7th August 2009

ResponseTek Announces Media Aggregator

ResponseTekVancouver – A new brand monitoring application will help companies mine Twitter for brand ‘buzz’, automatically scanning for positive or negative sentiment and transforming the constant stream of buzz into actionable business intelligence, software maker ResponseTek announced today.

ResponseTek’s Media Aggregator, launched this week as part of the Summer 09 release of ResponseTek:CEM, the company’s flagship customer experience management software platform, helps businesses benefit from the enormous output of consumer-generated content from social media phenomenon Twitter through a single, integrated software platform that combines media mining, reporting, analytics and action management.

“We know a lot of companies are struggling to wrap their heads around the sheer volume of information coming out of Twitter, blogs and non-traditional news media, but at the same time need to track and understand how their brands are being covered and discussed by media and consumers,” said Gord Elder, product group director at ResponseTek. “We extended our enterprise customer intelligence platform to the world of the web and social media; businesses can now stay on top of tweets, blog posts, news and other content that’s actually relevant in business.”
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7th August 2009

Pure Pwnage Picked Up By Canwest

Pure PwnageTorontoGiant Realm, Inc., the rapidly growing NYC online media company which delivers millions of 18 – 34 year old male first movers to advertisers via its publisher group of entertainment enthusiast communities, today announced that publisher Pure Pwnage’s (pronounced Pure Ownage) popular web series has been picked up by Canwest Broadcasting. Slated to begin production this fall, the half-hour comedy series will air on Showcase in 2010. Pure Pwnage, the digital generation’s Bob & Doug McKenzie, is among the first web series to graduate to Canadian broadcast TV.

Pure Pwnage, which is filmed in and around Toronto, appeals to fans of Curb Your Enthusiasm and Flight of the Conchords and those who have an appreciation for Internet and gaming culture. The mockumentary series follows Jeremy (Jarett Cale) a modern day, 26 year old gamer version of Larry David. His unfortunate lack of social experience constantly has him bumping up against reality. A child of the Internet, no matter how hard he tries, he just can’t relate to the ‘real world.’ After he is given an ultimatum from his mother to get a job or get out of the basement, Jeremy must leave the gaming world and join society again. Hilarity ensues as the series sees Jeremy start his own rock band, become a video game tutor and attempt to socialize with his co-workers at a grocery store.

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7th August 2009

Canadian Team Readies for Finals

SheridanScotland – Canada’s team from Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning is getting ready for the final competition at Scotland’s Dare to be Digital event. Dare ProtoPlay, which is part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe will be taking place August 14-16. You can preview the games and check out team blogs on the Dare to be Digital web site. Entry is free for the event which is open 10am – 6pm.

Dare ProtoPlay, presented by Abertay University and powered by Intel, has grown out of the world-leading Dare to be Digital competition and aims to celebrate young talent through a mini video-games festival. It is a unique cultural event for the games industry showcasing talent, IP, research, and much more, and serves as a battleground for creativity and culture in games Dare To Be Digital Competitorsdevelopment.

Fourteen brand new computer games, developed by teams during this year’s Dare to be Digital competition, will fight it out at Dare ProtoPlay to win the public vote and the endorsement of a panel of industry experts.

This year’s Dare ProtoPlay will also see digital toy factory Denki present the first opportunity to play a preview of Quarrel, their new Xbox Live Arcade game. Everyone is invited to play and give feedback that will directly affect how the game looks and works when it is released in 2010..

In addition, Dare ProtoPlay will also feature several other exciting new elements: a music workshop by Yann Seznec, who will use Wacom pen tablets to create music instruments; Abertay PhD research programmes based on video games technology; a Dare iPhone game preview in association with Digital Goldfish; a special Career Workshop in association with BAFTA targeted for teenagers and much more.
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6th August 2009

CRTC Report on Canadian Media and Communications Industry

CRTCOttawa – The CRTC has released its report on Canadian media consumption, and while it appears that fewer people are listening to streaming radio stations, more are tuning in for podcasts. The Media Consumption Report contains broadcasting data for the year ended August 31, 2008, and telecommunications data for the year ended December 31, 2008. Due to the time periods covered by this report, any economic downturns currently being experienced by the industry are not reflected, and will appear in the 2010 report for 2009 consumption.

