21st July 2011

Ubisoft Unveils Rocksmith

ubisoftUbisoft will redefine music gaming with the release of Rocksmith in October 2011. Rocksmith is the first and only music video game where players can plug into any electric guitar. Every copy of the game will include a Rocksmith™ Real Tone Cable, a standard quarter-inch to USB cable allowing guitars to be played through an Xbox 360®, a PlayStation®3 or a PC for the first time. Players can access an in-depth library of music including everything from the latest hits to classic rock songs.

Rocksmith features gameplay that automatically adjusts to the player’s skill level, mini-games to help hone specific skills, a split-screen multiplayer option, and a first-person perspective that puts the player on stage. Rocksmith will feature a huge variety of in-game effects pedals that allow users to customize and reproduce their favourite tones. Its innovative game design makes reading music visually fun and intuitive. The game includes a sizable catalogue of music from classic rock bands such as The Animals, David Bowie and The Rolling Stones, to current artists like The Black Keys and Interpol.

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“Canadian music and game lovers can be among the first in the world to try out Rocksmith at select, high profile music events this summer,” says Lucile Bousquet, Director of Marketing and Communications for Ubisoft Canada. “Rocksmith not only engages experienced musicians, it’s also exciting for those who are playing a guitar for the very first time.”

Canadians are invited to pick up a guitar and try out Rocksmith at official Rocksmith Rehearsal Studios across the country, which are designed to look and feel like an authentic garage-style rehearsal studio space. The Rocksmith Rehearsal studios will be located at some of the country’s biggest rock music festivals including:

  • Heavy TO in Toronto: July 23-24
  • Osheaga Music and Arts Festival in Montreal: July 29-31
  • Sonic Boom in Edmonton: September 3
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11th July 2011

Alvin and the Chipmunks Will Be Chipwrecked This Fall

behaviour interactiveMajesco Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products and Bagdasarian Productions have announced plans to release the Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked video game, which is based on the third installment of the blockbuster animated feature film franchise, coming to theatres this December 16th.

Scheduled to launch this November, the game is currently in development at Behaviour Interactive and lets players sing and dance along with the film’s stars Alvin, Simon, Theodore and The Chipettes (Brittany, Eleanor and Jeanette), in an immersive motion-based experience. The Kinect™ for Xbox 360® version tracks full body dance moves as players control their Chipmunk on stage, and plays back their “Alvin-ized” voice as they sing along. The game will also be available for both the Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS.

“The Alvin brand has proven to be evergreen with universal awareness and growing appeal,” said Jesse Sutton, CEO, Majesco Entertainment. “The extensive customization and combination of dancing and singing to contagious Chipmunk music will deliver a full-featured experience based on the upcoming movie that the whole family can enjoy together.”

“This game will bring fans even closer to the fun and music of Alvin and the Chipmunks by taking full advantage of the Kinect for Xbox 360,” said Gary Rosenfeld, Senior Vice President, New Media for Fox Consumer Products. “It’s going to be the perfect complement to the upcoming film and we know that fans are going to love it.”

The forthcoming Alvin and the Chipmunks movie finds the trio vacationing aboard a luxury cruise liner, turning it into their personal playground until they become ‘chipwrecked’ on a remote island. The Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked video game continues the story with an around-the-world journey that has The Chipmunks visiting six tropical locations inspired by the movie. Hear your voice “Alvin-ized” when you sing along with the game and unleash your “Munk Power” to perform ultra-cool dance moves.

The Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked video game features include:

  • Sing and dance as any of The Chipmunks and The Chipettes — Alvin, Simon, Theodore, Brittany, Jeanette and Eleanor.
  • Perform more than 50 different dance moves to electrify the crowd with your on screen performance.
  • Customize your Chipmunk before you hit the stage by choosing from a huge range of styles and accessories.
  • Experience the movie in Story Mode with environments inspired by the film.
  • Hear your voice “Alvin-ized” during your on-stage performance using the Kinect for Xbox 360.
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30th June 2011

Just Dance 3 And Katy Perry Coming To A Party Near You

ubisoftThe world’s most popular dance game, Just Dance®, will launch its third title, Just Dance 3, worldwide on October 11. Developed by Ubisoft® Paris and Ubisoft Montreal, Just Dance 3 will mark the game’s debut on Kinect™ for Xbox 360® and the PlayStation® Move for PlayStation®3. The new title will also be available on the latest Wii™.

In addition to the game’s exciting 40-track song list, Just Dance 3 introduces exclusive new game features such as four-player choreographies, a DJ feature that allows custom mixing, freestyle dance options, a new “Shout Out!” feature on Kinect where players can score extra points by belting out their favorite songs – and much, much more!

