Other ways to reach us: 1.800.260.6682 | 902.424.6650 | info@nsbi.ca
1800 Argyle Street, Suite 701 | Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3J3N8

 

Nova Scotia has a vibrant, creative and dynamic culture. There is also a thriving community of video game developers in Nova Scotia.
- Gwenael Heliou, Ubisoft 

A Growing Cluster

Nova Scotia's gaming and interactive media sector is strong, diversified, and growing. We offer a host of incentives that support the development of new and innovative technologies and help make your studio more competitive. Halifax, Nova Scotia is Canada's East Coast economic centre and the largest city east of Quebec and north of Boston. If you want to get your game on, Nova Scotia is the place to build a studio and power up your business.

Nova Scotia's technical and creative, post-secondary education institutions are offering specialized programs and developing a strong workforce in digital media. This focus has enabled globally recognized digital media firms to grow in diverse fields such as:

  • Console video games (Xbox One, and PS4)
  • Mobile games (iOS & Android)
  • VR & AR interactive experiences
  • VR Cinematography
  • Military simulations
  • Animated movies and TV shows

View our digital media infographic PDF.


Ubisoft's Mobile Game Hub

Ubisoft Halifax is a new member of the Mobile family, working with studios that have brought you award-winning titles like CSI: Hidden Crimes, Trials Frontier, and Hungry Shark.

Global access

Nova Scotia's strategic location between Europe and North America offers more than just physical infrastructure. It also boasts some of the world's best internet connections to both Europe and the eastern US, thanks to Hibernia Atlantic's network of sub-sea cables.

Cost competitive

According to KPMG’s Competitive Analysis (2016), Halifax, Nova Scotia ranks in the top 10 cities worldwide, among recognized video game clusters, for having the lowest operating costs.


Digital Media Tax Credit
Nova Scotia offers a digital media tax credit - making this the ideal place for video game development and interactive media.

Qualifying companies can claim the lesser of 50% of the qualifying expenditures or 25% of total expenditures. Qualifying expenditures could include:

  • 100% of eligible salaries in Nova Scotia
  • 65% of third party labour remuneration
  • up to $100,000 in marketing and distribution expenditures

Digital Animation Tax Credit 
The Digital Animation Tax Credit is a refundable tax credit for costs directly related to the development of digital animation in Nova Scotia.

This tax credit provides an incentive of up to 60% on labour associated with the project, including a labour bonus of 17.5% on animation-specific activities. The labour bonus is in addition to the base credit available.

 


 

Research and Development Support Programs
Through Scientific Research & Experimental Development (SR&ED) Tax Credits and/or the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP), many of the costs related to the development of new interactive media technology can be recovered. This makes Nova Scotia a great place to develop your video game engines as well as the games themselves!

  • SR&ED
    Eligible expenses include wages and salaries of employees directly engaged in the eligible R&D work, overhead expenditures, and materials. 

    Canadian-controlled Private Corporations (CCPCs) are eligible for a combined credit rate of 44.75% (Nova Scotia Credit + Canada Credit)*

    Foreign-controlled corporations are eligible for a combined credit rate of 27.75%(Nova Scotia Credit + Canada Credit)*

    *In calculating the combined credit, the federal tax credit base is reduced by the provincial tax credit receivable.
     
  • IRAP
    • SMEs between 1-500 people are eligible
    • Federal funding released April 1st every year
    • $50k non-repayable grant with 80% of direct labour and 50% sub-contractors.

Canada's University Capital

Access an ambitious and educated workforce. With over 20 universities and college campuses combined, Nova Scotia boasts more students per capita in IT related fields than any other province in Canada, and 22% more than the national average.


Speciality degrees

  • Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD): NSCAD is one of Canada’s oldest independent cultural institutions, and remains a principal national centre of excellence dedicated to the visual arts.
  • Dalhousie University: With a specialized degree in graphics, gaming, and media, Dalhousie University introduces students to the critical study of video games and gaming culture, with a particular emphasis on how video games combine interactive gameplay, worldmaking, and storytelling.
  • Acadia University: Acadia University offers a BSc with a specialization in game development applying the latest techniques in artificial intelligence, computer graphics, and human computer interaction.
  • Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC): NSCC designed diplomas in Digital Animation and Game Development to blend the creative disciplines of graphic design, video, photography, animation, type, and sound with the technical and problem-solving skills required for game development.
  • daVinci College: daVinci College's animation program immerses students in a real production studio setting, to experience a hands-on education and instruction by industry professionals in 3D animation and visual effects.

Immigration

Each year, Nova Scotia welcomes thousands of new immigrants. They play a critical role in supplying the province’s labour market.

Skilled Worker Visa Stream
The Skilled Worker visa stream helps employers recruit foreign workers and recently graduated international students whose skills are needed in Nova Scotia with an accelerated 6 week process. 

Express Entry Stream
The Express Entry stream selects highly skilled individuals who wish to live in Nova Scotia permanently. Eligible individuals must have at least one year of experience working in a highly-skilled occupation in Nova Scotia, including those with one year completed under the Skilled Worker visa. 

Atlantic Immigration Pilot
The Atlantic Immigration Pilot is a dedicated immigration stream designed for Nova Scotia employers to hire skilled and semi-skilled foreign workers.