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11th March 2009

Vancouver 2010 Video Game To Be Developed by Eurocom

SEGASEGA® Corporation today announced an exclusive partnership with International Sports Multimedia (ISM), the official licensee of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to develop Vancouver 2010™ – the Official Video Game of the Olympic Winter Games. The game is being developed by Eurocom Entertainment Software for PC, the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system, and the PlayStation®3 yvr2010computer entertainment system. Vancouver 2010™ is an authentic simulation of a host of events from the upcoming Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, focusing on the adrenalin rush that comes from the extreme speed of winter sports. Including the all new challenge mode, it will allow players to immerse themselves in the world’s greatest sporting event like never before.

“Vancouver 2010™ will set a new standard for the Olympic-themed video games genre,” commented Hugh Binns, Director of Eurocom Development Ltd., developers of Vancouver 2010™. “With the innovative first person mode to immerse players even more in the game, an all new challenge mode providing hours of entertainment and stunning high definition graphics, Vancouver 2010™ will be a fantastic experience.”
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28th February 2009

Activision And Nelvana Announce Upcoming Video Games Based On Toy Of The Year Winner Bakugan

NelvanaTorontoActivision Publishing, Inc. has announced an agreement with Corus Entertainment Inc.’s Nelvana Enterprises to develop and distribute video games based on the breakout hit toy and wildly popular action animated television series Bakugan. The first Bakugan game will be released for Wii™, Nintendo DS™, ActivisionXbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, and PLAYSTATION®3 and PlayStation®2 computer entertainment systems in the fall of 2009.

Bakugan“Bakugan’s success in 2008 speaks for itself and we’re confident it will be even bigger in 2009,” said David Oxford, Activision Publishing. “It is our goal to expand this proven property in a way that both fans and gamers will love.”

“Ever since Bakugan exploded in popularity, players have been clamoring for a video game version,” said Doug Murphy, President, Nelvana and GM, Corus Kids. “We share our fans’ excitement in doing battle in an interactive Bakugan world!”

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24th February 2009

Hothead Games and Indie Developers Team Up to Bring Games to New Platforms

Hothead GamesVancouver Hothead Games revealed today its plans for a one-of-a-kind model of collaboration with other top-notch independent developers. This unique collaborative effort marries indie studios’ creative game designs with Hothead Games’ multi-platform development and digital distribution expertise to bring award-winning titles to new gaming platforms.

Among the first to join in this effort is Jonathan Blow, whose 2008 launch of Braid via Xbox LIVE® Arcade amazed gamers with its innovative game play and distinctive art style. Hothead Games is partnering with Blow to bring his ground-breaking game to the Mac® platform and has secured exclusive digital publishing rights to that version.

Further, Hothead Games has forged a new fellowship with The Maw developer Twisted Pixel. Launched last month on Xbox LIVE® Arcade, Hothead will deliver The Maw to the Windows® platform, integrating special features to make the crowd-pleaser compatible with multiple as-of-yet-unannounced digital distribution platforms and services.

“We focus on finding new distribution opportunities so that they can focus on what they do best: developing their next great game,” said Hothead Games COO Joel DeYoung. “These two titles represent only the tip of the iceberg. We’re committed to working with indies and helping them be successful, so look for lots more announcements to come.”

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18th February 2009

New Mobile Gaming Developer Sets Up Shop In Vancouver

Genius Factor GamesVancouver-based Genius Factor Games has announced their first video game release for the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch. The company has also launched a new corporate Web site and a gaming industry blog.Genius Factor’s first title will be available on iTunes and the Apple App Store this spring. “It’s a fun puzzle game with a unique twist only possible on the iPhone and iPod Touch” indicates Cory Yip, Creative Director. “These mobile devices make great gaming platforms, which really surprises some people” he adds.

“In light of recent news for our industry, with serious layoffs, delays, and cutbacks at several major studios, some people wonder why we have chosen to launch now,” says Genius Factor’s president, Ted Nugent. We’re a small and nimble group, allowing us to react quickly to obstacles and opportunities in these challenging times. More importantly, however, we saw a real gap in the market for engaging, professionally-built casual games.”

The Genius Factor Games team is composed of industry veterans from some of the top studios in Vancouver and California. “That’s another reason we’re excited to launch the company at this time,” Nugent says. “The talent pool right now is incredible. Here we have people who revolutionized some of the most popular video games of the last two decades working side by side, pioneering a whole new field of casual entertainment.”

A new Web site at www.GeniusFactorGames.com has been launched to support the company and the announcement of their first title. It will feature an industry blog to keep tabs on video games, mobile devices, the game development process, and other news and opinions.

Focusing on a pick up and play, two to five minute gaming experience, Genius Factor plans to release a series of on-the-go titles throughout 2009.

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17th February 2009

amBX and Ubisoft announce agreement to amBX-enable Tom Clancy’s EndWar

UbisoftMontrealamBX today further strengthened its partnership with Ubisoft via an agreement to amBX-enable Tom Clancy’s EndWar on PC.

