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  • Meridian4, Hothead Games, Strategy First and Ludia Top Today’s Game News

17th December 2009

Meridian4, Hothead Games, Strategy First and Ludia Top Today’s Game News

Meridian4MontrealMeridian4 celebrates the season by making a donation to DonateGames and encourages other publishers to do the same, especially during this time of year.

“This Meridian4 donation represents what we know to be true, gamers are good. Video games new and used are being recycled to help others. Gamers are also great communicators and users of technology. This donation is important, gamers are telling each other about our work, and as the word DonateGamesspreads, the video game community and video game playing families with rare, neglected diseases are contacting DonateGames with stories of the joy and inspiration from knowing the gaming community, like Meridians4 are helping spread the word, generate relief funds and create global awareness for the rare and neglected disease community.” said Jim Carol of DonateGames.

“We discovered DonateGames at a game convention and after reading their literature, we thought it was a great idea and a one we wanted to get behind. The three directors at Meridian4 all have children and we know how devastating it would be if they were afflicted with a debilitating or fatal disease. This is a terrific idea and we hope that other gaming companies and gamers will get involved.” said Steve Milburn, Director at Meridian4.

Hothead GamesVancouver – Just in time for the holidays, Hothead Games today announced that Jonathan Blow’s Braid is now available for download via the PlayStation®Network in Europe. Already recognized by Metacritic as one of “The Best Games of 2009” for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, European gamers can fill their virtual stockings with this amazing indie title for Braidonly €9.99.

Players explore the human condition and manipulate time with our hero Tim in the lush, painterly world of Braid. The game takes you from a house in the city on a journey through a series of worlds to solve puzzles and rescue the princess. In each world, you have a different power to affect the way time behaves, including the ability to rewind, create parallel realities and utilize time dilation to overcome the many obstacles in your path. There is no filler in this game; every puzzle shows you something new and interesting about the game world.

Key Features:

Untraditional platforming. You can never die and never lose, but challenge is always present and focused on solving puzzles, rather than forcing you to play and replay tricky jumps.
Puzzle-rich environment. Travel through a series of worlds, searching for puzzle pieces and solving puzzles by manipulating time: rewinding, creating parallel universes and setting up pockets of dilated time. The game play is always fresh and new and the puzzles inspire new ways of thinking.
Aesthetic design. A painterly art style and lush, organic soundtrack complement the unique game play.
Nonlinear story. A nonlinear fiction links the various worlds and provides real-world metaphors for your time manipulations; act out these themes at your own pace, exploring playful “what if” universes.
Forgiving game play. The game doesn’t force you to solve puzzles in order to proceed. If you can’t figure something out, just play onward and return to that puzzle later.

LudiaMontreal – Interactive entertainment company Ludia and FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME) today announced the launch of the Family Feud game for iPhone® and iPod touch® on the App Store for $4.99.

Based on one of the most successful and beloved family game shows of all time, iPhone and iPod touch owners can now play anywhere, anytime as the leader of a ‘family’ in a contest to name the most popular answers to survey questions posed to 100 people. The game features all of the favorite elements of the Family Feudshow as played on television, including the scoreboard, face offs, strikes, stealing and ‘fast money’ rounds. Players also can enjoy Family Feud in multiplayer mode as they challenge family and friends head-to-head, or compete solo against the computer.

“We are excited to bring Family Feud, one of the most popular TV game shows and one that holds a consistently strong fan base, to devotees of the iPhone or iPod touch,” said Alex Thabet, Founder and CEO of Ludia Inc. “This Family Feud game release reinforces our strategy of delivering high quality products on the most popular devices so that people can have great game experiences in all the places they like to play,” he added.

Family Feud for iPhone and iPod touch features:

* Two game modes: single player and multiplayer.
* Fully customizable player avatars- choose hairstyles, clothing, accessories and more.
* Predictive text input and auto spell checker make typing answers lightning fast.
* Unlock bonus items as a reward for progress in the game.
* Authentic stages, theme music and sound effects create a true-to-show game experience.

“After more than three decades on television, the Emmy-award winning Family Feud is truly one of the most enduring game shows,” said Olivier Delfosse, Director, Interactive, FremantleMedia Enterprises, licensor for the program. “We are pleased to extend the franchise to innovative devices like the iPhone and iPod touch so that new and existing fans of the show can have a Family Feud experience wherever they are.”