“As part of the highly anticipated launch, Just Dance 2 will be featured in Katy Perry’s new music video ‘Last katy perry Just Dance 3Friday Night’. The game will also become an official sponsor of Katy Perry’s 2011 North American California Dreams Tour,” says Lucile Bousquet, Director of Marketing and Communications for Ubisoft Canada. “Our fans really connect with Katy Perry, and we’re excited to be teaming up with such a renowned hit singer.”

The Just Dance 2 concert sponsorship includes a contest where fans can win a once-in-a-lifetime chance to meet Miss Perry. The ‘Just Dance Your Way to Katy Perry’ contest challenges fans to record themselves and their friends dancing to Katy’s ‘Firework’ on Just Dance 2® in an effort to win VIP tickets and meet-and-greet passes to Katy’s U.S. and Canadian shows. “I’m a fan of Just Dance 2®, and I’m glad it brings people together to dance, just like I get to do on my tour,” says chart-topping Katy Perry.

The Canadian leg of the California Dreams Tour begins in Toronto on June 29th and ends in Vancouver on July 19th.

To round out the pre-launch excitement, a Canadian Facebook contest will be unveiled in late July, where one lucky winner and a guest will be flown to Toronto for a VIP experience complete with accommodations at a hip hotel, a shopping spree, dinner at a trendy restaurant and tickets to a top concert.

Featured tracks in Just Dance 3:

  • 2 Unlimited – “No Limit”
  • Black Eyed Peas – “Pump It”
  • Duck Sauce – “Barbra Streisand”
  • Groove Century – “Boogie Wonderland”
  • Gwen Stefani – “What You Waiting For”
  • Katy Perry – “California Gurls”
  • Kiss – “I Was Made For Lovin’ You”
  • Laura Bell Bundy – “Giddy On Up (Giddy On Out)”
  • LMFAO featuring Lauren Bennett and GoonRock – “Party Rock Anthem”
  • MIKA – “Lollipop”
  • Taio Cruz – “Dynamite”

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27th June 2011

Ubisoft Announces Black Eyed Peas Experience

ubisoftUbisoft® has announced the development of The Black Eyed Peas® Experience video game, the second game in the multi-million selling ‘Experience’ franchise. The new dance game will feature fun and dance moves as well as hit songs and fan favorites from The Black Eyed Peas multi-platinum selling catalog. It will be released on the Kinect™ for Microsoft Xbox 360® and Nintendo Wii™.

“The Black Eyed Peas are the perfect artists to headline our next Experience game. Their award-winning music, dance moves and artistic style will be combined into a gaming experience that will excite both fans of the group and those who enjoy playing dance titles,” said Yves Guillemot, co-founder and chief executive officer of Ubisoft. “The Black Eyed Peas are a worldwide phenomenon and Ubisoft is the worldwide leader in dance games – together we are going to make The Black Eyed Peas Experience a game that fans around the world will love.”The Black Eyed Peas Experience

Ubisoft’s Experience franchise has sold more than three million copies to date by making an artist’s universe accessible to fans in an interactive and immersive game. The Black Eyed Peas Experience takes that concept even further, and features a comprehensive selection of the The Black Eyed Peas’ hit music tracks as well as dance routines arranged by the group’s famed choreographer, Fatima Robinson. In the Microsoft Xbox 360 version of the game, which Ubisoft is developing in partnership with renowned music game developers iNiS, players will control their on-screen avatar via the Kinect™ for Microsoft Xbox 360® entertainment system while following the dance moves of 3D avatars, including avatars of each of The Black Eyed Peas: apl.de.ap, Fergie, Taboo and will.i.am.

The Wii™ version of The Black Eyed Peas Experience, being developed by Ubisoft Quebec, will feature game play similar to Ubisoft’s Just Dance titles, where players hold a Wii™ Remote and follow the moves of the The Black Eyed Peas’ on-screen avatars.

“We are thrilled to be working with Ubisoft to create The Black Eyed Peas Experience video game,” shared will.i.am, frontman for The Black Eyed Peas®. “Ubisoft has both redefined and dominated the dance category in the video game industry and we can’t wait to be part of taking that to the next level by infusing an experience that’s 100 percent authentic to The Black Eyed Peas.”

 

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6th June 2011

Ubisoft Announces Just Dance 3

ubisoftUbisoft® announced the joint development of Just Dance® 3 by Ubisoft Paris and Ubisoft Montreal. The third game in the multi-million selling Just Dance franchise, Just Dance 3 marks the debut of the Just Just Dance 3Dance series on Kinect™ for Xbox 360®and the PlayStation®Move forPlayStation®3, and the latest installment of the series on the Wii™ system from Nintendo. Developed by Ubisoft Paris and Ubisoft Montreal, Just Dance 3 will be released worldwide on October 11.

“The Just Dance brand has truly become a worldwide phenomenon with over 30 million people playing Just Dance,” said Olivier Ernst, director of Ubisoft Canada. “Fans play Just Dance at parties with friends, at home with the family, and as part of an active lifestyle to stay fit or even lose weight. Ubisoft is excited to bring Just Dance 3 to all motion platforms and give even more people the opportunity to enjoy the fun.”