The CRTC is also reporting that the number of Canadians online has seen another increase in 2008 over2007. Apparently we Anglophones spent an average of 13.8 hours online per week (they obviously didn’t check out the usage at Village Gamer, because we blow that number out of the water). Francophones didn’t spend quite as much time online, coming in at an average of 11.1 hours online per week. The Francophone sector saw the biggest increase, with the 2007 average coming in at 9.8 hours, while Anglophones only increased their time online by 0.4 hours per week.

However, 18% of Anglophones and 16% of Francophones reported watching a television program or a clip from a television program online, while podcasts saw an increase in usage of 46% among Anglophones and 40% among Francophones. The streaming of AM and FM radio stations over the Internet has experienced a decline over the last few years. The percentage of Anglophones who streamed a radio station in a given month dropped from 23% in 2005 to 16% in 2008. Similarly, the percentage of Francophones who engaged in the same online activity decreased from 16% to 13% during the same period.

Canadians are also very connected, with 99% of all households having at least one telecommunication service, including residential, wireless or Internet telephone service.

Other report highlights:

Internet services
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6th August 2009

Rise and Ruin Goes to Open Beta

veil entertainmentTorontoVeil Entertainment and Spore Productions are pleased to announce the Open Beta of Rise & Ruin, an online, card-based, fantasy combat game ready to play through PC web browsers.spore productions

Rise & Ruin is an entirely new twist on the trading card game (TCG) genre. Players level up their own ideal avatar while assembling decks from an ever-growing pool of powerful attack, defense, magic, and specialty cards. Thrilling, cinematic 3D battles take place directly in a web browser allowing for fast and accessible game play.

“We’re excited to get the Open Beta launched,” says Geoffrey MacDougall, CEO of Veil Entertainment. Rise and Ruin“We’ve worked hard to build an experience that combines the best of our favourite genres to provide character-driven, fast-paced game play. The guys on our live team are also eager to start implementing the storyline and tournaments they’ve developed over the last several months.”

“Now that we’re in open beta the team can start to focus on polish, reacting to the player experience, and implementing new features, ” says Joe Wagner, R&R’s Community Manager. “It’s great to be live. Players can also join us every Friday at 7:30 EST for Friday Night Fights where organized chaos reigns.”

Rise & Ruin gives players the unrestrictive option to play for free, for as long as they wish, with opportunities to win additional cards through community events. Similar to other TCGs, players can purchase credits to acquire new cards and access additional perks and content within the game.

Rise & Ruin is produced through the financial support of Telefilm Canada, Administrator of The Canada New Media Fund, funded by the Department of Canadian Heritage, Government of Canada.

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6th August 2009

Ubisoft News

UbisoftCanada – Congratulations to Ubisoft Montreal on Far Cry 2’s nomination for the Edge Award For Interactive Innovation, the only Canadian made game on the short list of nominees. The winner will be announced at next week’s Edinburgh Interactive Festival.

Ubisoft Vancouver has released a fact sheet of super moves for their upcoming title, Academy of Champions.Academy of Champions

Super tackle: Take the ball off your opponent’s toes in a blink of an eye with this lightning-fast slide tackle.
Helix Kick: Bamboozle the goalie with this insane corkscrew shot.
Banana Kick: Put extreme bend on the ball – the keeper won’t know which way to turn.
Chopper: A spinning tackle frenzy that will send anyone in your path flying – including your own teammates!
Unstoppable Rush: Release that pent up aggression by knocking over anyone that gets in your way as you charge towards goal.
Cat-like Grace: Glide through tackles and defense like a knife through butter.
Stealth Attack: When Sam Fisher turns on his night-vision goggles nobody can see him – ideal for getting through on goal undetected.
Eagle Strike: Altair’s assassin training helps him to launch into the air and unleash a lethal strike that will take out the keeper before it hits the back on the net.
Acrobatic Leap: Why go through the defence when you can just leap over it? The other team won’t expect that!
Plunger Shot: The Rabbid weapon of choice makes for a very potent shot at goal.
Photo Fanatic: Jade will use the flash of her camera to temporarily stun her opponents and make them lose the ball.
Perfect Dribble: Opponents will be stunned by Pele’s unbelievable ball skills rendering them unable to stop him.
Bicycle Smash: Mia Hamm’s stunning backflip bicycle kick makes her one of the best strikers around.
Speed Burst: An explosion of pace that will help you catch up to opponents.
Dodge Move: Jump over or go around players quickly with these cool and easy to use tricks.

