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  • Deus Ex Human Revolution E3 Trailer Debuts Worldwide

4th June 2010

Deus Ex Human Revolution E3 Trailer Debuts Worldwide

Eidos MontrealEidos Montreal has released the E3 2010 full trailer for Deus Ex: Human Revolution. The trailer, which draws from the game’s characters, environment and storyline, was produced by Vancouver’s Goldtooth Creative in partnership with Eidos Montreal and Square Enix’s Visual Works (Tokyo). The trailer promises strong writing, a large cast of important characters, intrigue and destruction. Deus Ex 3 is scheduled for release in 2011, and it is definitely on our list of Games We Must Have.

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If you are a fan of Studio B’s animated offerings, The City of Vancouver Archives is holding a special event which will chronicle the legacy of a local company that has become a leader in kids’ entertainment. Studio B’s popular animated series include Kid vs Kat, Martha Speaks, George of the Jungle and Class of the Titans, among many more.Studio B

Taking place at the VanCity Theatre on the evening of June 10th, the presentation will relate the studio’s rapid development from a two-man operation into its current status as a world-renowned production house composed of more than 200 artists and staff. Studio B has been donating its records from 12 original productions and many examples of its service and other work to the City Archives since 2006, preserving these records for generations to come. Tickets for this screening are very reasonable, with the most expensive ticket priced at $10.00.

Peace Arch EntertainmentFor fans of the Ireland-Canada series The Tudors, it is now possible to create your own intrigue on your iPhone. The Tudors, developed by dTales and Slitherine in conjunction with TV production giants Showtime and Peace Arch Entertainment, is an intriguing and exciting adventure game based on Season 1. Follow in the footsteps of King Henry VIII at the beginning of his epic 40-year reign or choose the path of Anne Boleyn, and realize your dream to become Queen of England. As the story unfolds, you will meet over 20 characters from the series, including Cardinal Thomas Wolsey and Sir Thomas More and roam the corridors and staterooms of the Palace of Whitehall, the main residence of the King.

In an evolving sequence of dramatic events, you will be faced with danger, treason and intrigue. As King Henry VIII, you will be challenged by your closest friends and threatened by the menace of war with France. As Lady Anne Boleyn, you will pursue your dream to wear the crown of England no matter the cost. Only you can decide the course of history.

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The Tudors Game is currently only available for purchase from the US and Canadian App Store.

Main Features

– Two characters to choose from: King Henry VIII or Anne Boleyn
– Explore over 30 rooms at the Palace of Whitehall
– More than 20 historical characters to meet and talk to
– Play engaging mini-games to solve mysteries and progress in the game

Black BoxEA Black Box has announced the first downloadable content pack for the critically acclaimed skateboarding game SKATE 3 – The Maloof Money Cup 2010 NYC Pack. The content pack hits Xbox Live and PlayStation Network on June 8 for 400 MS points or $4.99 and an additional 100 achievement points and 5 trophies.

The all new DLC lets players compete in the largest pursed event and one of skateboarding’s biggest annual contests – The Maloof Money Cup. For the first time ever, this year’s competition will be traveling east to Flushing Meadows, New York, where the site of the 1964 World’s Fair maloof money cuphas been converted into one gnarly skate mecca. Gamers will have the opportunity to compete against some of the biggest names in skateboarding as they shred an all-new custom built street park for the ultimate cash purse.

The award-winning SKATE franchise breaks new ground with SKATE 3 and shreds the streets of the all-new skaters’ paradise, Port Carverton. Delivering the definitive co-op skateboarding experience, it’s up to players to build the ultimate team and change the face of the city with their brand by taking on unique team challenges and competing against rival crews online. The game also features the ability to create and share custom built skate parks and a revamped Thrasher Hall of Meat mode that will have players spending countless hours pulling off bone-crushing carnage.