Featuring more than 40 tracks across a wide range of musical genres, including pop, hip-hop, rock, R&B, country, disco, funk, and more, Just Dance 3 introduces a number of new game features that take advantage of the unique mechanics of each console. To get the party started, Just Dance 3 includes some of today’s hottest hits as well as classic dance tracks that everyone loves.

Confirmed tracks for Just Dance 3 include:

  • 2 Unlimited – “No Limit”
  • Black Eyed Peas – “Pump It”
  • Duck Sauce – “Barbra Streisand”
  • Groove Century – “Boogie Wonderland”
  • Gwen Stefani – “What You Waiting For”
  • Katy Perry – “California Gurls”
  • Kiss – “I Was Made For Lovin’ You”
  • Laura Bell Bundy – “Giddy On Up (Giddy On Out)”
  • LMFAO featuring Lauren Bennett and GoonRock – “Party Rock Anthem”
  • MIKA – “Lollipop”
  • Taio Cruz – “Dynamite”

In addition to this exciting tracklist, Just Dance 3 introduces exclusive new game features on all three motion-control platforms, such as four-player choreographies and dynamic environments on Wii and the new “Shout Out!” feature on Kinect, which allows players to score extra points by belting out their favorite song verse. This, combined with the entertaining and unique choreography developed by professional dancers, will provide players with the fun and accessible challenges they are looking for and ensuring that Just Dance 3 will get the world dancing.

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19th April 2011

iRok2 Introduces Next Generation Music Game With Playbook Debut

iRok2 mediaKelowna-based iRok2 Media Inc. has announced the Playbook App release of its iRok2 Online social music game. iRok2 for BlackBerry PlayBook, a free app available on BlackBerry App World, provides users with a new rhythm music game customized and synchronized to a YouTube music video every day.  As well, it serves as a gateway to the infinite choice of iRok2 Online – essentially all the world’s music, more than 16 million tracks.  The game is quickly gathering user acceptance, already logging over a quarter million play sessions with users from North America, Asia and Europe.  iRok2 is accessible from anywhere – home, office or remote connection and can be played through a computer keyboard or by plugging a Guitar Hero or Rock Band guitar into your computer. Online play is free as well.

iRok2 CEO, Dr. Robert Arn, commented on the PlayBook introduction, “The unique rapid development capabilitities, high performance video streaming and support of Adobe Flash on the PlayBook platform have allowed us to create a Playbook App from elements of our online game – even before PlayBook hardware was available and our iRok2 Online game was still in Beta testing.”  Dr. Arn added, “Such speed and flexibility allow us to experiment with building synergy between pad, mobile and computer game versions in a totally new way.”irok2 media

iRok2 is based on new, patent-pending technology that automates the production of custom music games.  iRok2 servers analyze music videos as they stream from YouTube and create a unique custom game for each video.  If a user wants to play with a video that is not already in the catalog, it takes only a single click to request a new custom game which will appear in the catalog, available for everyone.  Users have already built up the iRok2 catalog to over ten thousand custom games and there is no barrier to it growing to match the scale of the tens of millions of available YouTube music videos – including the new ones that appear every day.  In play, the video streams to the player directly from YouTube and the custom game synchronizes to the video without storing or modifying the video or music in any way – in effect, an internet air guitar.

As well, iRok2 breaks down the barriers between players. iRok2 is a social game that allows players to connect to others of similar tastes around the world.  Players can issue direct challenges to other players or join in real-time multi-user tournaments.  A unique in-game scoring monitor allows players to directly see how their performance compares to others second-by-second, not just in final scores.

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17th March 2011

New Initiatives Designed To Save You Money

Orby - Proud to be CanadianAs the week draws nearer to a close, there is no sign of slow-down in Canadian digital media activity. Tonight Scott and Mike will be checking out an event at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre hosted by AnnexPro and Avid, while I’ll be over in Yaletown at a Women In Games Vancouver board meeting. Don’t forget that our Women In Games March Martini night (sorry guys, ladies only) is next Thursday, March 24th at Rogue.

Congratulations are due to the Ubisoft Montreal Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood team, who picked up the BAFTA in the UK last night for top Action Game and to the Bioware team who garnered the Best Game award for Mass Effect 2.

big book driveI keep forgetting to tell you all about the huge Book Drive that’s been going on in BC, so I left the page open to the site to remind myself because I tend to be forgetful. The next big event is this weekend, March 19 & 20th, at the Salvation Army Divisional Headquarters located at 3833 Henning Drive in Burnaby. Drawing directly from the information on the Book Drive site:

The Big Book Drive is a two-day event aimed to help the less-fortunate and low-income families so that they may gain a better education in the future. Oftentimes after we’ve read a book, we leave it lying around without touching it for years. This is wasteful of Earth’s resources, and it does not have to be so. These books can be used to help others, so make The Big Book Drive your way of giving back to the community. Our goal is to collect as many books as possible. The books will either be sold at used bookstores to generate proceeds, donated to the charities we’re working with, or recycled to be remade into new books. Either way, 100% of the proceeds will be donated, because we want to help others just as much as you do!

