30th January 2009

Need for Speed Franchise Races Into New Genres

Black BoxGlobal Studio Teams Drive Quality and Innovation in Three New Games

Vancouver – Fifteen years; more than 40 countries; close to 100 million games sold. Need for Speed™ has helped to define automotive culture for millions of fans with its embrace of the car lifestyle and its cool rebellious attitude. Today, Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:ERTS) unveiled the details of what is in store for the franchise over the next 12 months, as the property expands to new platforms, new categories and new media.

Need for Speed is committed to providing unique and customized experiences for all types of racing fans by establishing three independent series; simulation, action and arcade racing. Each series will be developed by a highly-specialized team dedicated to delivering the ultimate racing experiences to car enthusiasts around the world – whether they be interested in adrenaline action, arcade fun or Need For Speed Undercoverauthentic simulation.

“We recognize racing videogame fans are very passionate and unique – they want customized gameplay experiences. Whether it’s more of a realistic driving game with accurate car physics or over-the-top cop chases, we are making different games for different audiences,” said Keith Munro, vice president of marketing, Need for Speed. “Each game provides a deep, engaging and rich racing experience. We’re giving players the option to choose the best racing title that suits their style of gameplay.”

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30th January 2009

Rocket Builders Releases 2009 Ready To Rocket List

Rocket BuildersAnnual list highlights technology trends and those private BC companies positioned for high growth potential in 2009

Vancouver Rocket Builders has released its seventh annual “Ready to Rocket 25” list naming 25 privately held BC companies that are best positioned to capitalize on the 2008 technology trends that will lead them to faster growth than their peers in a number of technology sectors. The annual “Ready to Rocket 25” list provides accurate predictions of companies that will likely experience significant revenue growth, venture capital investment or acquisition by a major player in the coming year. The “Ready to Rocket 25” list is the only predictive list of its kind in North America.

Although companies identified on this year’s “Ready to Rocket 25” did not grow at the pace of the previous year, the group still experienced a median growth rate of 50%, and an average growth rate of more than 100%. Of the identified twenty-five companies on the list:

* 76% exceeded 25% growth
* 58% exceeded 50% growth
* 44% exceeded 100% growth

The average increase in headcount for the 25 companies was 12%, with median annual revenue for 2008 benchmarked at $2.5 million dollars. Across the list of twenty-five companies:

* Aggregate revenue of over $130 million dollars
* The companies employed over 1200 employees
* Employment increased by 129 people
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30th January 2009

Jokeroo Entertainment Is Now Jolt Media Group

Toronto – As of today Jokeroo Entertainment will rebrand into JMG, short for Jolt Media Group. Like Jokeroo Entertainment, JMG will maintain ownership over all properties including Linkbee.com, Filecabin.com and the flagship property, Jokeroo.com.

“With the upcoming release of various websites in different channels, it’s important that our Jolt Media Groupparent company name be suitable for all our properties” says CEO of JMG, Chris Pavlovski. “We felt that Jolt Media Group fit the bill perfectly.”

JMG is set to launch four new properties by the end of the first quarter. The verticals in focus are social networking, lifestyle, gaming and financial. “Our goal is to reach audiences in all corners of the web,” says President of JMG, Aleks Dugonjic. “Expanding into these verticals brings us one step closer.”

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30th January 2009

Relic Holds Open House for Programmers

via Facebook:
Relic Entertainment VancouverRelic Entertainment will be holding an open house from 2pm – 4:30pm on Wednesday, February 4 for programmers who have 4+ years’ experience in the following areas:

·Senior Database Engineer
·Senior Security Programmer
·Senior Tools Programmer
·Senior AI Programmer
·Network/ Architect Programmer
·Generalist Game Programmer
·UI Programmer

The Open House will give employment-seekers a chance to tour the Relic studio and chat with other designers working at Relic Entertainment, which is located on the 15th floor at 550 Burrard Street, Vancouver. Interested parties are asked to please RSVP to “jobs [at] relic [dot] com”.

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29th January 2009

SIGGRAPH Vancouver Presents A Prince of Persia Evening with Ubisoft

Modern Princesses: Bringing Elika to Life in Prince of Persia

Siggraph Vancouver VancouverACM SIGGRAPH Vancouver Chapter will be hosting an evening with Ubisoft Producer Ben Mattes and Team Leader Matthew Clark on Wednesday, February 11 at the VanCity Theatre in Vancouver. The evening’s topic will cover the design and development of Elika, the Prince of Persia’s new AI-controlled companion. As stated on the event’s Prince of Persiainformation page, “The science of creating a relationship between the player and the controllable, main character is a well-documented one. (3Cs, etc.) The same can be said about the art of establishing relationships between characters themselves. Therefore, the challenge for Prince of Persia was to create a bond between the player and a character over which he has no control. The presentation will explore and expose the animation and programming techniques used to create such a bond.”

