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  • Ubisoft Launches First Uplay Services with Assassin’s Creed 2

17th November 2009

Ubisoft Launches First Uplay Services with Assassin’s Creed 2

UbisoftMontrealUbisoft announced today that players of Assassin’s Creed II on PlayStation® 3 and Xbox 360® will be able to use the in-game interface to connect directly to the Uplay beta.

Uplay is Ubisoft’s online destination where gamers are at the center of a connected gaming universe that will be developed around four primary services: Uplay Win, Uplay Help, Uplay Share and Uplay Shop. The Uplay Beta is only launching with Uplay Win so far.

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Uplay Win enables players to collect units based on their actions in the games and exchange them for rewards such as exclusive in-game content or goodies. Uplay Win’s Units can also be gathered cross platform: PC,360, PS3.

In Assassin’s Creed II, a real Altaïr costume and exclusive in-game content such as access to the Auditore Family Crypt are among the rewards offered through Uplay Win. For those who don’t want to redeem their units right away, they can save them to use on other games such as the upcoming Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Conviction and many more to come. Players will also be able to access Uplay Share, Uplay Shop and Uplay Help.

Assassin’s Creed 2 is now available in stores.

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17th November 2009

Scene It? Bright Lights! Big Screen! Launches

A2MMontrealScreenlife and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment are pleased to announce the North American launch of Scene It?® Bright Lights! Big Screen!™, the newest videogame in the Scene It?® family of entertainment trivia games. Developed by Montreal’s Artificial Mind & Movement (A2M), Scene It? Bright Lights! Big Screen! is the first videogame in the Scene It? franchise available for Wii™ and PlayStation®3 computer entertainment systems, and marks a return for the brand to Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system from Microsoft.

Scene It? Bright Lights! Big Screen! offers families, Hollywood stargazers, casual gamers and movie enthusiasts a lively group gaming experience with thousands of new questions about recent film releases, as well as fan favorite Hollywood hits from the last four decades. Recent hits featured in Scene It? BrightScene It? Wii Version Lights! Big Screen! include The 40 Year Old Virgin, Superbad, Hairspray, Tropic Thunder and Get Smart. Classic films featured in Scene It? Bright Lights! Big Screen! include The Karate Kid, Fatal Attraction, The Princess Bride, Sixteen Candles, Night of the Living Dead, Enter the Dragon and Superman.

Scene It? Bright Lights! Big Screen! has enhanced single and multi-player gameplay. Single-player mode tests player speed and knowledge, while multi-player mode allows for a spirited social gameplay experience, perfect for parties and family gatherings. Up to four teams can test their silver screen knowledge with more than 20 different puzzles and minigames across four play modes, providing new and unique ways for Scene It? competitors to engage.

Gamers can play alongside the witty Scene It? Bright Lights! Big Screen! game host and choose from 12 new game avatars based on classic Hollywood genre-inspired icons such as Horror Queen, Desperado, Starlet, Leading Man or Swashbuckler. Players can take the ultimate insider challenge at the end of each round with the Star System minigame to extend their lead or close the gap during competitive matches.

Scene It? Bright Lights! Big Screen! is compatible with multiple controllers including standard console controllers, BUZZ!™ Buzzers and Microsoft’s Big Button controllers. Wii gamers can use the Wii Remote™ to buzz-in and “scratch off” puzzles to reveal hidden images.