I hope that if you are able to help out, you can. The organization is looking for textbooks, journals, comic books, novels, children’s books, magazines and catalogues. No adult material, newspapers or eBooks on CD/DVD, though.xna

Students in need of software should check out Microsoft initiative DreamSpark. Verified Microsoft Canadastudents can gain access to licensed Microsoft products, including XNA Studio 4, Visual Studio, Expression, Robotics Developer and more. You now have fewer reasons to not get out there and create something. Go, go, go!

Microsoft Canada also offers assistance to small-medium businesses with volume licensing programs designed to Hasbrosave money and get companies creating. It’s worth your time to check out what is available for you.

On Saturday March 19th, let the games begin as YTV WOW! Let it rip with non-stop action and adventure with Hasbro’s Beyblade: Metal Fusion Battle Zone. Beyblade fans can come out to the Real Canadian Superstore at 51 Gerry Fitzgerald Drive in Toronto and battle it out for prizes and gift packs from 10am until 4pm.

Government of CanadaSpeaking of availability, the Government of Canada has launched its Open Data Pilot Project, which is designed to improve the ability of the public to find, download and use Government of Canada data. You are invited to search the catalogue, download datasets and explore the possibilities of Open Data. This project could go a long way towards helping businesses gain access to research data they may require for such activities as market research or even finding new business partners.

As part of the Government of Canada’s efforts to drive innovation and economic opportunities for all Canadians, the Honourable Stockwell Day, President of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway launched the pilot project for an online Open Data Portal following public consultations on the digital economy strategy which saw Canadians asking for open data to be made available in more usable and accessible formats.

“The Government of Canada is launching its Open Data Portal to make a large amount of data accessible through a single window,” said Minister Day. “With this portal, application developers can reuse data for commercial or research purposes to benefit all Canadians in a variety of ways. We want to continue to make Canada one of the best places to do business by ensuring that Canadian entrepreneurs, researchers, academics and voluntary organizations have access to government data in useful formats to help foster innovation, job creation and community services for Canadians.”

This pilot portal will make more than 260,000 datasets from the following ten participating departments available to all Canadians: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada; Citizenship and Immigration Canada; Environment Canada; Department of Finance Canada; Fisheries and Oceans Canada; Library and Archives Canada; Natural Resources Canada; Statistics Canada; Transport Canada and the Treasury Board Secretariat. The pilot phase will take place over a 12-month period, during which the government will continue to increase the number of datasets available to users.

get georgeI just found out about this service today, when the company began following me on Twitter, so I haven’t really had a chance to look very deep into the site and get all of the details, but Get George, which is based in Vancouver, looks like it may be a program that is advantageous to smartphone users. Get George is a free download in the iTunes and Android shops, and looks like it could end up saving people some serious money – but as I don’t have a smartphone, and haven’t yet investigated the services offered, please be sure to read the application’s FAQs and service conditions before use.

square enixWith the August 23rd release of Deus Ex: Human Revolution drawing nearer every day, Square Enix is looking for a location to open another Canadian studio. Personally I’m rooting for Vancouver, but Toronto and a second Montreal location are also in the running. I imagine that the publisher will be looking closely at incentives offered by each province, and while another studio in Montreal would be convenient for the Eidos Montreal crew, I’m hoping that the proximity of Vancouver to the Square Enix headquarters in Tokyo will give the city an edge in the running. The time line for the new studio looks to be for a 2012 opening, with an initial staff of 100.Thumpies for Mac

Big Blue BubbleBig Blue Bubble’s original, award winning and massively fun rhythm game Thumpies is now available in Apple’s Mac App Store. Now Mac owners can test their skills in correctly matching the beat of bouncing Thumpies, and those with the beat skills can progress through songs and the current 15 game levels, unlocking new Thumpies along the way. Suitable for all ages and already available in the iTunes App store, Thumpies uses a mechanic of bouncing in time instead of just a series of notes. The game features a quirky art design accompanied by a unique musical score composed by award winning industry veteran David Kerr sets Thumpies in a genre all its own.

Big Sandwich GamesHoard™ from Big Sandwich Games will release via Steam for your PC and Mac on April 4th, and will retail for $9.99USD. Pre-sales will begin on March 21st with a limited time Hoard-knight“fire-sale” discount of 25%.  In addition, sharing with your friends is rewarded, as a 4-pack of HOARD™ can be purchased for the low price of $28.00.  Steam Play is supported, meaning Steam users who own both a PC and a Mac only need buy the game once.

