Before we get into today’s news, just a reminder that submissions are now open for the 2010 Canada New Media Awards. Get your nominations in now, the early bird deadline is July 16th.
Updated with link: Mattel Canada is taking the new Hot Wheels® Colour Shifters™ collection for a road trip across Canada this summer. They are stopping over at 50 Canadian community festival events between now and September. Mattel Canada’s Assistant Brand Manager Melissa Chau will officially launch the summer tour tomorrow morning at Toronto’s Yonge and Dundas Square. The summer road trip is meant to show off the new life-size Colour Shifter Ford Mustang, and kids who attend the launch event tomorrow can help change the colour of the car, play with Hot Wheels® toys and also receive a special Hot Wheels® collector booklet, T-shirt and more.
Tickets for Interactive Ontario’s IN 2010 are now on sale, with Super Early Bird and special rates for those delegates who attended the event last year expiring on July 16th. This cross-platform, multi-stream conference about the business and ideas of interactivity will take place from September 12-14 at the Carlu in Toronto. The conference will be divided into the following streams:
Mobile: The IN Mobile stream will present sessions from case studies to discussions about the latest and greatest key developments, the current status and future development trends in wireless technology.
Social Media: Social Media at IN will focus on the creative and business opportunities in a sector which is continuously reinventing itself through user-generated content. Showcasing leading-edge projects and discussions about the newest communication platforms, these sessions will explore marketing, collaboration, information sharing, and experimental crossovers.
Games: The video games industry continues to be one of the fastest growing industries worldwide. With an eye toward intellectual property, which is exploitable along multiple entertainment verticals, this stream brings creative, production and business perspectives to the table at IN 2010. Industry veterans will discuss current trends, explore leading-edge projects and examine the challenges and opportunities that exist in crossover projects.
X-Platform: This stream focuses on the opportunities that lie in the digital media content space as it continues to grow by showcasing the interconnectedness of various interactive sectors within cultural and digital media industries. This stream highlights the potential creative and business opportunities that exist between platforms.
Visionary: The visionary stream is dedicated to showcasing thought-leaders. Made up of the innovators, originators, inventors and explorers of big ideas. These forward-thinkers share their vision and in turn, incite new ways of thinking about business models, interactivity, and technology.
A release date has been set in zombie blood for Dead Rising 2. Fans of this survival-horror title from CapCom and Blue Castle Games can assimilate the persona of motorcycle racer Chuck Greene on September 28th. Dead Rising 2 is listed at Future Shop for $59.99 (Xbox 360) and $64.99 (PS3), while Best Buy lists both versions at $59.99. Neither store lists a PC version, and the CapCom US store doesn’t yet list Dead Rising 2 at all. GameStop Canada also neglects the PC version, but it does offer the strategy guide for pre-order.
CapCom also confirmed late last week that Zombrex Dead Rising Sun, a motion picture inspired by the Dead Rising universe, will be distributed free of charge in both Europe and North America this summer. Written and directed by Keiji Inafune, Capcom’s global head of research and development, Zombrex Dead Rising Sun follows two brothers as they try to escape the zombie outbreak that has hit Japan. Exploring the darker side of human nature and filmed entirely on location in Japan, Zombrex Dead Rising Sun, both pays homage to the zombie movies of the 1960s and ‘70s and provides links with the videogame world of Dead Rising®.
Zombrex Dead Rising Sun will be released digitally in a series of eight episodes which Dead Rising and zombie movie fans can watch for free. Featuring an English voice over, the episodes will also be available as separate versions with French, Spanish and Italian subtitles.
Vancouver indie studioAll Seeing Eye Games has launched its debut title exclusively on Xbox LIVE Marketplace. Drum Studio, available for 80 Microsoft Points, allows players to play, record, edit, save and playback their own song creations on their Xbox 360 drum kit. It utilizes the full potential of the drum kit to put the power of music creation in the players’ hands.
Game Designer Joel Cappelletto says, “Drum Studio takes music games to a new level with its creation and customization tools. We’re very excited to finally share it with the world.”
Drum Studio does away with playing along to pre-determined drum lines. Instead, players create their own jams on drums they’ve customized from a library of over 320 sounds. A simple & elegant recording interface allows players to layer in multiple tracks and hone their songs to perfection before they save the song, kick back, and watch an animated drummer play back their creation.
The past few years have seen the music game genre explode into a cultural phenomenon only to fizzle out in its own stagnation & over-saturation. Drum Studio aims to push the genre forward in meaningful ways with its robust customization & creation tools and re-ignite some of the passion players felt that first time they sat down at a plastic instrument peripheral.
The dev team over at Montreal’s Gamerizon Studio are celebrating as their sports title Chop Chop Tennis ™ has become the company’s third iPhone game in a row to generate over 1 million downloads on the App Store.
Chop Chop Tennis™ became the #1 downloaded sports game in over 40 countries late last week and during the weekend when it was offered free for a few days. It also reached the top 5 overall downloaded apps in most countries (including #2 in the US and #3 in China ). Chop Chop Tennis is available for a special price of $0.99 for a limited time only on the App Store.
Gamerizon’s first two iPhone games – Chop Chop Ninja™ and Chop Chop Runner™ also reached the magic number earlier this year.
“Reaching the 1 million level is in itself no small feat,” said Alex Sakiz, CEO of Gamerizon. “But when you can do it three times in a row with your first three games, it’s clear you’ve got something very special going on.”