EA SportsAlso announced today was EA SportsFIFA Online, the first downloadable FIFA soccer game designed for PC (A broadband internet connection and an average spec laptop computer or desk-top personal computer required), is available to soccer fans everywhere around the world to play for free (Internet connection required). EA Sports FIFA Online will be released around the world in stages. The UK English language Beta version is available now, with plans over the next 12 to 24 months for FIFA Online to launch in other languages across the globe. Read the rest of this entry »

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27th May 2010

Today We Honour, Share, and Learn

Vancouver’s Genius Factor Games has published a seven point article laying out the company’s current and future involvement with the social media culture. The seven points denoted in this article can easily provide a starting point for any company who has not yet plunged into the massive and constantly changing world of social media. While I encourage you to visit the Genius Factor Games blog to read the article in its entirety, here are the seven points the company raises:

1. Connect With Players
2. Leverage Technology
3. Connect With Customers on their Terms
4. Word of Mouth/Viral Marketing
5. Connect with Investors and Strategic Partners
6. Lead the industry forward
7. Encourage Positive Change

UbisoftUbisoft Canada has announced that several of its upcoming titles will be featured at E3, along with several yet-to-be-announced titles from across the Ubisoft network. Games exhibited at the Ubisoft booth will include the highly anticipated Assassin’s Creed™ Brotherhood, Shaun White Skateboarding, Tom Clancy™ ’s Ghost Recon Future Soldier™, the next iteration of the blockbuster franchise Driver®, and many other titles that are yet to be announced. Ubisoft’s website will host select information sent directly from Ubisoft’s booth at E3 as well as the press conference, giving fans access to exclusive interviews and trailers of Ubisoft games.

To kick-off its E3 activities, Ubisoft will host a press conference at the Los Angeles Theatre on Monday, June 14, 2010 at 5 pm (doors open at 3.30 pm). Ubisoft is thrilled to announce that Joel McHale, star of NBC’s “Community” and E!’s “The Soup.” will return as the host of its E3 press conference. The press conference is by invitation only to Ubisoft partners, investors, retailers and select media. Attendees will be treated to live demonstrations of Ubisoft’s upcoming releases and special guests in this not-to-be-missed event that will set the tone for one of Ubisoft’s most impressive line-ups to date. Toon Boom

Toon Boom Animation has put many of their creative software titles on sale – check out their limited time specials – they will be ending soon. Also available today is a very cool “how-to” article on rotoscoping for beginners – a process that could even help me make an animation, and I definitely can’t draw.

Electronic Arts Inc. and Black Box Studios have announced that Need for Speed™ World, the massively multiplayer online action racing game, will go live on July 20, 2010. Need for Speed World thrusts gamers into an enormous, socially-connected white-knuckle Need for Speed experience featuring an all-new power-up system and deep RPG style progression. Need For Speed World

Beginning July 20th, Need for Speed World will be available as a free client download, which will give gamers a taste of the action with access to all races, pursuits and career progression up to level 10.

Players looking for the ultimate experience can purchase the Need for Speed World Starter Pack which includes a credit for $20 worth of SpeedBoost, full access up to level 50, a bundle assortment of power-ups like Nitrous and Traffic Magnet to help you get started, and an exclusive limited edition vehicle – all for MSRP $20.00 (*Conditions and restrictions apply. See details at point of purchase). Owners of the Starter Pack also get the added benefit of being able to purchase items like power-ups, double XP periods and even rental cars starting at just a few cents.

Players who pre-order Need for Speed World will have a one-week headstart to the game on July 13th, Need For Speed Worldwith increased Rep (XP) gain for the duration of the headstart event and guaranteed access to all upcoming Need for Speed World beta events. Finally, players will also be able to reserve their driver names in advance of the game going live and have VIP status permanently displayed in their driver profile. Pre-orders are available now at EA’s Online Store or at participating digital retailers nationwide.

Need for Speed World brings together best in class action racing with an unparalleled social experience. Players can compete against any one of their friends, family or pick from thousands of top ranked players to challenge in intense online battles and police pursuits across 150 miles of sprawling open world. Need for Speed World combines new content with the most popular cities from Need for Speed Most Wanted and Need for Speed Carbon to create the biggest, most exciting race world ever released in the Need for Speed universe.