Scene It? Bright Lights! Big Screen! is rated “T” for Teen (Drug Reference, Mild Blood, Mild Language, Mild Violence, Sexual Themes) and is available for the suggested retail price of $39.99

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17th November 2009

Get Fit for the Holidays With EA SPORTS Active More Workouts

EA Sports ActiveBurnaby – People around the world have experienced the revolution in interactive fitness with EA SPORTS Active™ Personal Trainer, the critically acclaimed and effective circuit style exercise program that gives you the benefit of a personal trainer in a box. Today, EA SPORTS™, a label of Electronic Arts Inc., announced that EA SPORTS Active™ More Workouts is now available in North American retail stores and will be available worldwide on November 20th, 2009. Developed exclusively for the Wii™ by EA Canada, EA SPORTS Active More Workouts is the highly anticipated second installment in the EA SPORTS Active franchise, an innovative line of interactive fitness products that offer personalized, customizable EA Sports Active More Workoutsworkouts. Developed in collaboration with fitness experts, including Bob Greene – renowned exercise physiologist, author and Oprah’s personal trainer – the EA SPORTS Active franchise provides an effective, inexpensive way to burn calories, get fit and have fun from the comfort of home.

EA SPORTS Active More Workouts will keep users motivated, and their hearts pumping, with new challenges and variety. It features over 35 new exercises and activities that create unlimited combinations of customizable exercise routines targeting upper and lower body, as well as cardio. New to the EA SPORTS Active franchise will be an emphasis on abdominal exercises including Curl Ups and Crunch and Punches, as well as a Warm Up/Cool Down feature. An all-new presentation will bring users to the tropics and will immerse them in warm weather activities like waterskiing and paddle surfing.

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16th November 2009

Across The Country in Fifteen Minutes

Krabbit OnlineSurreyKrabbitSoft is pleased to announce that KrabbitWorld Origins is now available on Direct2Drive for both Windows and Mac for $14.95. KrabbitSoft has burst out of the gate at full speed, garnering kudos from journalists, gamers and even lawyers. The Davis LLP blog says that “Indie developer Krabbitsoft has done what some thought was impossible, developing and releasing an exciting, graphics-laden Action/RPG based on their own IP.”

Furious hack n’ slash combines with customizable Krabbits and choice to play in Story Mode or Battle Modes including Arcade, Versus, Team and Survival. Six playable Krabbits can be leveled up to 99 in sandbox or linear gameplay style. No grind and loot aplenty, characters level quickly in Story Mode, Krabbit Onlinegaining XP with every action. Building your Krabbit doesn’t stop at level 99. Continue building powers to 999. Character building includes gaining XP, building stats, and changing appearance any time. 3D drag n’ drop inventory and paper doll windows are featured along with account share bins, colour cloning bins, dye vendor, click map to travel and Ruby Slippers of ‘return to Adobe’.

KrabbitWorld Origins is a creative game focused on colour. Players are encouraged to experiment with dying their Krabbits to their heart’s content. Choose from 8 Realms of Origin colour palettes to design a Krabbit influenced by Darkness or Light, Death or Dreams, Solar or Contrivance, Beast or Archetypical KrabbitWorld. Transfer your Krabbits from an earlier version to a newer version or from laptop to desktop PC. Re-install a new version over an older one and still retain your already leveled Krabbits.

New Features This Week:
• Brutal Moves
• Built-in Patcher
• Elemental Bracers & Weapons Packs

Siggraph Vancouver There are still a few tickets left for Wednesday evening’s SIGGRAPH Vancouver presentation of Bringing Dragon Age to Life. BioWare’s Lead Animator Clove Roy and Lead Character Artist Shane Hawco discuss the challenges faced in creating digital actors for BioWare’s newest award-winning role-playing epic Dragon Age: Origins. This presentation will provide an in-depth look in how to tell a huge complex story through an interactive narrative complete with hundreds of emotionally engaging digital actors. I am so not missing this session – and tonight I am playing through the Final Onslaught and taking on the Archdemon for the first time. Soon all of you will be able to find out my thoughts on the entire game. If you missed my first 48-ish hours in Dragon Age, you can catch up here.

Eidos MontrealMontreal – As Day One of MIGS gets underway, all reports thus far say the seminars have been fantastic – along with the weather. Eidos Montreal kicked off their MIGS week with a very successful open house event which saw over 500 guests come through the studio – and get a few glimpses at Deus Ex 3 and Thief 4 goings-on. I’m feeling just a touch of envy here.