Set on the battlefields of World War III, Tom Clancy’s EndWar is a pioneering real time strategy game that pushes the envelope of technology with its revolutionary voice-command system. The addition of amBX enhances this innovative game with real-world sensory experiences – using light, colour, rumble and even air flow – through licensed amBX peripherals, including LED lights, variable speed desktop fans and rumblers.EndWar

The agreement to amBX-enable EndWar will see a huge range of lighting effects add realism to the theatre of war, including colours that reflect the changing landscape, environment, weather formations and time of day, as well as creating a real sense of movement and immersion. Of course, dynamic weapon fire will flash fiercely whenever large weapons are discharged.

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17th February 2009

Catching Up On A Few Stories

Vancouver – Over the past two weeks I haven’t had as much time as usual to search out the news from Canada’s digital media industry, so I’m taking a different angle tonight to catch up on a few things. One of the reasons for the busy schedule on our end was a visit to Vancouver by representatives of World Cyber Games, Inc. They have been visiting cities around the world scouting possible future locations for a variety of World Cyber Games events. During their visit, the representatives had a chance to tour Relic Entertainment, EA Burnaby, the Great Northern Way Campus, the Electric Playground studio, then attended a small reception hosted by Radical Entertainment and the SIGGRAPH presentation of Modern Princesses given by Ubisoft Montreal – but more on that later in this post. Thank you to everyone who took part in the tours and events.

Game Design ExpoThe month began in the best way possible with the Game Design Expo presented by Vancouver Film School. This two day expo which features the top guest speakers is one of the consistently best-run events around. Every seminar and panel topic was relevant to today’s game development industry, and it’s small wonder why GDX sells out every year. Over the next short time, I will be posting articles about the seminars – and hopefully once you’ve read them, if you weren’t at GDX this year, you’ll make a note to attend next year. Aside from the myriad of topics and opportunities to learn, the biggest announcement at this year’s event was the estalishment of the Women In Games International $30 000.00 – $47 000.00 full scholarship. This scholarship will provide full tuition for a female game design student to attend the VFS Game Design Programme. Other scholarships announced range from $2000.00 to $7000.00, and are sponsored by G4techTV, EA, Big Fish Games, Annex Pro, Obsidian Entertainment, and Radical Entertainment.

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16th February 2009

Game Developers Conference Canada First Sessions Announced

GDC CanadaVancouver – The Game Developers Conference Canada® is the premier forum for Canadian developers to share best practices for creating games with long production cycles, large development teams, and multi-platform releases. Unique to GDC Canada, is its focus on production cycle improvements every game professional can make to build innovative and quality games. Collaborate with industry veterans from EA, Propaganda Games, Next Level Games, Radical Entertainment, Relic Entertainment and more.

GDC Canada Featured Sessions

Concept/Preproduction Track Featured Sessions

  • Realism in Animation. Misnomer or Oxymoron? – Speaker: Owen Hurley (Relic Entertainment)
  • The IP Toolkit: Making Ideas Real – Speaker: Eric Holmes (Radical Entertainment)

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12th February 2009

BioWare Reveals All Six Dragon Age Origin Stories

BioWare Edmonton – Leading video game developer BioWare™, a division of Electronic Arts Inc. announced today the highly anticipated details of all six Origin Stories featured in the upcoming dark, heroic fantasy Dragon Age™: Origins. Each Origin Story starts the player off with a unique series of locations, characters and events that establish their motivations and lay the groundwork for the adventure to come.

With each Origin Story boasting several hours of unique game play, as well as challenging Dragon Agestrategic combat and exploration, these 6 distinct preludes make Dragon Age: Origins the first BioWare game to offer not only multiple endings, but also multiple beginnings. Players will start their adventure in one of the following roles:

Dalish Elf

As one of the last “true elves”, you were content to spend your life wandering with your clan…until a chance encounter with a relic of your people’s past threatens to tear you away from everything you’ve known.
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10th February 2009

Cerebral Vortex Games To Develop iPhone Game Ghost Breaker

Cerebral VortexSt. Catherine’s ONCerebral Vortex Games Inc., a St. Catharines, Ontario-based developer of casual videogames, is pleased to announce that they have been granted funding from the Ontario Media Development Corporation’s Screen-based Content Initiative.

The funding will be used to develop a prototype iPhone/iPod Touch game, codenamed “Ghost Breaker.” More details on this action-horror title will be revealed at a later date.

“The Screen-based Content Initiative is funding 60 projects chosen from over 330 proposed projects by 167 different companies. Our game is one of the lucky 60, and one of only six videogame concepts approved,” said Keith Makse, President of Cerebral Vortex Games. “Once again, our games stand out from the crowd.”

“The iPhone offers many opportunities for innovative gameplay,” said Jason MacIsaac, Design Director with Cerebral Vortex Games. “That’s why Ghost Breaker is a natural fit.”

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9th February 2009

Official Video Game of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games – SEGA Announces Publishing Agreement

SEGATokyoSEGA® Corporation today announced a worldwide agreement with International Sports Multimedia (ISM), exclusive licensee of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), to once again become the sole approved video game publisher of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada. After an extremely successful series of video games from the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, this exclusive license will allow SEGA to once more publish the only official interactive entertainment software titles of the world’s most famous sporting event.

Through this agreement, SEGA secures the sole rights to publish console, PC/Macintosh, handheld, arcade, and mobile games worldwide. Under this exclusive license, SEGA will publish a wide variety of games with winter sports and events including skiing, skating, and snowboard bearing the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games emblem.
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