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6th August 2009

Corel Announces Winners of CorelDRAW International Design Contest

corelDRAWOttawa – Corel Corporation today announced the winners of the CorelDRAW® International Design Contest. Submissions were received from users in more than sixty countries reflecting the product’s global popularity and appeal. Introduced as part of the company’s 20th Anniversary Celebration for CorelDRAW Graphics Suite, the contest was designed to

Portrait of a Rose

Portrait of a Rose

celebrate the diversity, creativity and talent of the global CorelDRAW user community.

“All of the entries we received reflect the dedication, spirit and amazing talent of our global community of CorelDRAW users,” said John Falsetto, Product Manager for CorelDRAW Graphics Suite. “We were absolutely blown away by the quality of the submissions and had a tough time narrowing it down to our selected winners. Our users continually inspire us and we are delighted to have had this chance to see even more examples of how CorelDRAW Graphics Suite makes a difference in the lives – and livelihoods – of our most loyal users.”

Corel is pleased to recognize the first-place winners in each of the contest’s six categories:

  • Advertising/Marketing – Juarez Jr. da Silva, Brazil
  • Promotional/Personalization/Awards  – Aleksey Oglushevich, Russia
  • Vehicle Wraps – Arief Rachman, Indonesia
  • Textile/Fashion Design – Junior Souza, Brazil
  • General Illustration and Fine Art – Aleksey Oglushevich, Russia
  • Academic (student submissions) – Fong-Chow Chiang, Taiwan

Drawn from all corners of the globe, these winners reflect the growing popularity of CorelDRAW Graphics Suite in emerging markets such as Latin America, Eastern Europe and Asia Pacific.

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5th August 2009

Transatlantic Adventures, Turtles Reshelled, Pug Pharm Phunding And Other News

VancouverDeep Fried Entertainment COO Brenda Bailey has embarked on a big adventure with newDeep Fried Entertainment hubby Eli Gershkovitch, owner of Steamworks Brewing Co., one of our favourite places to go in Vancouver. They took off from Vancouver Airport yesterday in their single-engine Cessna 172 for a transatlantic flight to Glasgow, Scotland. The flight path will take them over the northern Arctic regions of Canada, Greenland, Iceland and then the UK. Brenda and Eli have planned stops in Williams Lake BC, Edson and Fort MacMurray Alberta, Stony Rapids  Saskatchewan, with Rankin Inlet and Iqaluit in Nunavut being among their last stops in Canada. Then it will be over to Kangerlussuaq and Kulusuk in Greenland, Reykjavik, Iceland and Vagar in the Faroe Islands before arriving in Glasgow. You can track their flight on GPS and follow their adventures on BlogSpot. We here at Village Gamer wish Brenda and Eli a safe trip, and we look forward to hearing all about their big adventures through the daily updates.

UbisoftThe Turtles are backUbisoft Montreal has announced that the remake of 1991’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time Reshelled (developed by Ubisoft Singapore) has launched on XBL Arcade today. The download costs 800 Microsoft points, and has made the resident cavechild very happy – this was one of his favourite games when he was younger – and of course he now needs a new points card.