TransGamingLos Angeles-based Riot Games have announced that they are working with TransGaming, Inc. to expand their debut title, League of Legends™, and releasing a version for the Mac that will be available for download this summer. The new Mac version of the session-based online multiplayer strategy game, powered by TransGaming’s Cider™ Portability Engine, will bring millions of Mac owners the same fast-paced gaming action that more than one million PC gamers have enjoyed since the game launched in October, 2009.Cider Portability Engine

“Millions of gamers across the world are accessing their gaming content on Macs but until now they have not been able to play League of Legends,” said Brandon Beck, co-founder and CEO of Riot Games. “The first competitive phase of the game will be kicking off this summer, and we’re excited that Mac gamers will also be able to participate and have a chance to vie for top prizes.” Read the rest of this entry »

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14th May 2010

Decapod Releases Debut Title Murphid

DecapodDecapod Studios, an independent game development company in Vancouver, is pleased to announce the release of their first title. Murphid is now available for download on XBOX Live Indie Games channel. In Murphid players must use their puzzle solving skills and fast reaction to withstand attack of gorgeous marble hordes and bring those beasts under control. MurphidDeep, yet simple core game mechanics coupled with astonishing graphics, immersive sound effects and adaptive gameplay result in intense climatic moments that modern gamers have come to expect. Murphid has been optimized for XBOX Live platform, works flawlessly with XBOX controllers, and looks dazzling in high definition.

Among the game’s features are:

• Engaging Campaign spawning more than 70 levels of marble blasting madness
• Three game modes for players to choose from to suit their playing style.
• More than 10 powerups to help players redefine the game field and wreak havoc in a blink of an eye.
• 8 Exclusive Awards to boost the replay value further by throwing extra challenges at the player.
• Pre-filled Leaderboards to give the game nostalgic, old-school touch.
• Awe-inspiring 720p HD visuals with full widescreen supportMurphid
• Charming sound effects to create the ambience.
• Adaptive gameplay technology for challenging and fun gaming experience for players of all ages.

“We are very excited to share the joy of Murphid with gaming community and hope everyone will have as much fun playing Murphid as we had developing it. I hope you dig it!”, says Dennis Brandis, Decapod Studios’ Managing Director.

Murphid is available on XBOX Live Indie Games channel for 240 MS points (approx $2.99) in the following countries: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom and United States.

EA SportsEA Sports™ is giving its fans an opportunity to create their own one-liners for the upcoming EA Sports NBA Jam videogame (no purchase necessary). Fans can submit and vote for their favorite lines to be read by the original voice of NBA Jam, Tim Kitzrow, who reprises his role as the legendary announcer.

Fans can submit their one-liners the game’s Facebook page, and 64 finalists, as chosen by the EA Sports NBA Jam team, will go head-to-head in a single elimination bracket with fan votes determining the winners. The four finalists will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have their one-liners included in the game and heard by millions of people around the world. Eligibility restrictions do apply, please see the Contest Rules for complete details.

Contest Schedule:

May 13th – Contest Submissions Open
May 19th – Contest Submissions Close
May 24th – 64 Finalists Announced
May 25th – Fan voting begins
June 23rd – Winners Announced

“NBA Jam is one of the most popular and culturally influential arcade basketball games ever made, and is widely known for its one-liners like Boom-Shaka-Laka and He’s on Fire,” says Kitzrow, the original voice of NBA Jam. “I am really excited to be a part of the remake and for fans to create the expressions that could become culturally iconic in the years to come.” Read the rest of this entry »

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26th April 2010

Canada 3.0 Has A Timely Face Off Announcement Not Related to Hockey

siggraph 2010SIGGRAPH 2010 has put out a call for cutting-edge examples of video games and real-time simulations and graphics in several categories: commercial video games, experimental or prototypes games, software applications, interactive data visualizations, and information aesthetics, among others. All content that is interactively controlled and rendered in real-time, and can be repeated in front of a live audience, will be considered.

“Over the past several years, the role and impact of interactive and real-time graphics have grown substantially to affect SIGGRAPH attendees from film production to academia,” says Evan Hirsch, SIGGRAPH 2010 Real-Time Rendering Chair and Creative Director for THQ. “Building on the debut of Real-Time Rendering at the 2009 Computer Animation Festival, SIGGRAPH 2010 is continuing this new and exciting addition to the conference. This focus allows creators of games and real time graphics to highlight their cutting edge work on the same level as the linear work that has made the Computer Animation Theater legendary.”