Strategy FirstMontrealStrategy First, an international digital publisher and developer of interactive entertainment software, and Nvinium Games announced a strategic relationship whereby Nvinium will develop and market new versions of Strategy First’s best selling franchises Space Empires and Jagged Alliance for social network platforms. The initial deployment of these games will be as Facebook applications.

The original Space Empires released in 1993, has become one of the top 4X strategy games and has spawned four sequels. The award winning series most recent iteration, Space Empires V, with completely updated UI takes the player into a real-time rendered 3D universe. Space battles play out with incredible detail and realistic effects in a huge living and breathing galaxy. The series has received countless recognition for its creativity, originality, and mod-friendly environment. This series has maintained a very strong fan base of supporters and young developers who anxiously await each new game.

The original Jagged Alliance game was released in 1994 and has spawned five sequels. The franchise title, Jagged Alliance, describes the cutthroat relationships between members of a lethal mercenary team whose only true allegiance is to the highest bidder. Each a specialist in his or her own discipline, these operatives know that in order to survive their missions they must rely on but never dare trust each other. The team is assembled from the best of the best by the Alliance of International Mercenaries, an apolitical private organization with its own covert agenda. Jagged Alliance has a cult following with 1.5 million units sold since inception.

“We are delighted to team up with Nvinium to bring our flagship franchises into the new and exciting world of social network games. There has been a dramatic shift in the industry toward the online free to play micro transaction model and we believe that with this alliance we will be at the forefront of this new movement. Nvinium’s success in the space makes them an ideal partner to bring our award winning games to a much broader international audience,” said Emanuel Wall, President of Strategy First.

Matt Abrams, Chief Executive Officer of Nvinium, said “We are extremely excited to work with Strategy First on this venture. Space Empires and Jagged Alliance are well respected franchises and we look forward to introducing them to the social gaming community in the future.”

serebraVancouver – Ted Moorhouse, the Chairman and CEO of Serebra Learning Corporation, a leading e-learning solutions provider, this week outlined his vision for future access to Serebra courseware by way of both mobile and PC devices, while committing to work with the e-learning industry to evolve courseware, learning management systems and related applications to achieve that vision for customers.

In 2003, Serebra began its focus on what is now easyLearning, and that has been the better part of Serebra’s revenues ever since. In 2007, Serebra created Serebra Connect, a micro-task outsourcing application that gives easyLearning further standing and significance in developing nations.

This week, speaking at several industry seminars, Moorhouse announced that the future of Serebra will include a significant degree of mobile learning, or m-learning.

“Mobile learning is the next big step for learning,” said Moorhouse. “Using a variety of smartphones, people all over the world have developed nothing short of an emotional connection to the hand-held devices. To their users, smartphones are highly personal lifelines that allow them to stay connected. But staying connected means more than just voice-based communication. Smartphone users just won’t leave home without them, and they are penetrating all corners of the globe from the largest bank to the smallest and most impoverished village.”

The smartphone, in just one appliance, is a phone, an e-mail device, a calendar, a camera, a photo album, a music player, an address book, an Internet browser and an alarm clock. Now, the smartphone is poised to be an educator.

Moorhouse added, “Learning is about providing knowledge to change behavior for the betterment of the learner. But learning has often been associated with being a toll on the time of someone in a busy workplace. We all learn naturally all the time; we really learn something new every day. E-learning, and now m-learning, gives control back to the learner. M-learning, when designed properly, is complementary to e-learning. It delivers the same messages, but in a different medium.”

M-learning from Serebra, with availability in early 2010, will work on the BlackBerry, the iPhone and on devices powered by Microsoft Windows Mobile. There will be short e-learning courses, complete with assessments and surveys, which will meet the relevant industry standards. Best of all, the Serebra m-learning courses should produce dramatic increases in learner participation and satisfaction.

Moorhouse concluded, “At Serebra, m-learning will become an integral part of our core e-learning offering. Mobile learning, in my opinion, will dramatically and quickly change the way people learn and think about learning. To me, it will be the start of a new learning revolution. In fact, I believe we could even refer to Serebra’s future as “u-learning and me-learning”, where “u” refers to universal or ubiquitous learning and “me” refers to mobile and electronic learning. I guess we could even call it ‘You and me learning’ as an appropriate catch-phrase.”