Tickets for this event are now on sale, please check the event site for more details. Admission is $20.00 for non-members, $10.00 for members.

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29th January 2009

Women In Games Vancouver To Host Social Mixer During GDX

Women In Games Vancouver – The new Women In Games International (Vancouver) Chapter will be hosting a social networking evening during the upcoming Game Design Expo. Women In Games International will be presenting a panel discussion at Vancouver Film School’s Open House about – Women In Games – on Sunday, February 8th. There will also be an announcement from the group in regards to a new $30 000.00 scholarship fund for VFS’ Game Design Programme. Please note that both days of the 2009 Game Design Expo are sold out.

The mixer will be held at Digital Alchemy Entertainment’s studio in Gastown. Those who are interested in attending, please RSVP on WIGI-Vancouver’s FaceBook event page. There are sponsorship opportunities for this event; interested companies or individuals are asked to contact Maria [at] radical [dot] ca. There will be drinks and appetizers along with some music and good conversation.

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29th January 2009

Registration Opens for GDC Canada

First Annual Game Developers Conference® Canada Announced: May 12-13, 2009, Vancouver, BC

GDC CanadaVancouver – Registration is now open for the Game Developers Conference® Canada (GDC Canada). Building off of the success of the Vancouver International Games Summit (VIGS), GDC Canada will be a forum for Canadian developers to share best practices for fostering ingenuity and quality games. Presented by Think Services Games Group and Reboot Communications, GDC Canada will take place May 12-13, 2009 at the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre (VCEC) in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Conference is offering a special registration period for those who have attended past VIGS events. Paid conference delegates to either the 2007 or 2008 VIGS are entitled to special alumni savings of up to 25% on conference passes. Those who qualify for Alumni Rates will receive an email directly from GDC Canada which will give further registration details.

GDC Canada Conference Tracks

The Game Developers Conference® Canada emphasizes studying the challenges and opportunities of creating games with long production cycles, large development teams, and multi-platform releases. Unique to GDC Canada’s content lineup, is its focus on the production cycle of game development with tracks focused on:

  • Concept/Preproduction
  • Production
  • Finalling
  • Post Launch/Analysis

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29th January 2009

Dini’s Video Game Play and Addiction Deserves Five Stars

Video Game Play and Addiction – A Guide For Parents
Author: Kourosh Dini, MD
April 2008
151 pages

Update: Video Game Play & Addiction has received a 2009 Silver Award from Mom’s Choice Awards in the Resources category.

This book impressed me from the moment I cracked the cover and began reading. Kourosh Dini has written the most comprehensive, wide-view truth about game play and addiction book that I have read to-date.

In no way is this book stuffy or full of statistics and scientific mumbo-jumbo; instead, Dini uses a common-sense approach to the topic, but he does not limit his discussion solely to children who are addicted to video games. He begins by talking about the positive aspects of gaming, and why humans like to game – to learn and to enjoy the aspects of play in our lives. Play and Addiction gets extra points from me because the author discusses the fact that our school systems are very outdated and no longer meet the needs of our tech-savvy children.

Parents are also encouraged to be an active part of their child’s game play – observe, participate – learn and play together. I think that this is a very important section of the book, because as parents in a high-achievement oriented business world, time to play and connect with our children can often become a lower priority. One of the biggest benefits of following Dini’s suggestions is that we remain able to converse with our children, to know who they are, what they are doing, and why they like to play the games they do.
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28th January 2009

Canadian Technology Companies to Compete for Venture Capital Dollars

Financing ForumVancouver – Canadian technology companies will bid for share of venture capital dollars at the 12th Annual Canadian Financing Forum on January 29, 2009 in Vancouver. The Forum is a highly recognized event, attracting top tier Canadian and international venture capitalists to meet with the best and most promising growth companies in Canada.

“Given the current economic environment, the Forum is vital to turn innovative ideas of early-stage companies into economic successes,” said Greg Aasen, Chair of the BC Innovation Council, a full sponsor of the Forum. “These companies can reshape industries across many sectors and provide benefit to communities beyond BC’s borders.”

Running from 8 am to 6 pm at the Hyatt Regency in Vancouver, this one-day event is attended by a wide range of Canadian and US venture capital firms who look forward to connecting with entrepreneurs offering leading-edge ideas in some of the most progressive areas.

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28th January 2009

3D Models Embedded Anywhere On The Web

Presto 3DMontreal – Spread 3D art across the internet: having become the destination site for 3D artists looking to show off their artwork in 3D, Presto3D.com extends these frontiers by allowing 3D previews to be embedded anywhere on the web. Presto 3D is a marketplace for digital 3D models. Models can be submitted for sale by anyone, and are sold royalty free, with the artist earning a commission on each sale.

Like on YouTube or many other websites, anyone can embed a preview of a 3D model on any website or blog. The preview will appear just as it does on Presto3D.com, and contain links back to other work by that artist.
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