The Steam version includes the same fire-breathing fun as the PS3 console release plus some brand new features.  The game has 4 modes, over 35 levels, leaderboards, full multiplayer suites (4-player co-op and competitive), and 100+ Steam achievements. In addition, never seen-before features such as Night Mode (for vibrant fiery goodness), a Winter tile set, and new maps are added as a reward for PC and Mac fans’ patience.  Finally, cross-play allows PC and Mac users to compete or cooperate in their quests for gold.

zincroezinc Roe’s latest release is now live. Created for the Family Channel, Hot Ticket is a game of musical and hot ticketeconomic strategy. Players drag and drop locations onto a map to create “Famburg”, a rocking little town that plays host to shows by a wide variety of fictional acts. “The Temper Tantrums”, “Vagablonde”, and “The Jazz Hands”, are among dozens of hilarious characters created to animate locations like “The Golden Cocoon Mall”, The Hideaway” and “Das Beats Dance Club”. The game features colourful artwork, catchy melodies and an appropriate level of economic complexity for school-aged children. There is a demo version available to try out, and if you like the game, you can register to play the full version. Judging from comments posted on the game’s page, Hot Ticket is on its way to becoming a hit casual title.

D-BoxD-Box has announced yet another expansion for this week, citing a new agreement with Germany-based FTT (the company’s first European distributor for its commercial theatre expansion) for two new theatres with Netherlands-based Jogchem’s Theatres known in the market as JT Bioscopen. JT Hoogezand and JT Arnhem will each equip its theatres with respectively 20 and 21 D-BOX MFX Seats. With the introduction of D-BOX at these newest locations, Jogchem’s Theatres will have a total of four movie theatres that offer D-BOX’s motion experience. In addition to the sale of these systems, this deal will also generate licensing fees payable to D-BOX in accordance with the systems’ utilization.

Conservatory Canada invites piano students from across Canada to put their compositional skills to the test for conservatory canadathe first annual Creative Composer’s Competition. Launched as a partnership between Conservatory Canada, Mayfair Music Publishing and Long & McQuade Music Stores, the contest is a unique opportunity for budding composers of all ages to let their talent shine, says Conservatory Canada national executive director, Victoria Warwick.

“There are many students across Canada who love to compose music in all styles,” says Warwick. “We hope this competition will inspire and encourage them in this creative pursuit.”

Piano students of all ages have until May 31 to submit entries through the Conservatory Canada website. Submissions should be written in a contemporary musical style – Jazz, Country, Latin, and Broadway – as included in Conservatory Canada’s Contemporary Idioms Syllabus for Piano.

All submissions will be reviewed by Conservatory Canada examiners with compositional skills, Warwick says. Winners will be announced at Conservatory Canada’s national convocation ceremony in November, and winning compositions will be included in a new Mayfair Music Publication.

“Composition is a natural part of our Contemporary Idioms program,” notes Warwick. “The Creative Composer’s Competition will allow students to showcase their fine work, and by compiling the best-of-the-best in a new publication, teachers and students across Canada will be able to enjoy them.”

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25th February 2011

Follow Friday News

Reminder: Early Bird Registration for the Toronto Screenwriting Conference closes on February 28th.

Contest: Enflick, Inc. is holding a logo re-design contest for the PingChat logo.
Contest: Best Buy Canada and HP Canada have teamed up to revitalize someone’s home office
Contest: SteelSeries is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a huge giveaway.

Giveaway: The iPad HD version of Garage Inc from TransGaming Studios is free until February 28th. Get it now.

Pre-Order: Mac Gamers can pre-order Dragon Age 2 and The Sims Medieval from GameTree Mac. Release dates are March 8th for Dragon Age 2 and March 22nd Victor and Scottfor The Sims Medieval.

Appointment: Michael MacMillan has been appointed to the Fuse Powered Board of Directors. In his role on the company’s board, MacMillan will be responsible for working closely with Fuse Powered’s senior management team in solidifying and executing the company’s strategic direction.

Taking Over The World: Electric Playground is now available for American users of Hulu. Congratulations to everyone at the EP studio!

New Release: IUGO’s first music game Pricklees is now available on the App Store. It’s free so go download now! More characters and tracks may be unlocked for $1.99 USD.pricklees

“We see room for creativity and innovation in the music genre,” states IUGO’s VP of BD Sarah Thomson “What companies like Tapulous have done is incredible. They have proven their formula to be successful time and time again. But we feel there is so much opportunity to create a unique game mechanic and appeal to an even broader market. We wanted to combine the brilliance of music-based games such as the Tap Tap series with the cuteness and personality of broad appeal titles such as Angry Birds.”