Also in Montreal, Bug-Tracker has announced that Wolfgang Klingel is its new General Sales Manager for Europe. This move closely follows Bug-Tracker’s expansion strategy into Asia and Europe and its ever Bug-Trackerincreasing focus on those critical markets.

With over 15 years’ experience in the video game industry, Wolfgang Klingel will be responsible for extending the company’s foothold in the European video game market as well as strengthening its exposure to the publishers and developers in this area. Wolfgang KlingelKlingel’s duties will involve collaborating and developing synergies between the North American and Asian studios in order to improve communication throughout the whole group and thus enhancing overall customer satisfaction. Klingel’s past experience includes Director of Development at Vivendi Games’ Coktel Studio and Vice-President Europe of Enzyme Testing Labs, another major quality assurance and localization company, and helped contribute to its successful development.

“Wolfgang will greatly help reinforce and grow our presence in the market we started out in 10 years ago” declared Antoine Carre, founder and CEO. “He will bring together and integrate key components of Bug-Tracker’s worldwide studios, in order to shape, lead and create new market opportunities. Adding an accomplished European video game business veteran such as Wolfgang to our team demonstrates our commitment to continuously fortify our leadership role in the QA and localization industry.”

digital albertaCalgary via Digital Alberta – Alberta’s minister of culture says the province’s film industry will finally be getting its own state-of-the-art film studio after reaching an “agreement in principle” with the owners of the Canada Olympic Park site to purchase land for a new facility.  The studio, which is estimated to cost $26 million not including the purchase of the land, will be built on four hectares to be purchased from WinSport Canada, which operates Canada Olympic Park. Blackett says he hopes to start building in the spring, but stressed that negotiations between WinSport, Calgary Economic Development and the Government of Alberta were still ongoing.

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16th November 2009

iPhone Forum Vancouver Reminder

via New Media BC – Vancouver is hosting its first iPhone Forum, a one-day event on Nov. 24 at the downtown campus of the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT). The Forum, sponsored by Bell, is a joint initiative between CBC/Radio-Canada, New Media BC and BCIT.

“Bell is pleased to take a leading role in bringing the iPhone Forum to Vancouver following the launch of our new network earlier this month,” said Rick Jones, Director, Business Sales Western Region for Bell Mobility. “Bell’s new high-speed wireless network is the fastest and largest in Canada, bringing the benefits of mobile broadband access to some 20,000 cities and towns across the country.”

The day kicks off with a keynote address by iPhone creator Apple Inc., followed by speakers from Canada and the US, sharing their experience and best practices for doing business in a market where people are always connected.

“Mobile computing is coming to the masses with smartphones like the iPhone, which is fundamentally changing how people interact with media,” said CBC’s General Manager Digital Programming & Business Development, Steve Billinger. “We’re bringing business leaders, legal professionals, engineers and designers together to learn and share as much as we can about this rapidly changing new world.”

This is a must attend event for professionals of all stripes to gain the knowledge and insight required for strategic advancement. The Forum offers two tracks of discussion: Technical sessions for those that want a deeper understanding of how to design and develop for the Apple Touch Platform; and Business sessions that focus on leveraging the Platform’s market potential.

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16th November 2009

Setup Factory 8.2 For Windows 7 Developers

Indigo RoseWinnipegIndigo Rose Software has launched Setup Factory 8.2 with full support for Microsoft Windows 7. Software developers can now build a single software installer program that works just as well on the latest Windows operating systems (Windows 7, Server 2008, Vista) as it does on legacy systems like Windows 95, 98, 2000 and XP. This makes Setup Factory 8.2 a unique solution for software developers who require the widest compatibility for their setup programs.Setup Factory

An easy-to-use Project Wizard helps programmers create ready-to-build software installation projects in minutes. They can simply drag and drop files and folders onto the project window and they’re ready to build. Setup Factory outputs a compact, single-file setup.exe that is ideal for distribution via Internet download, CD/DVD-ROM, USB memory keys and corporate networks.

