CANADA SPECIAL: Trapdoor

CANADA SPECIAL: Trapdoor
Will Freeman

By Will Freeman

November 12th 2009 at 9:30AM

Develop profiles one of Québec City's newest studios

Year founded: 2008
Location:
Montreal
Previous projects:
G.I. Joyride
Current projects:
Young Villain Academy, two more unannounced iPhone titles, original IP for 360 and PS3
www.trapdoorinc.com

Despite being one of Canada’s newer studios, Trapdoor has been quick to make a mark on the country’s blooming industry. Set up in 2008 by former Gameloft Montreal studio manger Ken Schachter, the firm has so far specialised in iPhone releases, but with original IP underway for 360 and PC, it is rapidly broadening its creative remit.

“With many large studios setting up shop and developing flagship products in Canada, we’ve really seen incredible growth – and interest – in developing here,” says Schachter. “Our hope is to see more independent talent breakaway and take the plunge.”

As a small independent, formed by a team ‘tired of working for the man’, Trapdoor has also enjoyed the benefit of support from Quebec’s incentives for games makers; something smaller studios in other country’s may struggle to secure.

“Tax breaks do have a significant impact on our company,” admits Schachter. “Thanks to these, we are able to invest greatly on R&D, which is a valuable advantage in our industry.”

“Our core focus is on the creation of original IP for digital distribution,” explains Schachter.

“In another segment, we have started looking to publish smaller creative independent developers on our target platforms. We believe there are many opportunities in this area. We’re also starting to dabble in cross media concepts, involving comic books, toys, and more.

“However our approach to other media is done in the spirit that each of those should be able to stand on its own as a good work. We wouldn’t create a comic book specifically as a marketing tool for a certain game; we believe consumers can see through that.”

Clearly ambitious, Trapdoor is a close-knit company that works together across its disciplines. Hoping to set itself apart from its rivals as a trendsetter, for Schachter and his team, the future certainly looks bright.