27th August 2009

BC Interactive Publishers and Developers Survey

BC FlagVancouver – A secure and confidential survey web site has been launched under the direction of PricewaterhouseCoopers to assist in the BC industry’s government lobbying efforts.

According to the BC Interactive Publishers and Developers Survey web site, it has “been designed to provide a secure and efficient means to collect the industry data for video publishing and interactive games companies in British Columbia.

The BC Interactive Task Force is organizing an industry-led government relations strategy to influence BC government policies that benefit the local industry. During discussions with the BC Government, it will be important to share the size of the industry in BC while investigating different tax incentive scenarios and their relative economic impacts and costs to the BC government. The purpose of the data collection is to identify important information regarding the size of the local video publishing and interactive games industry.

Initially, data will be aggregated and used to report on the size of the video publishing and interactive games industry in British Columbia. Later, the information may be used to estimate the industry’s economic impact on BC’s economy.

Survey data should be for the most recently completed fiscal year. All individual submissions will be held in strict confidence by PricewaterhouseCoopers and results will be presented in such a way that will not identify any individual organization.

I urge all of BC’s Interactive Publishers and Developers to participate in this very important initiative, as it will have an effect on our entire provincial industry, and now is the time to get involved.

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27th August 2009

Industry Veteran David Dossot Joins Pug Pharm as CTO

Pug PharmVancouverPug Pharm Productions Inc. (Pug Pharm), has announced that technology sector veteran David Dossot has joined the Pharm as Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Dossot brings more than 15 years of professional experience to the Pug Pharm team after holding similar positions at software development firms and global online gaming and entertainment companies.

“David’s extensive industry knowledge gained as a leading software engineer and architect, along with his work in the field of online gaming and massively multiplayer systems,provide the perfect experience for guiding the Pug Pharm technical team as we continue to grow and create innovative social networking online games,” stated Steve Bocska, CEO of Pug Pharm.

Dossot’s experience runs the gamut from start-ups to large firms and global institutions, where he has provided technical guidance and code contributions to many teams, with a particular focus on refactoring and re-architecting software platforms towards scalable architectures.Mule In Action

Well-known and active in the technical community, Dossot is a member of the IEEE and the Computer Society. In addition to speaking appearances, he is the co-author of “Mule in Action” (2009, Manning Publications), and has written contributions for O’Reilly, Dr. Dobb’s Journal and Software Development Magazine. An advocate of the open source community, Dossot has led a number of prolific open source projects. He is a member of Mule’s Community Committee and serves as an official judge for the DDJ’s Jolt Product Excellence Awards. His educational background includes a Baccalaureate degree in Mathematics & Physics (Lycée Alfred Mézières, Longwy, France); Mechanical & Electrical Engineering(Strathclyde University, Glasgow, UK); and a Diploma in Production Systems Engineering (ESSTIN, Nancy, France).

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27th August 2009

Big Blue Bubble is bringing Fighting Fantasy to iPhone

Big Blue BubbleLondon ONBig Blue Bubble, developers of the Warlock of Firetop Mountain for Nintendo DS, are beginning the production of iPhone versions of five classic Fighting Fantasy titles: Warlock of Firetop Mountain, Citadel of Chaos, Deathtrap Dungeon, Creature of Havoc and City of Thieves.

The adventure will begin with the release of Warlock of Firetop Mountain in October 2009. Readers should stay tuned for more intrigue and adventure with new titles appearing every couple of months. Fighting Fantasy fans will love the classic story and original illustrations with a technological twist. No more dice, pencils, or bookmarks. All the special features are built in!Fighting Fantasy for DS

Some Features Include:

• Automatic page progression
• Shake combat dice using the accelerometer
• Inventory items selectable via touch-screen
• Game-save feature

For readers owning Apple iPhone/iPod devices this is a very exciting new development. Watch out for the appearance of Fighting Fantasy 1: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain at the App Store.