“Indigo Rose is excited to launch this new version of Setup Factory,” said Colin Adams, President at Indigo Rose Software Design Corporation. “Making Setup Factory compatible with Microsoft Windows 7 ensures that our customers can deploy their software development projects on the widest variety of Windows operating systems possible. It’s just one more reason that over 20,000 companies worldwide rely on Indigo Rose’s software development tools to help deliver their digital products.”

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15th November 2009

A Flurry of New Videos From Ubisoft

UbisoftMontrealUbisoft has released several new videos over the past few days on two channels. To watch the latest Assassin’s Creed 2 Lineage short movies, head over to the Ubisoft Assassin’s Creed UK channel for the English versions. If you want to watch the complete movie at one go, it has been released as a 35 minute film, also on the UK channel. To recount the story thus far, assassin Giovanni Auditore is tasked with investigating the plot behind the murder of the Duke of Milan. The answers he uncovers implicate Italy’s most powerful families, and not surprisingly, the evil plot reaches all the way to the Vatican. As Giovanni draws closer to the truth, he too becomes hunted. Now he must not only unravel the threads which lead to the conspirators, he must protect his family. Speaking of family, I may have to show the short movie to my Mother, so that she can see that there is much more to the games I play than just murder, mayhem and blowing things up. I’ve been a gamer for …several… years now, and she still doesn’t “get it” so maybe Lineage will help – at least a little.

There has also been a new dev diary for Avatar the Game released. Viewers can watch and learn more about Avatar in the Na’vi Gameplay Walkthrough video with Executive Producer Patrick Naud.

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Other recent video releases include an Achievements video for Shaun White Snowboarding World Stage and a new Splinter Cell: Convictions “Behind Closed Doors” dev video called Create A Hero.  If you missed Behind Closed Doors Part 1 – Redefining Splinter Cell, you can watch it here.  I may have to pick up the Splinter Cell Convictions novel to read so that I’m more up to speed when Convictions comes out on February 25 2010.  Release timing for this game is excellent – with new titles from Ubisoft and Bioware, I will have loads to do while waiting out the Olympic mayhem that will be occurring on the other side of the Port Mann Bridge during the same time period.

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13th November 2009

Home Sweet Home iPhone From Big Blue Bubble Has Arrived

Big Blue BubbleLondon ONBig Blue Bubble Inc. is pleased to announce that their smash hit Home Sweet Home has arrived at Apple’s App Store! Home Sweet Home will give you the chance to unleash your hidden talents as an Interior Designer. You choose the furniture, patterns, and colors to create a masterpiece that will blow your client away.

Picture the scene. You move into a new house and you have visions of how you want Home Sweet Homeevery room, except for one. Sure, there are some items you know you need in that room but, other than that, it’s a blank canvas. Who do you call? How about the ‘Home Sweet Home’ team? Learn about your clients to ensure you are designing the perfect room for their tastes. Next, choose the furniture, choose the colors and patterns and place items around the room until the design is perfect. Then direct your build team of workers to assemble it all in front of your eyes! With simple controls, a fun graphical style, and an easy to use interface, Home Sweet Home allows you to nurture your creative side.

Remember – a house is not a home until its ‘Home Sweet Home’!

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“The sort of title that you just know is destined for great things, and makes you proud to be a casual gamer. An original, eye-catching blend of puzzle-solving and real-time strategy mechanics based on an innovative concept – 4.5 stars” – Gamezebo.com

“Home Sweet Home is an original game to make your life, crazier, funnier, and brighter. The game features an attractive idea and combines different game styles.” – GameMile.com

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13th November 2009

Fusion Top 10 And SME National Award Winners

Fusion ForumVancouver – After a very successful Fusion Forum Boot Camp and Presentation Day, the Top Ten Finalists were announced by New Media BC last evening at the networking mixer. Congratulations to all of you, and good luck with today’s investor meetings. The Best in Show presentation winner was Ecobuddies Interactive.