In his closing remarks to delegates at one industry event in Dublin Ireland, Moorhouse announced a series of product news, initiatives and industry alliances to help customers achieve improved access to learning, including the immediate availability of Serebra Campus 3.8, the public release of a more streamlined Serebra Connect and new collaboration with industry partners.

PayPalTorontoPayPal Canada today announced that its mobile “Send Money” application is now available for BlackBerry® smartphones. The PayPal application is free to download from BlackBerry App World™ and makes it easy for BlackBerry smartphone owners to send money quickly to friends and family around the world from their PayPal accounts.

“Any BlackBerry smartphone user who has bought an application on their phone is already familiar with PayPal, as we provide the payment system for BlackBerry App World,” said Eric Duprat, general manager of PayPal Mobile. “We’re thrilled that BlackBerry smartphone users now have an easy way to send money to almost anyone with a phone number or email address anywhere in the world, directly from their phones.”

PayPal is a leader in safer online payments with more than 78 million active accounts in 190 markets around the world. This global reach, paired with the international popularity of BlackBerry smartphones, will enable a safer and easy way to send mobile payments. Users can send money to anyone in their contact list, eliminating the need to remember email addresses and phone numbers. Users can also check their recent history and account balance directly from their BlackBerry smartphone.

Absolute SoftwareVancouver Absolute® Software Corporation, the leading provider of firmware-based, patented, computer theft recovery, data protection and secure IT asset management solutions announced today that it will be exhibiting at the 2010 International Consumer Electronics Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center, booth central No. 8953 this coming January 7th – 10th. During the show, Absolute will demonstrate a major enhancement to its consumer theft recovery and data protection product, Computrace® LoJack® for Laptops.

Absolute Software will also be attending ShowStoppers on January 7, 2010 from 6 – 10pm at The Wynn, Lafitte Ballroom, Las Vegas, where they will showcase new functionality and updates to its Computrace and Computrace LoJack for Laptops products

– Computrace LoJack for Laptops by Absolute Software offers computer theft recovery and remote data deletion for consumers; using any Internet connection, Absolute can track computers, remotely delete data and recover stolen computers
– Computrace, the corporate product from Absolute, also offers these services, with the addition of IT asset management, geolocation and Device Freeze functionality
– Booth visitors will be able to see how a theft recovery works
– Absolute will also be making a major announcement at CES regarding enhanced functionality for Computrace LoJack for Laptops

QuickPlay MediaTorontoQuickPlay Media, the premier provider of solutions that manage the business of mobile video, announced today that it has been named a Mobile Excellence Award winner in the “Best Mobile Video Technology” category for its PrimeTime2Go premium mobile TV service. This is the second consecutive year in which QuickPlay has taken home the “Best Mobile Video Technology” award, winning last year for its work on the fully integrated mobile video and radio service, Rogers Vision.

“To be recognized by the Mobile Excellence Awards for two consecutive years is truly an honor,” said Wayne Purboo, president and CEO, QuickPlay Media. “We continue to see an increasing demand for premium mobile video solutions that enable consumers to extend their viewing experience beyond the confines of their living rooms. By providing consumers with features similar to those of popular in-home DVR devices, PrimeTime2Go is feeding this appetite, and in doing so, helping shape the future of mobile entertainment.”

Released in May 2009, PrimeTime2Go is a monthly subscription fee-based service that allows consumers to watch their favorite shows at any time and from anywhere. The service currently features popular programs from major networks and cable providers including ABC, CBS, MTVN, NBC, Bravo, Discovery Channel, ESPN and more. After signing up for PrimeTime2Go, consumers can download programs on-demand or set the service to automatically deliver full episodes of popular TV series soon after the original air date. All downloads take place over Wi-Fi, so the service doesn’t affect consumers’ mobile data usage. After the download is complete subscribers can view their programs in both connected and disconnected environments such as an airplane or a train.

“Winners of the 2009 Mobile Excellence Awards represent the creative visionaries and technological pioneers of the mobile entertainment industry,” said Sarah Miller, CEO, Axis PR and founder & chair, Mobile Excellence Awards. “We’re proud to recognize QuickPlay Media for their success in bringing cutting-edge mobile video solutions to the Mobile Entertainment Awards this year.”

