If you’re on the lookout for what’s up and coming in the world of gaming, it won’t take you too long to find out that Montreal is one of the biggest gaming cities in the world.
In fact, there have been over 200 video game companies operating in the city since 2016. A city with so many gaming professionals means a city full of fun stuff for gamers to do. There’s so much, we had a hard time just choosing ten. Ok, so we did a little up-up-down-down-left-right-left-right-B-A-Start and cheated a bit. Who hasn’t, right?
Game Events and Fairs
Montreal International Games Summit
These are the big ones: the main gaming events of the year. MEGA, MIGS, and DreamHack.
Held in Montreal since 2017, MEGA (Montreal Expo Gaming Arcade) is a must-see event in the city. There is an expo where you can meet developers and play their games, an arcade where you can play alone or with friends, an arena where you can watch eSports tournaments, and a spotlight zone where you can find the newest games.
Another not–to-be-missed event in Montreal is MIGS (Montreal International Game Summit). It’s similar to MEGA in some ways but focuses more on learning and development. Here, you can listen to some of the best in the gaming industry during conference sessions or get more in-depth knowledge during masterclasses and one-on-one coaching sessions.
Lastly, DreamHack is a touring gaming festival that comes to Montreal once a year. And when it does, it makes a huge impact. You could be one of the thousands who compete in gaming competitions for hundreds of thousands worth of prizes, play in the 24-hour LAN party, or play various tabletop and video games. There’s also a cash prize cosplay competition, so bring all your gear.
Bars and Cafes
After a long day at an event, there’s nothing like a nice drink to start (or end) your evening. Sit back, relax, and enjoy. And this wouldn’t be a list for gamers if we didn’t feature the best gaming bars in the city.
The first stop on the gaming bar/cafe crawl is Meltdown Esports Bar. This place has everything you could expect from a bar plus the added fun of non-stop esports streams and computers to play alone or with friends.
The next stop is serious business. While Gam1ng Cafe looks more like an office than your traditional bar or cafe, that doesn’t mean it lacks in fun. Grab some coffee and a snack and you can enjoy an all-night gaming session or participate in a tournament.
The last stop on the bar crawl is Foonzo. Located in downtown Montreal, this bar is a great place to hang out with friends, grab a cheap drink, and play some classic video games on a variety of consoles.
Forget laser tag or paintball, Combat Nerf is the way to get your game on. With 11 guns to choose from and over 10,000 square feet of gaming area, they are the biggest Nerf arena in Montreal. Stop by with a group of friends, but don’t forget to call and make a reservation first.
The Force Academy
The Force Academy
Channel your inner Luke Skywalker by challenging your friends to a lightsaber battle at The Force Academy. No prior experience is necessary and the fun is open to people of all levels. May the Force be with you.
MontVR has a huge library of VR games to choose from and builds amazing immersive experiences. Stop in by yourself or team up with 9 of your friends for a multiplayer session. It’s fun and very easy to learn.
Need a dose of a real-life video game? Try an escape room. Many of these rooms draw inspiration from video games, movies, and pop culture. Gather a group of friends and see if you can escape from many imaginary worlds: horror zone, fantasy landscape, or storybook magic.
Whether you are looking for vintage or just a little old school, Montreal has a gaming place for you. North Star Pinball is the type of place you might not find in too many other cities. Not only do they celebrate pinball machines, they love pinball machines. Check out their collection from the 40s to the 80s.
Another blast from the past kind of place is ArcadeMTL. Their nostalgia won’t give you a 40s vibe, but still, they do love their games: arcade games, to be exact. They organize events based on a specific game or a genre and then send out an invite. FYI, there is a cover charge and you need to bring your own drinks. Just don’t spill them on the games. They don’t really like that.
If you are in town for a while, a nice place to stop would be Gameplay Space. They are a coworking space for game designers but offer many other events for the community. Stop by for lectures, workshops, seminars, mentorship, and coaching. Or better yet, grab a seat and start designing your own game.
If you are looking to meet experts in game localization, look no further than Altagram. We are a global game localization and voice-over production agency based in Berlin. We have localized over 4,000 games in 45 languages over the last 5 years and have a new office in Montreal, so feel free to stop in and check it out. Or better yet, apply to be one of our QA testers. It’s never too late to take the next step in your career.
There you have it. One of the best gaming cities in the world has a lot to offer to all types of gamers, from the casual to the extreme, and all interests from vintage pinball to arcade or state-of-the-art VR. There’s something for everyone in Montreal. Now if only there were a pause button on life to make time for it all.