BioWare is a video game development company that is based in Edmonton. They started as a three-man developer team working in a basement to now being a globally recognized name in the industry.
BioWare has been based in Edmonton, Alberta since 1994 and moved into their first Edmonton studio in 1995. Their recent move into a new headquarters in Edmonton shows their commitment to their employees and confidence in this region. From just three employees to 300 employees, BioWare and other large tech companies alike are planting roots in Canada’s major provinces and making big investments in commercial real estate.
New Headquarters, New Options
Even though there were many speculations about BioWare moving, they’ve decided to keep the gaming market in the province of Alberta.
BioWare now occupies the downtown Epcor Tower location that offers 75,000 square feet on three floors. Their new headquarters offers hundreds of desks, rooms, gaming stations, arcades, recording studios, motion capture studios, and dedicated quiet rooms.
The company’s investment in the new studio allows them to participate in the positive momentum in the commercial real estate market; it improves their productivity and gives them access to a talented workforce.
Being the developer behind such iconic blockbuster franchises, like Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Jade Empire, Baldur’s Gate, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and so many others it’s no wonder BioWare's legendary Edmonton studio decided to remain in the city where it all started.
City of Edmonton Tax Credit
The general manager of BioWare, Casey Hudson, stated that it took only a couple of days for the employees to settle in. The Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit made the move substantially easier. This credit was offered by the City of Edmonton.
The 25% refundable tax credit shows Alberta and Edmonton commitment to attracting and retaining business in their province. This tax credit helped the company cover some of the building costs, which allows BioWare the ability to focus on future growth of their business.
Overall, the new move or upgrade by BioWare to their CRE facility has reportedly improved the quality of work being produced. It has also improved the productivity of the workers and has boost morale, according to their general manager.
BioWare’s move has been a successful and efficient one, and the tax credit was competitive enough to retain this tech company. A 25% refundable tax for tech-based businesses is nothing to scoff at, and the access to Canada’s massive tech talent pool is yet another reason to look at CRE investment opportunities in this area.
This event has opened a new chapter for Edmonton commercial real estate and adds to the fast changing downtown landscape. Large enterprises like BioWare are benefiting from their locations in Canada, and the fact that Canada recognizes technology as a major growth area; it will continue to attract and retain a talented global workforce that wants to live and work in Canada.
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