The 2009 Mobile Excellence Awards, produced by Little Monster Media, recognize the best in the mobile entertainment industry including media, marketing and technology. Winners were selected based upon strategic initiatives and objectives, impact of technology used, creativity, ease-of-use, reach and execution and proven market success. Winners were recognized at the prestigious Mobile Excellence Awards Ceremony, which took place on December 7th at the Sofitel Hotel in Los Angeles.

Memory ProjectToronto – Starting today, through The Memory Project: Stories of the Second World War, Canadians can learn about how some of our veterans celebrated the holidays away from home and on the frontlines. The stories from veterans coast to coast are available online and are accessible in both official languages.

Between 1939 and 1945, more than 1 million Canadians and Newfoundlanders served either on the home front or overseas, fighting for King and country. During that time, most would spend the holidays on the frontlines of war rather than at home with their families.

“In Canada, we have so much to be thankful for at this time of year,” said Project Manager, Jenna Misener. “Holidays at War is a unique opportunity for all Canadians to remember and reflect on the service and sacrifice of our veterans made more than 65 years ago.”

The Memory Project: Stories of the Second World War is creating an unprecedented record of Canada’s participation in the Second World War as seen through the eyes of thousands of men and women who were there. The Project will provide every living Second World War veteran with the opportunity to preserve their memories through recorded interviews and digitized memorabilia.

The Memory Project: Stories of the Second World War is made possible through a contribution from the Government of Canada through the Celebrations and Commemorations Program of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

The Historica-Dominion Institute is a national charitable organization that was launched on September 1st, 2009 through the amalgamation of two existing organizations: The Historica Foundation of Canada and The Dominion Institute. Its mandate is to build active and informed citizens through a greater knowledge and appreciation of the history, heritage and stories of Canada. Some of its signature programs include: Encounters with Canada, The Memory Project, Passages to Canada and The Canadian Encyclopedia.

TUN3RToronto – Internet radio aggregator TUN3R today announced the availability of their much anticipated iPhone/iPod application in the Apple iTunes App Store.

The TUN3R iPhone app raises the bar for Internet Radio applications by offering for the first time in the Apple iTunes App Store an Internet Radio Player featuring:

* Real-Time audio/visual browsing of over 2,000 stations representing the crème-de-la-crème of TUN3R ScreenshotInternet and AM/FM radio. Stations are organized as a continuum of genres and cities for intuitive browsing

* Recommendation [Might Likes™ feature which suggests radio stations based on what iPod artists were listened to last. Recommendations change over time and are always current
* Find stations based on what they play (artist or song title). Or find stations based on the contents of their web home page
* Visual bookmarks for fast and simple switching between stations’ live streams
* Live streaming playback options including: Built-in player; Safari (for background listening); and RadioBox integration
* Top 10 lists showing: Most Popular Stations; Recently Added Stations; Recently View Stations; and Random Spotlights

The application – which has been in the works for over a year – represents the ideal embodiment of TUN3R’s critically acclaimed approach to Internet Radio. The application also solves a major problem for users new to Internet radio: How to find live stations of interest among the thousands of stations available. TUN3R’s solution is very simple and effective: Users can simply press the “Might Likes TM” button on the search screen. The application automatically looks for the last ten artists played from the iPod library, and then searches for stations that play those artists. For example, if a user has recently played classical music on their iPod, they will be presented with classical stations.

“TUN3R is a tactile application to begin with, so browsing on the iPhone’s touchscreen feels very natural. Seeing is believing.” said Neil Hepburn, TUN3R’s co-founder and general manager of marketing. “With the iPhone’s recent iPod API integration, we saw an opportunity to create an entirely new kind of recommendation feature which we expect newcomers to Internet Radio will find very useful. As we like to say ‘Your mood. Your station'”

TUN3R plans to expand its business through its proposed Profit Sharing for Webcasters business model, which will provide users with high quality streams, and in turn compensate stations based on usage.

This entry was posted on Thursday, December 17th, 2009 at 11:12 am and is filed under Associations, Awards, Business News, Casual, Digital Products, Education, Everyone, Everyone 10+, Mobile, National News, New Releases, Puzzle, Software, Studios, Upcoming Releases. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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