Radical Entertainment’s Sudden Collapse Inspires Tech Entrepreneur to Join Canadian Politics

Last month, a shockwave was sent through Vancouver when Activision axed nearly 100 jobs as Radical Entertainment went from a longstanding, reputable gaming company to one on the brink of collapse.

Matt Toner, who has worked for tech startups from New York to Vancouver, appears particularly affected by this move. He is using the news as a diving board into Canadian politics to ignite change.

“Specifically, I would like the government of British Columbia to outline the actions they took—or didnʼt take—in the run-up to the de facto shutdown of Radical Entertainment,” Toner says. “The question is simple: have they been good stewards of the innovation industry here in Vancouver or not? If they didnʼt have so much as a cup of coffee with Activision executives in the past year, then that is a failure.”

Matt describes Radical as “not just a highly regarded game studio,” but a “pillar of the local industry” and an “engine of growth” that will “not be easily replaced.” So he has decided to take action and is currently seeking nomination under the NDP in Vancouver False Creek. 

“The economy of Vancouverʼs game industry is increasingly fragile, while cities like Montreal are becoming more and more robust,” he explains. “The talent sees that and increasingly is looking east and south. And once they leave, they are not coming back.”

As a press release from him notes, it is “somewhat unusual” for someone in this industry to make a run at political office—”but perhaps it is time for exactly this sort of change.”