11th August 2009

National News Briefs

PhasedGamesToronto’s Phased Games has released Snax Lite on the Xbox 360. Priced at 80 Microsoft points, Snax Lite is available on the Xbox Live Indie Games service. In Snax Lite, you’re the chef at your barbecue and all your friends are dying just to get a piece of the grill action! Cook up and serve your guests in a limited time frame. It’s a race against the clock and the grill! Snax Lite (Cooking Arcade Game) features 6 Challenging levels of fast game play action and a Massive 80 Minute Marathon Mode. Do you have what it takes to become the Master Chef?Klei Entertainment

Nexon has taken down the web site previously used to publicize Sugar Rush, a game developed by Vancouver’s Klei Entertainment. A spokesman from Klei thanked all of their beta testers, but there is unfortunately no further word regarding the future of the game, which was well received by the gamer community. Klei Entertainment, who owns the rights to the title, is actively seeking a new publishing partner.

Fit BrainsFit Brains has added a new game to their site. Paradise Island 2 is a word game designed to help with improving word stem recognition, deduction and concept formation as well as combining syllables and fragments. Just a few minutes per day spent with the games on FitBrains will help keep your cognitive abilities sharp – or even teach you a few new skills – all for free. Village Gamer highly recommends Fit Brains for everyone.

Three Canadian developed games are gracing the FAQ page of the new Xbox 360 Games on Demand site. The featured games are Mass Effect, Assassin’s Creed and Need For Speed: Carbon. Games on Demand is available for purchase on Xbox LIVE as part of today’s Xbox LIVE Update. You will be able to browse and purchase games through the Xbox LIVE Marketplace on the Web starting August 13. Village Gamer was selected to experience the preview of the Xbox Live, and so far we’re liking the additions, even though some of the Avatar Marketplace add-ons seem to be a bit pricey and I haven’t really seen anything in the Avatar Marketplace that I would like to purchase for my avatar. I’m not sure yet how I feel about being able to purchase new titles directly from Xbox, and I’m sitting on the fence as far as “the end of retail” models. I’m one of those people who will purchase Collector’s Editions for certain titles (like Assassin’s Creed 2), and I would hate to see those options disappear, even if it is far off in the future.

The folks from Bioware have departed for GenCon, with promises of cool stuff for Dragon Age: Origins fans, and then they’re headed for GamesCon in Germany. I guess we’ll just have to wait for PAX to see all the cool stuff for ourselves.

And in my final note for the morning, just a reminder for those of you who are thinking about going to GDC Austin – early bird pricing ends in two days.

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11th August 2009

Interactive Ontario Adds Canadian Dimension to Edinburgh Interactive

Interactive OntarioOntarioInteractive Ontario (IO) in partnership with the Ontario International Marketing Centre (OIMC) will be heading over to Scotland to team up with Edinburgh Interactive at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange on 13th & 14th August 2009. Representing over 200 companies capybarawithin the Ontario interactive digital content industry, IO will be joined by Capybara Games, who are set to showcase two soon-to-be-released titles.

As a non-profit trade association committed to the growth of Ontario’s Digital Media/Video Game industry, IO represents content producers and distributors, as well as stakeholders from a range of industry sectors including e-Learning, games, mobile, television, online, social media, marketing and academia. The Ontario International Marketing Centre, based in London, UK, facilitates trade and investment between the UK and Ontario.

Critter Crunch PSN

Critter Crunch PSN

Joining IO at Edinburgh Interactive this year will be IO member Capybara Games. Starting out as an award-winning mobile games developer, Capybara Games have since successfully branched out into the development of iPhone, Nintendo DS and downloadable console games. Capybara Games is an independent games studio from Canada’s fastest growing hub of video game production.

Capybara Games will be showcasing two soon-to-be-released titles at Edinburgh Interactive this year; Critter Crunch and Ubisoft’s Might & Magic Clash of Heroes. Critter Crunch is set in a magical place filled with cute, colourful critters frolicking in the sun, smelling the flowers and eating each other! Winner of the 2008 IGF Mobile Best Games & Achievement in Audio Awards and IGN Wireless 2007 Best Puzzle Games & Biggest Surprise Game Awards, Critter Crunch is a PlayStation® Network arcade-puzzler, and will be released later this year.
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11th August 2009

New Media Employment News

Toronto’s Recruiting Now, a recruitment firm specializing in placement of senior and executive media, Recruiting Nowmarketing and IT professionals, has partnered with Media Job Search Canada, a Canadian job search web site dedicated solely to the needs of marketing and media professionals and their employers. These two companies will join forces to assist their clients in finding the perfect fit for their particular staffing and recruitment needs.

“The synergies in this partnership will provide our marketing and interactive media-related clients with a powerful suite of consulting and search services for employers and job seekers alike. Our tight focus in marketing and media has significant advantages over those huge employment services and job boards that try to cater to all professions,” said Judith Mallard, Director of Recruitment for Recruiting Now.

Both companies bring an abundance of expertise to their service offerings. Recruiting Now has a dedicated team of consultants with over 60 years of combined experience sourcing media, IT, and marketing professionals for top employers. Media Job Search Canada has been providing employment search tools to media and marketing professionals for over 10 years. “This partnership adds a new dimension to our online tools suite by bringing industry-specific recruitment consulting into the mix. In a nutshell, what this means is that a team of media recruitment specialists will be scouring our site, looking to match top talent with some of the best employers in the country. For the employers and job seekers we serve, that’s very exciting,” said Corey Fuchs, President of Media Job Search Canada.

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11th August 2009

ProTech Media To Expand With Three More Learning Centres

TorontoToronto – Together with Toronto Mayor David Miller, Microsoft Canada has announced the expansion of the successful ProTech Media Centre program to three Priority Neighbourhoods for Investment. “This is a perfect example of private and public-sector partners coming together to provide innovative opportunities in Toronto’s Priority Neighbourhoods,” said Mayor Miller. “It’s especially important that local youth have been involved in this project from the start, and that many more youth will pass through these doors. The creative possibilities and career benefits provided by ProTech are boundless.” The ProTechannouncement was made at the opening of the Kennedy-Eglinton ProTech Media Centre, located within the Toronto Public Library – Kennedy/Eglinton branch at 2380 Eglinton Avenue East.

The Pro Tech program offers free digital arts and technology skills training. The expansion effort is made possible by a Microsoft Canada Unlimited Potential Community Technology Skills grant of $1 million in cash, digital learning curriculum and Microsoft-based technology. “The overwhelming success of the Rexdale ProTech Media Centre in Jamestown is motivating Microsoft Canada, the City of Toronto and community partners to expand the program to three additional neighbourhoods,” said Eric Gales, President, Microsoft Canada. “Today’s youth incorporate technology into every part of their daily lives. By providing access to technology and education we’re feeding their curiosity and creativity with the hope of generating interest in pursuing careers in technology related fields.” The City of Toronto is also supporting the program through its Partnership Opportunities Legacy Fund, which has set aside $13 million for Toronto’s 13 Priority Neighbourhoods for Investment, to be leveraged by funding from outside partners for youth-focused social and recreational infrastructure projects.
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