La Guilde is made up of 162 independent studios that directly and indirectly employ nearly 2,200 people

Montreal, January 16, 2019 -- Desjardins Group is granting $750,000 in funding to La Guilde des développeurs de jeux vidéo indépendants du Québec to help support the growth of the entire video game ecosystem. As the largest video game cooperative in the world, La Guilde will expand the resources and services it provides to around 200 independent developer studios across Quebec.

The announcement was made today by Guy Cormier, President and CEO of Desjardins Group. In addition to its 100 or so member studios in the Greater Montreal Area, La Guilde includes roughly 20 studios in Quebec City, with the rest being scattered throughout Montérégie, the Eastern Townships, Shawinigan, Drummondville and Rimouski.

"I'm especially proud of our contribution to La Guilde," said Guy Cormier, President and CEO of Desjardins Group. "It made perfect sense for us, as a cooperative, to support the biggest cooperative in the video game development industry. Quebec's independent development studios are using the "coopetition" approach to gain a solid foothold in the market and achieve their goal of making Quebec a world leader in the video game industry."

"La Guilde was created from a need for independent video game entrepreneurs to band together and share their expertise," said Louis-Félix-Cauchon, President of COOP La Guilde. "For us, the cooperative model--and the philosophy and values that go along with it--was an obvious choice. Our aim is to create collective wealth and increase Quebec's visibility. We're grateful to Desjardins, a world leader in cooperatives, for giving us the means to achieve our goal, which is to ensure the sustainability of Quebec's independent video game industry by contributing to our members' growth."

Of the announced $750,000 in funding, $740,000 will come from the $100 million development fund created by Desjardins Group in 2016. The money will be used to support key projects for members and their communities, contributing to the collective prosperity of Desjardins caisse communities. The remaining $10,000 will come from the Caisse d'économie solidaire Desjardins, which has supported La Guilde from the beginning.

In addition to supporting shared expertise, La Guilde offers a variety of services needed to run a business, including group insurance for all 2,200 people, business insurance, human resources development, accounting, legal services, applications for industry grants and tax credits and assistance with marketing and brand management.

About La Guilde

COOP La Guilde, also known as La Guilde des développeurs de jeux vidéo indépendants du Québec is a non-profit cooperative whose mission is to ensure the prosperity and sustainability of the video game industry by creating a fertile environment for Quebec developers and entrepreneurs to innovate and succeed. It is the largest independent video game cooperative in the world. Its goal is to offer broader access to the industry, provide group service offerings for its members and create greater visibility for products developed in Quebec.

About the Caisse d'économie solidaire Desjardins

The Caisse d'économie solidaire Desjardins is the financial cooperative for social movements, collective businesses and citizens committed to a social and sustainable economy. It has more than 3,000 collective business members. As of December 31, 2017, it had invested $548 million in the social economy and had $917 million worth of assets.

About the $100-million development fund

In November 2016, Desjardins Group, Canada's leading financial cooperative group, announced the creation of a development fund totalling $100 million. The investments will spread over 3 years to support and promote Quebec and Ontario projects and initiatives that are in line with Desjardins Group's socio-economic mission to bolster entrepreneurship, education, social responsibility, sustainable development and community involvement.

For journalists only: Richard Lacasse
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