Help Vancouver’s Gaming Industry with The Indie Gala

indie-gala-logoDo you love video games and supporting small developers? The latest Indie Gala sale allows you to do both. While that’s not unusual for Indie Gala sales, what is unusual is the different way that you can support indie developer and the Vancouver gaming scene in particular.

This week’s Indie Gala is The Mass Effect Bundle. While Mass Effect isn’t exactly an indie production, the proceeds allocated to charity will help the indies. The Mass Effect Bundle supports the Launch Academy and the BC Member of Legislative Assembly campaign of Matt Toner.

The Launch Academy is a facility setup to support Vancouver’s entrepreneurs through education, mentorship and networking. The Launch Academy is planning to use funds raised through The Indie Gala to setup a scholarship program for prospective indie developers.

Matt Toner is the NDP candidate for the Vancouver-False Creek riding in this May’s British Columbia provincial election. Part of Toner’s platform is improving incentives for the tech, film and gaming industry to keep those industries and jobs in and around Vancouver. Finally there’s a politician who sees games as a legitimate industry as opposed to corrupting the youth and turning them into murderers. The funds from Indie Gala would go to his campaign funds. The NDP are fairly popular in BC so it’s not like he’s running without a chance of winning because he’s an independent or, worse, a candidate for the Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada.

The Vancouver gaming industry has been hit hard over the last couple of years. The likes of Microsoft, Ubisoft, Activision and Rockstar have closed studios in Vancouver with most of those studios or staffers being moved to studios in Ontario (usually Toronto) and Quebec (usually Montreal). The concern I think most people will have with this campaign is that it’s funding a political campaign but sometimes the best way to fix an economic issue is through political channels.

mass-effect-2-screenshot-10-shepard-scionThe Indie Gala is a pay what you want deal. If you pay any amount, you can get Kill Fun Yeah, Shadowgrounds, Zombie Driver HD, Android game Rebuild and game to be announced at some point this week. If you pay above the average amount paid per bundle, $5.23 at time of writing, you will also get Gimbal, Shank 2, the Zombie Driver HD DLC and soundtrack, a game to be announced this week and Mass Effect 2. Yes, the best game in the Mass Effect trilogy could be yours for less than $6.00 along with a pile of other good games.

It’s probably worth noting that two of those ten games are developed in Canada. Mass Effect 2 is developed by BioWare which is based in both Edmonton and Montreal in Canada. Shank 2 is developed by Vancouver based Klei Entertainment. Kind of appropriate that a Klei game would be part of a bundle to put money back into the Vancouver gaming industry.

You have until April 29 at 3:00 PM Eastern to buy the Mass Effect bundle from Indie Gala.

This week is Canadian Gaming Week on The Lowdown Blog. For more, check out the Canadian Gaming Week tag.

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