Accepted work will be demonstrated live, in real time on a PC, Macintosh, or game console. While expectations are that many entries will be games released in 2010, submissions of non-commercial projects are also encouraged including:

* Game explorations
* Student game projects
* Mathematical or other industrial simulations
* Research projects
* Real-time art explorations
* New uses of pioneering technology
* Scientific visualizations: medical science, astrophysics, astronomy, physical science
* Interactive data visualization and/or interactive information aesthetics

Canada 3.0 2010Start-up companies at Canada 3.0 2010 will Face Off with a panel of business experts and angel financiers to address their top business challenges and improve their go-to-market approach. That’s just one of the innovations at this year’s Canada 3.0 forum, Canada’s premier digital media forum slated for May 10-11 in Stratford.

“We have a strong focus on small business innovation at this year’s event, given that the entrepreneurial spirit is the lifeblood of new business development in Canada,” said Kevin Tuer, Managing Director of the Canadian Digital Media Network, which is organizing Canada 3.0 2010 with the University of Waterloo Stratford Campus.

The Face Off sessions, inspired by CBC’s popular “Dragon’s Den”, will enable small business owners to present to a panel comprised of business leaders including senior executives running their own businesses; mentors from Venture Services from across the country; and angel financiers. The early-stage companies will outline their top three challenges for the expert panel and will leave with insight to apply to their businesses following the Canada 3.0 forum. Attendees will be able to watch the sessions and learn from the experiences of the start-up participants.

Several of the forum’s keynote speakers are from start-up companies including: Sarah Prevette, Founder and CEO of entrepreneurship company Sprouter.com; and Joseph Iuso, CEO, & Brian Crozier, Global Business Development, at UseMyBank, a company that rejected $1 million in Dragon’s Den funding and has gone on to be a successful venture.

Another innovation for Canada 3.0 2010 is the Soap Box whereby companies can book short presentation slots to ‘pitch’ the value of their company to forum attendees.

“This exercise encourages each presenter to distill the value of their company into an ‘elevator pitch’ that they can use when presenting to other audiences. And it means a lot of smaller companies will be better-known by the end of Canada 3.0,” explained Tuer.

A Digital Showcase occupying a full hockey arena-sized area at the Rotary Centre in Stratford, will be dedicated to displays by more than 50 digital media-related companies. Forum attendees, including students and the general public, will have the opportunity to tour the showcase and see digital technology innovation at work.

“This is a great opportunity for companies like ours to showcase their offerings and increase awareness with an audience that includes leaders from business, government and academia,” said Stephen Bacso, CEO of Waterloo collaborative search start-up company DossierView.

Space in the Digital Showcase sold out well in advance of the forum, demonstrating the keen interest this year in Canada 3.0, Tuer said. Last year’s forum attracted close to 1,500 people and the 2010 version is expected to be a strong magnet for all those interested in digital media.

Tungle.meToronto’s Tungle Corp. and San Francisco based Plancast have announced a new partnership to bring together calendar broadcasting with meeting planning. Through this partnership, Plancast has integrated Tungle.me into its users’ profiles, allowing users of both services to share their plans and easily schedule meetings.

“This partnership is an important step in the evolution of the social calendar and business networking ecosystem,” stated Marc Gingras, CEO and founder of Tungle. “With the integration of Tungle.me into Plancast, we are facilitating the last mile by marrying intent based platforms, with the ease of scheduling meetings between like minded individuals. The Community has been asking for this integration for some time, so this relationship is in direct response to feedback from users of both applications.” Read the rest of this entry »

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22nd April 2010

Happy Earth Day Canada

Readers Digest Trusted Brands 2010Results of the annual Reader’s Digest Most Trusted Brands Poll are out, and for the techno-Canadians, Duracell topped the Battery category, while Canon is the most trusted Digital Camera, Sony won the broad and vague Entertainment Equipment Manufacturer category; Blackberry is the most trusted Mobile Communications Device and Apple wins for Mobile Entertainment.

This year’s list of Canada’s Greenest Employers was announced this morning by the editors of the Canada’s Olympic Gaming MixerTop 100 Employers project. Fifty organizations across Canada were recognized on this year’s list.

There’s another fun gaming-related mixer coming up in Vancouver – check out the Olympic Gaming Mixer, which will be taking place on the evening of Friday, May 7, 2010 at the Century Restaurant and Bar on Richards. Check out the event’s FaceBook page for the list of challenges to be had at the Olympic Gaming Mixer.