Cinematic Intro: A preview of the opening moments from Dawn of War II: Retribution by Relic Entertainment is now live on YouTube. This latest chapter in the Warhammer 40 000 saga will be on store shelves on March 1st

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A special pre-launch event for Retribution was just announced on the Dawn of War community forums. A four hour game play special with members of Relic’s game test team facing off against members of the community. The fun begins at 2pm PST on Sunday, February 27th.

Yummy InteractiveYummy Interactive Inc. has announced a partnership agreement with BattleFront.com, worldwide publisher of wargaming and strategy combat video games. BattleFront.com has selected Yummy Interactive’s GameShield to securely manage licensing and activation of downloadable and mail order game products at its game portal.

“Delivering our games in an unobtrusive, simple download and mail order experience to our community members is paramount to us. With GameShield, we will be able to securely extend our digital products to new channels and also be able to offer game bundles and extra downloadable content, such as add-ons and expansion packs, with a smooth user interface for end users,” said Martin van Balkom, President of BattleFront.com.

“By selecting our complete DRM solution for their PC and Mac game downloads and mail order products, Battlefront.com can further expand their online distribution channel and storefront, confident they can support their partners and optimize digital sales with our flexible license management tools,” said Chris Hennebery, VP Software Distribution at Yummy Interactive. “The premium DRM technology that GameShield provides not only protects content but enables new and secured ways of bringing gamers downloadable games and post-sale content.”

Launch Trailer: Rango The Video Game, developed by Behaviour, will be released next week for  the Nintendo DS, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Here is the newest game trailer.

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Source Studio has released Proto Defense – free downloadable content (DLC) for their space shooter game ProtoGalaxy, on Steam for the PC. The downloadable content delivers a brand new level of play for ProtoGalaxy, enabling players to experience the game’s enhanced editor powers and map-building source studiofeatures.

The DLC will be downloaded automatically for anyone who owns ProtoGalaxy, and to celebrate the DLC launch, ProtoGalaxy is available for 50% off until March 2.  Proto Defense is a completely different genre than the previous levels. The original release of the game consisted of action and adventure levels, where the players were constantly on the offense. The new downloadable content consists of  a tower defense-style level, where players must strategically defend themselves against incoming attacks.protogalaxy

“We’re showcasing a brand new level of game play in ProtoGalaxy that gamers have yet to experience,” said Alex Brown, CEO and founder of Source Studio. “We have been gathering valuable feedback since we released ProtoGalaxy last October, and with the new level added, the game takes on a different dimension of play,” Brown added.

Proto Defense contains the following:

  • New level with tower defense tactics
  • Pick from a big selection of turrets.
  • Reposition your turrets at any time to deal extra damage.
  • Take down huge bosses.
  • Compete in leaderboards for the highest score.
  • Tackle 8 new challenging achievements.
  • Built using the ProtoGalaxy Editor.

In ProtoGalaxy, up to four players can team up, configure their ship and upgrade their weapons in order to defend earth from powerful alien invaders. Throughout the game, players brave fierce battles, solve challenging puzzles, and explore the far reaches of the galaxy in order to end the attacks and rebuild a home for the survivors.

Game features:

  • Level editor
  • Single and multi-player mode (up to 4 players)
  • Array of weapon choice
  • Ship customization with large selection of parts
  • Use physics to solve problems
  • Save progress online and play from anywhere

Source Studio will be attending the Games Developers Conference and will showcasing  ProtoGalaxy, along with the DLC at the Newfoundland and Labrador booth (booth #1924).

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16th February 2011

IUGO Announces Brand New Title

IUGOIUGO’s foray into rhythm-based games has begun with Pricklees. Pricklees is a FREEmium title pricklees titleoffering an appetizer of tracks to play and enjoy for players currently making its way through the submission process at Apple. Additional characters and tracks may be purchased for $1.99 through IAP.

pricklees“We see room for creativity and innovation in the music genre,” states IUGO’s VP of BD Sarah Thomson. “What companies like Tapulous have done is incredible. They have proven their formula to be successful time and time again. But we feel there is so much opportunity to create a unique game mechanic and appeal to an even broader market. We wanted to combine the brilliance of music-based games such as the Tap Tap series with the cuteness and personality of broad appeal titles such as Angry Birds.”pricklees

In this latest offering from IUGO, players will be able to jump, duck and roll to the beat with the Pricklees! Try out IUGO’s latest venture with this unique and highly fun 2D/3D rhythm- based game. This is a music game made for everyone… just try and put it down.

Features include:

3 adorable characters you wish you could cuddle; too bad about those prickles!
Unlock more content through IAP
3 levels of difficulty: easy, medium and hard for tons of replayability
prickleesUnique rhythm-based gameplay
Dead easy controls, intuitive UI
Dynamic 2D/3D environments
7 Fresh Electronic tracks
Look for more songs in future updates

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24th December 2010

Last Minute Gifts and Santa Tracking

Happy Holidays to all of our readers – Stay safe and we’ll see you on the other side of Christmas. Christmas Orby

OnStarIf you’re on the move with kids today in an OnStar-equipped vehicle and they’re worried about missing Santa, never fear, your OnStar connection will set their minds at ease. OnStar advisors will be prepared to give subscribers specific location-based updates on Santa Claus’ journey around the world based on data received in partnership with NORAD. Individuals without an OnStar subscription can visit NORAD’s Santa Site or dial 877 HI-NORAD (877-446-6723) for Santa’s location (hands-free in BC, please – Santa won’t be looking for you in a ditch).

