Jonathan Tong quoted in Financial Post article on international purchases of Canadian makers of video games

15 juin 2021 | Jonathan Tong | Toronto

( Disponible en anglais seulement )

Financial Post, "China is getting the Liberals into video games"

“The government wants to keep the IP and the key personnel here in Canada,” said Jonathan Tong, a partner and capital markets lawyer at Miller Thomson LLP. “We don’t want a situation where everyone is leaving for Silicon Valley.”…

If the objective is protecting Canadian upstarts from being gobbled up by acquisitive foreign buyers, then an extra layer of defence from the government is probably necessary, said Tong, who works out of Miller Thomson’s Toronto office.

Canada’s gaming industry is dominated by international giants such as France’s Ubisoft Entertainment SA and California-based Electronic Arts Inc., which were lured to Canada in the 1990s by generous hiring subsidies, especially in Quebec. The strategy worked in that it has created about 30,000 jobs that probably wouldn’t have existed otherwise. The tradeoff is that Canada hasn’t yet created any big game-maker of its own. Canadian-owned studios tend to be smaller outfits that do a mix of contract work for the bigger companies while developing some of their own ideas or startups that hope to break through with a hit game. Proactively thinking about protecting themselves from being taken over isn’t always a priority.

“Right now from a legal perspective, it’s kind of the wild west,” Tong said. “It’s happening so quickly that regulators haven’t caught up.”

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