Siggraph VancouverDon’t forget to buy your tickets for the ACM SIGGRAPH Vancouver presentation of Designing Assassin’s Creed II featuring Lead Game Designer Patrick Plourde from Ubisoft Montreal, which is generously sponsored in part by AnnexPro and 3vis. He will discuss the challenges faced by the dev team: an enormous scope, one of the biggest development teams ever assembled and a limited time frame. This talk is about sharing our best practices to ship high quality games through a focused and rigorous Design Process while maximizing the output of production. Tickets for this May 18th event at the VanCity Theatre are only $15.00 for SIGGRAPH members and $20.00 for non-members. Annual SIGGRAPH membership is only 35.00 – and gets you special pricing at all of our great chapter events. You should join today.

DigiBCDigiBC has put out a call for speakers for its Vancouver Digital Week 2010 event which takes place May 25-28 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Please see their site for more details.

INplay 2010Interactive Ontario is pleased to welcome back Alexander Manu to give a keynote presentation at INPlay 2010. Manu, who delivered a keynote address at Interactive Ontario’s iSummit in 2006, is a strategic innovation practitioner, international lecturer and author. For over 20 years Alexander has enabled global companies as diverse as Motorola, LEGO, Whirlpool, Nokia, Navteq and Unilever, to develop policies and strategies that Goldtooth Creativeaddress emerging issues through strategic foresight and pre-competitive business models.

Goldtooth Creative has once again shown their video magic – check out the Cover Reveal trailer for EA Sports’ Madden NFL 11, developed by Florida’s Tiburon Studio. Goldtooth’s incredibly talented teams have produced trailers and cinematics for many of today’s top titles. Need a production team for your project? We recommend them.

BC indie developer Krabbitsoft Studio has released new features and specs for their RPG Krabbit World Origins. Featuring some very unique creatures, Krabbit World Krabbit OnlineOrigins has a very strong player community, and allows for single or multi-player modes. This is a game we’re going to be taking a look at in the coming weeks – look for it to be featured in our review section later in May 2010.

Banff World Television Festival has just released a call for entrants for the nextMEDIA Digital Hot List. This is a competition open to developers, Banff World Television Festivalcontent producers, and digital superstars. This is your chance to showcase your new, innovative digital property and grab the attention of advertisers who are looking for exciting brand integration opportunities. There are four available categories for entry:

*  Media (Does your website stand out amongst the rest?)
* Talent (Are you a proven online superstar with millions of followers?)
* Content Proposal (Got the best new idea for online content and branded entertainment?)
* Technologies (Are you creating the coolest apps, games and digital ad solutions?)

This contest closes on May 3rd, so if you’re interested in entering, you’d better get a move on!

googlyNew children’s mobile application studio Googly was delighted to find its first app, Alphabets in the Zoo featured yesterday in iTunes’ New and Noteworthy section, and amazed to see it reach number one on the education list.Alphabets In The Zoo

Alphabets in The Zoo features a charming new animated alphabet song and story to help children learn their letters as they look, listen, and sing-a-long. Children’s understanding of the alphabet is taught and reinforced as they enjoy Saad Rashid’s colorful animation, listen to the Fauzia Abbasi’s delightful lyrics, and enjoy Dave Klotz’s catchy tune. Googly plans to release an iPad version of Alphabets in The Zoo shortly, and three more original children’s apps in the next 30 days. Read the rest of this entry »

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7th April 2010

Time to Start Thinking About The Canary Derby

Canary DerbyThat’s right Vancouver and Victoria – Canary Derby time is fast approaching and those of you in the diverse technology and digital media industries need to get your cart on. The Canary Derby is a soapbox derby which is held annually to help raise funds for early cancer detection research.

The fifth annual Canary Derby once again brings together the technology and business 6S Marketing's Mario Kartcommunities of Victoria and Vancouver, Canary Foundation of Canada, and BC Cancer Foundation to help support early detection cancer research. Similar to last year’s event, the rivalry is twofold: the competitors within the individual Derbies and an overall competition between the Victoria Derby on June 12 and the Vancouver Derby on September 25.