Beginning at 6 a.m. EST on Christmas Eve, OnStar subscribers can press the blue OnStar button in their vehicles to request a “Santa Update”. OnStar advisors will share Santa’s whereabouts through 5 a.m. EST Christmas morning.

“It’s great to provide our customers with a fun, highly informative benefit during the holidays,” said Scott Kubicki, OnStar, executive director, OnStar Sales, Services and Marketing. “Our advisors also enjoy hearing children’s surprise and joy when they learn that St. Nick is only hours away from their home.”

For more than 54 years NORAD has used its North Warning Radar System, geo-synchronous satellites with infrared sensors and other technologies to monitor Santa’s Christmas Eve travels and share the information with children and families around the world.

“We are excited that OnStar is a NORAD Tracks Santa program sponsor once again this year,” said James Graybeal, deputy chief of staff for communication, Headquarters NORAD and USNORTHCOM. “OnStar adds another layer to the program. In addition to tracking Santa on the web or by calling in to the operations center, it’s neat that you can locate Santa by pushing a button in your car, wherever you are.”noahs ark

homick labsHomick Labs has released Noah’s Matching Ark, a fun and educational application for the iPad and iPhone, geared for children aged 2 and up. Kids will love matching the tiles of the various themes and earning stickers to be placed in their sticker album. According to the app’s information page, there are currently three themes available – matching Animals,  Shapes and Numbers; additional themes are downloadable within the app, and parents can configure the app’s difficulty to match their child’s ability.

This free application is currently available for the iPad only, the iPhone version has a projected release date of January 2011.

gametree mac For the Mac gamers in your life, check out all of the Gift Guide Specials over at GameTree Mac; they have a door crasher sale on for Kung Fu Panda at 35% off, and other titles such as Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones and Assassin’s Creed II are available for 10% off. There is a good selection of titles for everyone from kids to adults, including Nancy Drew and Disney Princess: Enchanted Journey, with sale prices in effect until January 3rd, 2011.

EA MobileGive the gift of gaming to Android™ device owners this holiday season! EA Mobile™ offers sale prices on a full selection of games for select Android-based mobile phones – perfect for everyone on your gift giving list.Game Of Life

“Expanding our world-class franchises onto the emerging Android marketplace brings our popular, award-winning games to more phones, more carriers and ultimately, more consumers,” said Adam Sussman, Vice President of Worldwide Publishing for EA Mobile. “This lineup brings fun to everyone – from families playing MONOPOLY to sports fans scoring goals with FIFA 10 – no matter where you are.”

The Sims™ 3, Need for Speed™ Shift, FIFA 10 by EA SPORTS™ and Tetris®, as well as MONOPOLY and THE GAME OF LIFE (under license from Hasbro Inc.) are available on the Android platform. Additional upcoming releases include Worms™ and Bejeweled® 2 from PopCap Games. The games can be downloaded directly to an Android phone by visiting EA’s store on the device or on a PC.

Digital LeisureFor those of you visiting us from Europe, you can now grab a copy of Digital Leisure’s Mix Superstar for your Wii. For 500 Wii Points, you can create, mix and record your own royalty-free musical masterpieces right on your Wii™ system. There are over 1,000 Dance,Mix Superstar Hip Hop and Techno loops included across multiple instruments like Drum, Bass, Synth, Guitar and even voice tracks.

Looking to give your mix a unique flare? Over a dozen new music loop packs will be releasing via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection Pay & Play™ to enhance your music creation experience. Thousands of additional loops from packs like Rock, Pop, Latin, House and even World.

Once you’ve got that next hit created, it’s time to show it off. Mix Superstar allows you to export your music creations, and download them to your computer so you can take them on-the-go. You can also use WiiConnect24™ to send those hits to your Wii Friends and even collaborate on mixes. Also included is full support for both the Logitech® USB Microphone and Wii Speak™ so you can lay down your own vocals on that next hit.