About Fighting Fantasy

Fighting Fantasy for DSThe Fighting Fantasy book series was born in 1982 when authors Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone created a revolutionary new idea for the fantasy genre with the first title, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain. The reader became the hero of his or her own fantasy adventure in a story that was part book, part game. After each paragraph a decision must be made; which way to turn, whether to fight or flee, which mysterious character to approach, and what risks to take. Each decision sent the reader to a different page to discover the consequences of their choice, with each read-through ending either in disaster, or with the discovery of the ultimate goal. To date, the series has seen more than 70 titles published and more than 14 million copies sold worldwide.

Fighting Fantasy: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain for Nintendo DS will be available this holiday season as well.

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27th August 2009

Tim Curry and Kate Mulgrew Add Voices To Dragon Age: Origins

BioWare CorpEdmontonBioware has secured a star-studded voiceover cast for its upcoming Tim Curryblockbuster game, Dragon Age™: Origins. Featuring Tim Curry, star of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Broadway’s Spamalot, as well as Kate Mulgrew, well-known for her role as Capt. Kathryn Janeway in “Star Trek: Voyager”, Dragon Age: Origins also Kate Mulgrewincludes notable cast members Tim Russ (“Star Trek: Voyager,” “Samantha Who?”), Claudia Black (“Stargate SG-1,” “Pitch Black”) and Steve Valentine (“Estate of Panic,” “Crossing Jordan”). Dragon Age: Origins marks BioWare’s return to fantasy, created from the ground up to take players through a dark epic tale filled with violence, lust, and betrayal.

Tim Curry will play the villainous Arl Rendon Howe. Howe is the calculating villain, Steve Valentinecultured and charming, with an insatiable lust for power, who never hesitates to harm anyone who gets in his way. Kate Mulgrew will lend her vocal flair to Flemeth, a powerful witch who maintains her immortality through the darkest of means, and who plays a pivotal role in the player’s survival. Both roles provide the actors with the opportunity to bring their considerable talents to bear in their portrayal of these characters.

“Dragon Age: Origins has the largest cast of characters of any game BioWare has ever made,” Tim Russsaid Mark Darrah, Executive Producer, BioWare. “By working with an incredibly talented cast of actors we are able to bring reality and depth to the characters, their back stories, motivations, and dreams that our talented writers have created for them.”

In Dragon Age: Origins, players take on the role of a Grey Warden, one of the last of an ancient order of guardians who have served as protectors throughout the centuries. Only Claudia Blackthey have the power to unite the shattered lands, defeat the Archdemon and drive back the darkspawn that threaten to destroy the world. Players will interact with many interesting characters who may join them in their quest, and they will choose whether these characters become friends, foes, or even a romantic interest. Featuring a deep and compelling story where every choice can have a dramatic impact on the game, Dragon Age: Origins is scheduled to release on November 3, 2009 in North America, for the PC and Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system and later in November for the PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system.

Dragon Age: Origins is rated M by the ESRB.

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27th August 2009

Facebook Agrees To Address Privacy Commissioner’s Concerns

Privacy Commissioner of CanadaOttawa Facebook has agreed to add significant new privacy safeguards and make other changes in response to the Privacy Commissioner of Canada’s recent investigation into the popular social networking site’s privacy policies and practices. The company’s decision to implement the Privacy Commissioner’s recommendations is a positive step towards bringing Facebook in line with the facebookrequirements of Canada’s privacy law.

“These changes mean that the privacy of 200 million Facebook users in Canada and around the world will be far better protected,” says Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart. “This is extremely important. People will be able to enjoy the benefits of social networking without giving up control of their personal information. We’re very pleased Facebook has been responsive to our recommendations.”

Last month, the Privacy Commissioner issued a report on an in-depth investigation triggered by a complaint from the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic. While Facebook took some steps to resolve privacy concerns, the Commissioner remained dissatisfied by Facebook’s response at the end of the investigation. She was particularly concerned about the risks posed by the over-sharing of personal information with third-party developers of Facebook applications such as games and quizzes.

Facebook was given 30 days to respond to the Commissioner’s report and explain how it would address the outstanding concerns. Following a review of Facebook’s formal response and discussions with company officials, the Commissioner is now satisfied Facebook is on the right path to addressing the privacy gaps on its site.
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