Last year’s events were fun-filled and well attended – and who better than our innovative technology industry to design this year’s most imaginative and fastest carts while raising money for a great cause? This is your studio’s chance to participate in out-of-the-box team-building while racing a soapbox to victory. There are many awards up for grabs – top fundraiser, fastest cart, most stylish cart and of course the infamous bent wheel award.

Last year’s Vancouver teams included 6S Marketing, BCTIA, Wired Woman, Webnames.ca, Aquatic Informatics, Rogers Wireless, Cisco Human Network, finCAD and more. Check out the Village Gamer Canary Derby photos to see just how much fun can be had at this event. Even Princess Peach and Mario had a great time – and by the looks of it, several of them are already registered for the 2010 Great Race Event.

There will be a team get-together evening on Monday, April 26th for those interested in participating in the Vancouver leg of the derby. Canary founder Don Listwin will be present to give some background information about the Canary Foundation and the derby. This will be followed by information in regards to the fundraising tools which will be available to the teams as well as cart-building guidance and of course informal networking with your fellow racers. If you are – or think you might be – interested in participating, please contact Stephanie Price for details on the meeting.

What’s holding you back? Innovate – Create – Race!

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19th March 2010

It’s Friday Let’s Rock

First up, our congratulations to Bioware and Dragon Age: Origins for picking up a Swedish Games Industry award for RPG of the Year and to EA Burnaby for picking up Sports Game of the Year for FIFA 10. Also, a reminder that the Early Bird price deadline for GDC Canada is fast approaching. Take advantage of the ticket discounts and get your passes before March 31 for this May’s great event at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

IUGOThere’s lots going on over at IUGO Mobile Entertainment as well. Earlier today the studio announced that several of their game titles will be released for the iPad. On the list are Cliffed, Zombie Attack Second Wave and Implode, along with their brand new game, Escape: Norm’s World. We also found out today that IUGO’s Director of Business Management, Sarah Thompson, will be one of two featured speakers at the upcoming Appy Hour, which is presented by The Social Agency. Appy Hour will be happening on March 26th at the Revel Room from 4 – 6pm. Also speaking at Appy Hour will be Jesse MacFayden, a developer over at Nitobi.

Vancouver TwestivalThe Vancouver Twestival will be taking place at the CBC Vancouver Audience Lounge this March 25th, and tickets are now on sale.  The Twestival is part of a global day of fundraising which will involve thousands of Twitter-users around the world who are gathering together to raise money for Concern Worldwide, an international humanitarian organization dedicated to reducing suffering and ending extreme poverty.

Your $20 Twestival ticket includes:

– Admission (donation to Concern Worldwide)
– 1 Wine ticket (more available for purchase)
– 1 Raffle ticket (more available for purchase)
– Food (sushi & canapes)
– Official souvenir YVRTwestival button
– Entertainment (Rob Cottingham, live DJ, Mojave)
– Socializing with Twitter friends (although that’s priceless!)

Bioware CorpEdmontonBioware has announced the release dates for the next round of new DLC for Mass Effect 2. The Firewalker pack will be available beginning on March 23, and Alternate Appearance PackKasumi Goto will join the crew of the Normandy on April 6. Kasumi’s DLC expansion will be titled Stolen Memories. Also coming on March 23 are new appearances for crew members Thane, Jack and Garrus. The Alternate Appearance pack will be available for 160 MS Points. The Firewalker DLC pack will include the brand new M-57 Hammerhead Hover Tank as well as five brand-new missions and locations to explore. This expansion will be free to those gamers who have the Cerberus Network option enabled. The Cerberus Network game add-on code included free to all those gamers who purchased the game new; if you bought a previously-played version, you can add the Cerberus Network option for 1200 MS Points through the XBL Morrigan DisapprovesMarketplace. In my opinion, the Cerberus Network offers much value in return and is well worth the points if you didn’t purchase the game new.

There are also plenty of new items over in the Bioware store. Today’s new product announcement is the “Morrigan Disapproves” Dragon Age shirt. If you have a Bioware, Mass Effect or Dragon Age fan in your house, then the Bioware store is a great place to find some cool gift items from shirts and hats to lithographs and music.