With around 4 million downloads in the last 3 months, the Chop Chop™ series is quickly becoming one of the world’s top gaming franchises on the iPhone/iPad platforms. The next instalment in the series, Chop Chop Soccer™ is scheduled for launch towards the end of July 2010.
Manpower has launched an innovative suite of online and social media tools designed to enhance employee engagement and their overall job search experience, including video interviewing technology, candidate-centric resources, and mobile applications to access up-to-the-minute information.
“These Manpower solutions are leading the way candidates and employers interact”, says Byrne Luft, Vice President of Marketing for Manpower Canada. “The ability to recruit talent and service clients is significantly advanced with the development of these online tools”.
At the core of this innovative strategy is the introduction of Manpower’s video interviewing technology called, “Candidate Studio”. An integral part of our candidate pre-screening process, this new initiative will bring candidates to clients in a way that will change the industry’s recruitment perspective. An industry first, this innovative web-based video tool allows clients to preview candidates from any location, including their smartphones, to gain intuitive impressions in a quick and convenient way.
“Traditional recruiting programs and methodologies are often too slow, too expensive and take up valuable time, and results in higher cost-per-hire, decreased candidate quality and satisfaction, and higher turnover. This technology will address these issues, and expedite the recruitment process in an effortless way that will ultimately impact the quality of hire that we deliver to our clients”, says Luft.
Manpower is also the first staffing firm in Canada to invest heavily into search engine job optimization to attract talent to our career site. Manpower has customized landing pages for every possible search that job seekers might perform.
By shifting the focus from linear recruiting, and adopting a relationship approach, Manpower has access to larger candidate pools. Manpower’s presence within various social media networks (such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Craigslist, and Facebook) allows them to reach passive and active candidates and build more highly sustainable relationship networks.
Manpower’s talent landing pages have been created to serve as job-seeking “portals”, offering industry specific resources, and the chance to interact via “Live Chat” with an expert recruitment professional. These pages also allow access to career-building resources that ensure candidates find ideal jobs that are aligned with their goals and career aspirations.
This philosophy extends beyond Manpower’s online social communities with an interactive kiosk located at Manpower’s flagship office in Toronto, which enables individuals to research, access and apply for jobs 24 hours a day. This is yet another example of how Manpower is focused on assisting businesses and individuals in navigating through the changing world of work.
UBM TechWeb Game Network has opened the submission process for the 2011 Independent Games Festival to be held at GDC 2011 in San Francisco next March.
The longest-running and highest-profile independent video game festival, summit and showcase is now accepting entries to the 13th annual Festival, with deadlines in the Main and Student Showcase categories by October 18th and November 1st respectively, and finalists to be announced on January 2011.
All games selected as finalists will be available in playable form at the IGF Pavilion on the GDC show floor, and will compete for nearly $50,000 in prizes, including the Nuovo Award, Excellence in Design, Art, Best Student Game, the Audience Award and the $20,000 Seumas McNally Grand Prize. Winners will be announced on stage at the high-profile Independent Games Festival Awards on Wednesday, March 2, 2011, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.
GDC 2011 also includes the 2011 Independent Games Summit, which is entering its fifth year and offers two days of inspiration and practical lectures and rants from the top minds in the independent games world.
Continuing to honor the best and brightest of the indie gaming community, the Independent Games Festival is expanding in its thirteenth year to recognize the new opportunities open to mobile and handheld game developers. Responding to developer feedback, games made for Apple’s iPhone and iPad, the Android operating system, Nintendo DS/DSi, PlayStation Portable, and all handheld devices will compete in the same traditional IGF categories. They will also be eligible for a new Best Mobile Game award, honoring innovation, achievement and artistry in handheld gaming.
Other changes to the 2011 festival include an expanded focus on alternative elements in independent gaming, with the number of finalists for the IGF Nuovo Award — honoring abstract, shortform, and otherwise esoteric ‘art games’ — increasing from five to eight games in total.
The modifications continue to expand the Independent Game Festival’s global importance as the largest and most all-encompassing showcase of independent game talent across the wide spectrum of artistically- and commercially-aimed development. Notable former IGF winners include World of Goo, Braid, Castle Crashers, Everyday Shooter, Darwinia and Audiosurf, with IGF 2010 prizewinner Limbo a key game in Xbox Live Arcade’s ‘Summer of Arcade’ line-up and 2010 nominee Joe Danger a recent, acclaimed release on PlayStation Network.
Brandon Boyer, Chairman of the IGF, said of this year’s event: “Expanding the IGF to include mobile and more artistic experiences is our way of recognizing the constantly evolving landscape of indie game development, and the advancement of the expression possible in the medium itself. I’m more excited than ever to see what the indie community creates for this year’s festival, and wish all the entrants the best of luck!”
Submissions to the competition are now open to all independent game developers; important dates for IGF 2011 are as follows:
— June 28th, 2010 – Submissions are Open
— October 18th, 2010 – Submission Deadline, Main Competition
— November 1st, 2010 – Submission Deadline, Student Competition
— January 3rd, 2011 – Finalists Announced, Main Competition
— January 10, 2011 – Finalists Announced, Student Competition
— February 28 – March 4, 2011 – Game Developers Conference 2011
— February 28 – March 1, 2011 – Indie Games Summit @ GDC 2011
— March 2 – March 4, 2011 – IGF Pavilion @ GDC 2011
— March 2, 2011 – IGF Awards Ceremony (Winners Announced!)