GAMESFusion Forum 2009 Top Ten

Clicktoy
Ecobuddies Interactive

MOBILE

Aegis Mobility
AppSocial
Mobify

WEB 2.0 / SOCIAL MEDIA

Muutu
My Wedding Match
Wantsa

APPLICATIONS & NEW PLATFORMS

Mingleverse Labs
Moving Media

Bug-TrackerMontreal – On the other side of the country, Bug-Tracker has distinguished itself as a Gold winner during the National Awards ceremony, which took place at the Cirque Éloize on November 6th.

“Each year through the SME Awards, the Financial Group honors the exceptional performance of the province’s enterprises and their leaders. The nominees are passionate, involved and visionary men and women who, through their dedicated work and excellent results, have carved themselves a place in a highly competitive environment” declared Réjean Lévesque, Executive Vice-President – Retail and left to right: Patricia Curadeau-Grou, EVP, Finance, Risk and Treasury, National Bank Financial Group; Kaveh Masrour, COO, Bug Tracker inc.; Antoine Carre, President, Bug Tracker inc.; Anne Bougerolles, Administrative Director, Bug Tracker inc.; Patrick Turmel, GM, Business Services, Montreal Centre, National Bank Financial GroupCommercial Banking, and Honorary President of the Gala.

“To receive this honor is a true recognition for ourselves and our teams” explained Antoine Carre, Founding President of Bug-Tracker. “We are all very proud to distinguish ourselves again by our will to excel in the management of our resources and relationships with our partners. Our reputation will now be able to continue to shine at the national level as well as on the international scene”.

Finally, the Financial Group underscored its collaboration with its trusted partners – Samson Bélair/Deloitte & Touche, IBM Canada Ltd, Bell Canada, La Presse, Le Droit and TVA – in uniting to pay homage to the boldness, determination and excellence of the best of Canadian entrepreneurship.

Two reports on the Montreal office of Bug-Tracker will be broadcast, one during the program “Salut Bonjour!” on TVA, and the second on Canal Argent, from November 27th to December 23th 2009.

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12th November 2009

Ontario Gives Another Boost to Digital Economy

OntarioToronto – Ontario is supporting a new commercialization centre that will help digital media entrepreneurs build new companies and create jobs. The province plans to invest more than $26 million in The Communitech Hub: Digital Media & Mobile Accelerator (“The Hub”), a new centre that will help emerging digital media companies grow and succeed in the global market. In particular, The Hub will look beyond the entertainment sector to focus on companies creating hardware and software for industries, including advanced manufacturing, healthcare and finance.

Based in Waterloo Region, The Hub expects thousands of jobs could be created over the first five years by serving entrepreneurs across the province. This investment supports Ontario’s Innovation Agenda, the province’s plan to make innovation a driving force of Ontario’s economy. The Hub will focus on commercialization, business development and access to financing. It will offer state-of-the-art tools and lab space, with equipment and support provided by industry leaders including Open Text Corporation, Christie Digital Systems Canada Inc., Intel, Agfa HealthCare and Research In Motion.

“Ontario is already recognized as a global leader in the digital media sector and today we are sending a clear signal to digital entrepreneurs everywhere – Ontario means business. The Hub will strengthen our ability to support innovators across the province, as they work to turn new ideas into new jobs and globally competitive businesses,” said John Milloy, Minister of Research and Innovation.

“Digital media and mobile computing are the future of Canada’s technology industry. The Hub is a place where entrepreneurs and business leaders can make connections, start companies, and create jobs for Ontario,” said Iain Klugman, President and CEO, Communitech.

Worldwide, the digital media sector is one of the fastest growing industries in the knowledge economy, and its double-digit growth rate will help drive the global media market up to US$2.2 trillion by 2012. Ontario has the third-largest entertainment and creative sector in North America, after California and New York. Ontario’s digital media industry generates more than $1 billion annually.

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