The CFTPA has made the National Digital Strategy Prime Time panel videos and several PowerPoint presentations available online. To download the presentations and speeches, scroll down through the schedule list and click on the links for the presentations you would like. I think that by making these videos and presentations available to those who were unable to make the February conference is a great way to continue a national dialogue for the Toby - Guitar Herodevelopment of a Canadian digital strategy, and I appreciate the efforts by those at the CFTPA for taking strides to keep those of us in the digital media industry informed and talking.

I’m going to leave you on this Friday afternoon with a music video from the young English rock group Jonny Black. Now, you may ask yourself why a Canadian digital media news site is promoting an English group, and I would answer, “because the young men who make up this group are friends of ours and they deserve some extra promotion. Plus, they’re gamers, too.”

Formerly known as Mendella, Jonny Black’s band members are among those who have a dream and work hard to forge their path in the achievement of that dream. This video in particular is an endeavour by the group to have one of their songs chosen as the UK soccer team’s anthem for the 2010 World Cup. We hope that you enjoy Jonny Black’s music as much as we do, and will help their video go viral (watch it, fave it, share it) thereby playing a part in the achievement of their goals. You can read more about our involvement with Jonny Black and learn more about these young men here, here, and in our gallery, right here.

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26th January 2010

Digital Media Pub Night To Raise funds for Haiti Clean Water Project

Vancouver – The Vancouver digital media industry is raising their glasses to clean water. A group of industry leaders, musicians and concerned citizens have organized a pub night this Thursday to raise funds for a clean water project in Haiti.

Lead organizer and videogame veteran, Brenda Bailey Gershkovitch says, “Like many Canadians, our hearts go out to Haiti. My husband, Eli and I are both take action type of people and we decided to gather our network around a long-term sustainable project: clean drinking water. With Steamworks hosting the event and the help of friends in the music and digital media industries, we’re hopeful that Thursday night will raise enough money to launch this project for Haiti.”

Steamworks’ owner and Bailey’s husband, Eli Gershkovitch, is hosting the event. Tickets can be purchased for $25 dollars online at haitipubnight.com and include a beer, choice of burger and fries. Musical performances by Adaline, DJ Revise, Echo Pilot and The Zoe Trio will be featured. A silent auction will also be on site with donated goods from the videogame sector.

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Funds raised will go towards a Unicef Safe Water project with matching funds from CIDA. With an estimated 300,000 homeless in Haiti, the pub night group wanted to focus on a second wave support project. The Safe Water initiative provides homeless families with water kits, water purification tablets and other supplies that help reduce the deadly risk of contaminated water.

The group is using all of the tools in their arsenal to spread the word including a website, YouTube video, Facebook group and twitter feeds. The fundraiser takes place this Thursday at Steamworks from 7-10pm.

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21st January 2010

Vancouver Interactive Industry Fundraiser for Haiti On January 28

unicefVancouver – Local interactive industry folks are invited to the Help Haiti Pub Night being held on Thursday January 28th from 7-11pm at Steamworks Brew Pub and Restaurant (375 Water Street Vancouver). There are plans for a silent auction, with a few items already on the block, including tickets for Casual Connect to auction off! Two winning bidders will receive 1 year conference passes to Seattle, Hamburg, and Kyiv, 1 with speaker’s dinner. If you are interested in donating items for auction, please contact Bren at 604.765.7273. Net proceeds from this event will be donated to UNICEF for the purchase of water.

According to their website, UNICEF is working to provide survivors with family water kits, water-purification tablets and other supplies aimed at mitigating the deadly effects of contaminated water.

“Aside from simply delivering these essential supplies, we must also work to promote hygiene by providing soap and issuing messages in French and Creole on preventing and treating diarrhoea, cholera and dysentery,” said UNICEF Emergency Operations Officer Ainga Razafy. “Our priority is to prevent a second wave of disaster and ensure against the outbreak of any life-threatening, water-borne diseases.”

Canada – DFAIT invites Canadian interactive companies to participate in The Canada Programme at GDC San Francisco, March 10 – 12, 2010. For further information on The Canada Programme, please contact Victoria Hayes at 604.666.1409 (for BC Companies – please contact your local digital media association or DFAIT office in other parts of Canada.) For companies in Alberta, please contact Rene Smid from Digital Alberta. The deadline for BC applications is today, while Alberta’s deadline is January 25.