Pug Pharm Productions Inc. has announced that it has received funding from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP). This contribution, in addition toPug Pharm both technical and business-oriented advisory services provided by NRC-IRAP, will enable Pug Pharm to develop innovative games. The company’s strategic focus is on the intersection between social networking applications and online games – combining the best technical and design elements of both areas. Pug Pharm is committed to developing online games that combine the engagement of traditional video games with the technologies of social networking applications. Led by Bocska—formerly of Radical/Vivendi, EA/BlackBox, Disney Interactive, and co-founder of Hothead Games—Pug Pharm endeavors to leverage this combination into never-before-seen gameplay elements that appeal to global audiences.

“As a Canadian start-up, this generous support from NRC-IRAP is integral to our growth and development. It allows us to build new and exciting technologies that will facilitate deep, rich online social networking experiences,” stated Steve Bocska, CEO of Pug Pharm. “We are excited about the tremendous opportunities that are emerging with the convergence between online games and social networking technologies. We are looking forward to announcing specific games as they near launch.”

New Media BCNew Media BC has put out a call for entries for the Digital Springboard Mentorship Programme. This programme will pair successful applicants with a Mentor for 4 months or more to help you move forward with your company. Digital Springboard is a free advisory service and mentorship programme for emerging companies being administered by New Media BC and supported by the National Research Council – IRAP:

– 6 or more companies will be selected to be matched with veteran experts
– These mentors will provide free advisory service for at least 4 months
– They will help companies solve specific business/technical problems
– Deadline for submission: Aug 12, 2009

Eligible companies must be developing products for interactive entertainment (games), interactive design and marketing, digital animation/film and mobile content.

Audiokinetic will be taking Wwise on the road this fall, with stops in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle audiokineticand Vancouver. The presentation will include presentations and training sessions for Wwise and SoundSeed, an audio post-mortem by an Audiokinetic customer and a networking cocktail. Wwise is the platform being used by Ubisoft to deliver the sound in Assassin’s Creed 2. Audiokinetic is also hiring – they are looking for a Senior C++ Designer/Developer and a Development Team Leader.

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5th August 2009

Ontario Enhances Support For Innovative Companies

OntarioToronto – The $250 million dollar Ontario Emergent Technologies Fund is now officially open for business, ready to co-invest – along with qualified venture capital funds and other private investors – directly into companies in high-growth sectors that are aligned with Ontario’s Innovation Agenda:

  • Clean technology
  • Life sciences and advanced health technology
  • Digital media and information and communications technology.

The fund is designed to help innovative technology companies find the capital they need to grow in Ontario. It was announced by the province in March, 2009, in response to the current economic conditions and the reduction in investment capital available to emerging and high-growth companies.

Guidelines for investment are now available on the Ontario Capital Growth website.

“The Emerging Technologies Fund is one more step the Ontario government is taking to help ensure that innovative people and companies have access to the capital they need to continue growing their business and creating jobs in Ontario,” said Minister of Research and Innovation, John Milloy

QUICK FACTS

  • Ontario’s Emerging Technologies Fund will address a lack of venture capital activity by co-investing with qualified investors directly into high-growth technology companies.
  • Eligible companies must have a significant corporate footprint in Ontario.
  • This initiative complements the $205-million (£112 million) Ontario Venture Capital Fund, a partnership between Ontario and leading corporate and institutional investors that is investing in venture capital and growth equity funds that support innovative, high-growth companies.
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4th August 2009

Assassin’s Creed 2 Master’s Edition Announced

UbisoftI am so pre-ordering this package!

The Package

MontrealUbisoft has announced that Assassin’s Creed® II Limited Edition: Master Assassin’s Edition will be on store shelves this November 17th. The Master’s Edition for PS3 and Xbox 360 has an MSRP of $89.99 and will include the following in a premium collectible tin:

*Ezio collectable statue (8.5 inches tall)
*Exclusive in-game map: Santa Maria Dei Frari – Limited Edition Exclusive
*Exclusive in-game map for Gamestop Pre-orders: Plazzo Medici
*The Art of Assassin’s Creed II hard-covered art book

Additional Bonus Disc which includes:

*Behind the scenes of Assassin’s Creed II
*Assassin’s Creed II soundtrack

…along with much more.

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