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Behaviour Interactive’s $2-million gift to the Campaign for Concordia to spur innovation for Quebec’s video game industry

Major support will enable university’s Faculty of Fine Arts to develop new talent and drive discovery for a key economic sector
May 18, 2023

A $2-million gift to the Campaign for Concordia: Next-Gen Now from Behaviour Interactive — the largest Canadian video game developer and publisher — will enhance Concordia’s ability to develop new talent and innovation for a critical economic sector.

Now in its 30th year, Behaviour Interactive is known the world over for its bestselling multiplayer, Dead by Daylight, and its work with many of the biggest names in video games, including Microsoft, Sony, EA, Warner, Netflix and Take-Two, among others. The studio and its co-founder and CEO, Rémi Racine, are pioneers of the Canadian video game industry and play a leadership role in its promotion to future generations of talent.

The major support from Behaviour to the university — ranked among the world’s best for art and design — will fund a new research chair at the Department of Design and Computation Arts and provide financial assistance to undergraduate and graduate students who aspire to embark on careers in the video game industry.

“This is a significant investment in leading-edge research and student training for our top-ranked Faculty of Fine Arts,” says Concordia President Graham Carr. “We thank Behaviour Interactive for such a generous gift. It will help prepare our students for careers in the fast-paced world of game development and enable our researchers to deliver new design ideas to an industry that annually contributes more than $5 billion to Canada’s economy.”

Rémi Racine says that more targeted investment is needed to help ensure the future growth of Montreal’s vibrant community of developers and creators.

Photo portrait of a smiling man with dark hair and glasses wearing zip-up sweater with dress shirt underneath Rémi Racine, co-founder and CEO of Behaviour Interactive

“We have a healthy video game development ecosystem here in Montreal and Quebec, and across the country,” observes Racine, whose company has been named one of the best managed in Canada. “Whether the pipeline that nourishes that ecosystem can thrive and compete globally in the decades to come depends largely on the steps we take today to foster new talent and keep pace with new technology.

“This is what this gift to Concordia is all about. As a post-secondary research institution with strengths in concept art, design and experiential education, the university plays an important role in a sector with tremendous socioeconomic benefits and promise. We take pride in our ability to help nurture more of this success.”

Thanks to undergraduate and graduate programs in design and computation arts, and a concerted emphasis on hands-on, practical experience, Concordia’s Faculty of Fine Arts has flourished alongside the industry, both in terms of enrolment and reputation.

“There is great potential in digital game research and development,” remarks Annie Gérin, dean of Concordia’s Faculty of Fine Arts. “From cultivating communities to teaching new skills and revolutionizing storytelling, representation and entertainment, this industry has emerged as one of the most impactful cultural artifacts of our time.

“Through support for a new research chair and a range of resources for students, Behaviour Interactive’s gift will help us explore the possibilities of the next generation of game design. We are particularly excited to see how our new Behaviour Interactive Chair in Game Design will provide opportunities for students, faculty and professionals to collaborate and experiment boldly.”

A remarkable number of Concordia alumni have propelled Canada’s video game industry forward, notes Paul Chesser, BA 94, GrDip 97, vice-president of University Advancement at Concordia.

“This major gift from Behaviour Interactive is an endorsement of our Faculty of Fine Arts and a momentous opportunity to build on the industry’s future needs,” says Chesser.

“We are especially thankful that an industry leader located in our own backyard has made this generous investment. It will help to elevate Montreal as a nexus for video game design and development, supporting talent, inspiring creativity and generating cutting-edge advances.”

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