Prior to GDC, the Canada Programme offers Business to Business Matchmaking – DFAIT is currently collecting company profiles to share with foreign purchasers and developers attending GDC to determine mutual meeting interests and facilitate those meetings in advance.

Two webinars are also being offered, which are geared towards Canadian attendees making the most of their time at GDC in San Francisco. The first webinar is titled “Meet the Publishers” will be held on February 2 from 1-230pm. Major publishers (yet to be announced) will discuss what’s hot and what’s not, what the want to see in 2010 and how Canadian companies can best position themselves in 2010.

The second Webinar, “Make the Right Pitch, At the Right Time” will feature experienced industry leaders who will present on how to prepare and execute an effective 30-second and 10-minute pitch to both game publishers and potential financing entities (Angels and Venture Capitalists). The air details for this webinar have not yet been finalized.

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21st December 2009

New Titles, Studies, Mergers, Events and a Little Holiday Cheer

Howling Moon GamesOntarioHowling Moon Games has released their newest iphone title Solar Advance in the iTunes App Store for 99 cents usd.

As the player, you are the intelligence controlling an advance technology Solar Advancethat can store the suns energy for use back on a distant planet. As the intelligence you will need to motion special matter that absorbs certain forms of energy. The energy that needs to be caught bursts from suns. Along its path it changes shape and colors. The color of the flare needs to be met by the same color matter for it to be harnessed.

Game Features:

* Each new level leaves the player with more matter to control, more color differences from the solar flares.
* A timer calculates your overall game score, preventing your MAT’s from being destroyed decreases your overall time.
* Each sun has a different gravitational pull.
* New Collapsing Star mode just for the iphone
* An amazing leaderboard system to keep track of your highscores
* Try and collect all the rewards

xona gamesYarmouth CountyXona Games has announced that their newest game, Decimation X is coming to Xbox LIVE Indie Games (XBLIG) in January 2010 for 80 Microsoft Points. Xona Games has not yet released a lot of promo material for the game, but according to the Decimation X web site, game play will revolve around intense retro-styled shoot ’em action for 1 – 4 players and feature music from Imphenzia.

Digital LeisureGormleyDigital Leisure’s Dragon’s Lair is now available for download via Nintendo’s DSiWare store. Rated by the ESRB as E10, Dragon’s Lair is Dragon's Lairavailable for 800 DSi Points.

Title Details: You play the heroic Dirk the Daring, a valiant knight on a quest to rescue the fair princess from the clutches of an evil dragon. Control the actions of the daring adventurer and find your way through the castle of a dark wizard who has enchanted it with treacherous monsters and obstacles. In the mysterious caverns below the castle, your odyssey continues against the awesome forces that oppose your journey to the dragon’s lair. Dragon’s Lair is a fully animated classic arcade game from legendary animator Don Bluth.

Game Developer ResearchGame Developer Research is pleased to announce the debut of its sixteenth report, the ‘Game Developer Census 2009‘. The in-depth 248-page report aims to create an accurate list of each significant developer and publisher within the video game industry in the United States and Canada, as well Industry Census 2009as an accurate list of staff averages for each company.

The Census report lists more than 700 companies alphabetically by U.S. state and Canadian province, along with general contact addresses, website information, estimates of employee numbers and details on their market specialties (from casual gaming, online gaming, mobile gaming and serious gaming to PC, handheld or console gaming).

Not included in the Game Developer Industry Census estimates are game tools company, game contracting/services company, PR, marketing, and external business service, or game distribution and retail professionals. The report is intended to be a valuable tool for game industry trendwatchers, contractors, service companies, and other entities wanting to acquire accurate information to reach out to the North American game market as a whole.

According to Techvibes, “The report reveals that the United States videogame industry employee count is essentially flat year-over-year, rising slightly from 44,400 to 44,806. The small rise in North American game industry employment was marked by an unusually high number of new studios – particularly in social and online gaming – springing up to counterbalance the many closures that occurred throughout the rest of the industry.

Canadian companies, however, saw growth that can almost be called explosive. The continued establishment of new studios and expansion of existing large studios led Canada’s the employee count in the Census to rise 30% year-over-year. The totals rose from 9,500 Canadian video game employees in 2008 to 12,480 in 2009.

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