

The winning Montreal team was recently presented with awards for “Best Prototype” and “Best User Experience” at Ubisoft’s 2018 Game Lab Competition whose theme for 2018 was “Change the World”. “Minors showed a high level of professionalism, detail and devotion” said Julien Desaulniers, Lead Gameplay Programmer at Ubisoft Montreal and President of the Ubisoft’s 2018 Game Lab Competition jury. Ubisoft’s competition is in its 8th year and is designed to help students gain hands-on experience in the video game industry during their academic career. “We look forward to seeing these talented students enter the industry with the proper practice and mentorship that will allow them to flourish in the work place” added Mr. Desaulniers. The Game Lab Competition awards $22,000 (CDN) worth of scholarships to the winning teams and guarantees 10 internships or jobs among the participants in the competition.

“After winning Ubisoft Montreal’s Game Lab Competition in April, our team was on an all-time high. We knew we had to see how far we could take this”, said William Homs, Minors representative. The students credit their professors from UQAT for their endless training and guidance that ultimately led them to success. “We are beyond thrilled that all our hard work over these past few months has brought us to E3 alongside some of the most influential games and companies in the world” he added.

About Minors
A team of 9 students from University of Quebec in Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT) Centre in Montreal developed a playable 3D-video-game prototype in 10 weeks, following to the theme: “Change the World”. Minors is a cooperative game touching upon the reality of child labour in the mining industry. Minors received awards for Best Prototype and Best User Experience at Ubisoft Montreal’s Game Lab Competition in 2018.

About E3 Expo
The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3 Expo) is the foremost trade show of the newest trends, products and technologies for the global entertainment software industry. Hosted by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the E3 Expo brings together developers, distributers, media and fans from around the world to experience the future of interactive entertainment.

About ESAC
ESAC is the national voice of the video game industry in Canada. It works for its members – Activision Blizzard, Glu, Capcom, EA, Gameloft, Ubisoft, Other Ocean Interactive, Ludia, Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Relic Entertainment, Solutions 2 Go, WB Games, Square Enix, Take 2 Interactive and Codename Entertainment – to ensure that the legal, regulatory and public affairs environment is favourable to their long-term development.

Posted June 7, 2018