Wicked InteractiveMission Against Terror knows who’s been naughty and who’s been nice, and Toronto publisher Wicked Interactive says “that’s why for all you naughty people out there M.A.T. is bringing you some extra-special holiday cheer. From Saturday, December 25 through Monday, December 27, the action will be non-stop and the stakes never higher. Ladies and gentlemen, we bring you Christmas, M.A.T.-style.”Mission Against Terror

M.A.T. Special Surprise Xmas Events:

· December the 25th, 2010 @ 4:30-6:30 EST – Login Event -> Snowball Grenade (1 Day), Silver Coins +200%, Christmas Hat (1 Day)
· December the 26th, 2010 @ 4:30-6:30 EST – Silver Coins +200%
· December the 27th, 2010 @ 7:30-9:30 EST – Silver Coins +200%

“These events are a perfect complement to the newly unveiled AI Mode,” said Sam Ho, Director, Wicked Interactive. “Think of them as the ultimate way to test out the AI-controlled robots, the 4 new difficulty settings, the Weapon Casting Machine and all the other goodies that AI mode brings.”

Special prizes will be awarded to those with the highest scores at the end of the weekend. But because Christmas is all about surprises, M.A.T. is keeping those prizes a secret until then.

poyntPoynt Corporation and Yellow Pages Group (YPG) have formed an agreement for YPG to provide Canadian business content to the Poynt mobile local search application for BlackBerry, iPhone, Android and Windows Phone 7 smartphones. The five-year agreement, which includes an annual licensing fee, uses Yellow PagesYPG’s public API (YellowAPI) to grant the Poynt app access to the 1.5 million business listings it currently holds. The partnership provides the Poynt app with mobile banner advertising, through Mediative, a recently launched division of YPG which services national accounts.

“YPG has been a tremendous partner as we have evolved and grown,” said Andrew Osis, CEO of Poynt Corp. “We are pleased to continue this relationship as we continue to provide relevant, compelling data to consumers as they go about their daily lives.”

“Our agreement with Poynt emphasizes the opportunities our content can create for local search apps and how YellowAPI can drive additional visibility to our advertisers through partners such as Poynt,” said Stéphane Marceau, Chief Marketing Officer of Yellow Pages Group.

Poynt recently won RIM’s BlackBerry “Super Apps” Developer Challenge and is one of the leading mobile applications for BlackBerry. Poynt is available for download from m.poynt.com or from the respective smartphone app stores.

Photo ZoomMarin Media Group, located in Concord, ON, is pleased to announce the launch of a new & free online photography magazine called Photo Zoom, a publication designed to entertain and inform both amateur and professional photographers. It will be providing you with industry news, reviews, trends, articles, interviews, tutorials, galleries, competitions, advice and much, much more. PhotoZoom Magazine will also be attentive to the reader’s thoughts, viewpoints, reviews, suggestions, and, most importantly, featuring their photos.

“Photo Zoom is a magazine dedicated to the art of photography. In every issue we will go over the ins & outs, the tricks & tips and everything else that has to do with photography”, says Scott Howard, Editor.

PhotoZoom will be viewed and reviewed by local photo clubs, Universities and Colleges offering photography courses, various online social media sites, and online directories pertaining to photography related companies. Whether you are an amateur using a simple point and shoot camera or a professional who relies on photography as his main source of income, as long as you love this inspirational art form, you will enjoy PhotoZoom magazine.

CanadaPassing along a bulletin from International Trade: the following events to take place in March 2011 in Brazil.  The Canadian Consulate in Sao Paulo will be providing support to any Canadian companies planning to attend. Please contact Fernanda Whitaker, Trade Commissioner for New Media and Cultural Industries at the Canadian Consulate General in Sao Paulo for further information and application forms (or your local in-Canada DFAIT rep may also have the applications available).

Brazil-Canada Coproduction Forum *** March 15-16, 2011 – Rio de Janeiro *** On its 4th edition, this event is designed to allow content producers (digital media/TV/Film) from both countries to understand each other’s business environment, markets and discuss potential opportunities for co-production. The Forum will happen in the margins of the Rio Content Market and will be organized by two local industry associations with full support from the Canadian Consulate. The organizers of the Brazil-Canada Coproduction Forum will invite and pay the expenses for a select group of about 15 Canadian delegates to participate . The deadline for Canadian companies that want to be considered for financial assistance granted by the organizers is January 16th, 2011.

GameWorld 2011 *** March 11-13, 2011 – São Paulo *** Three-day event for the gaming industry, including exhibition and conferences. This event takes place over a weekend and traditionally targets end uses. However, for the 2011 edition, GameWorld organizers will prepare a business forum on Friday, March 11th, with matchmaking activities and one-on-one meetings. The Canadian Consulate in Sao Paulo will work with the event organizers to support any delegates coming from Canada.

Rio Content Market *** March 16-18, 2011 – Rio de Janeiro *** This is a large, Brazilian TV Producers (BTVP) initiative that has gained great support from different levels of the Brazilian Government. Rio Content Market is an international conference and market expected to gather over 500 decision makers to discuss the creation and distribution of digital media and multi-platform content. Guest participants and speakers will be invited from the USA, UK, Canada, Europe and Asia. There will be a large contingence of television/feature film/digital media production, broadcasters, telecom operators, etc.

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