7th September 2010

Two New Swarm Videos from Hothead Games

Hothead GamesUTV Ignition Entertainment Ltd. and Hothead Games have released a brand-new trailer and the first-ever gameplay video for Swarm, the award-winning action platformer launching worldwide on all platforms via digital channels in early 2011. The first video gives players a walkthrough of the brutally hilarious title, guided by Hothead’s Joel DeYoung, while the all-new trailer shows more of the hilarious and exciting ways the lovable yet daft Swarmites can be sacrificed…for the greater good, of course!

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In Swarm,which will be available via digital download in 2011, players take control of 50 utterly fearless Swarmites and must drive them through an intense, entertaining and often suicidal battle for a greater good. Run, bash, huddle, boost, stack, jump, push and throw your way through gauntlets of death and destruction in an attempt to collect valuable DNA and ensure that at least one Swarmite survives. With a unique combination of mass character control and fast action, the resulting brutal aftermath will make players want to play Swarm over and over again.

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7th September 2010

Merging Media 2010 Set to Launch in Vancouver This October

merging media conferenceClose to 400 conventional and interactive media professionals from film, television, mobile, and games will come together on October 28 and 29 at the newly opened Woodward’s Heritage Complex in Vancouver to explore the rapidly evolving business of cross-media properties at Merging+Media 2010.

Hosted by Merging Media Productions Inc. and the Canadian Media Production Association (formerly CFTPA-BC), this is the first event of its scope and calibre in British Columbia, featuring some of the world’s most noted cross-media experts including Keynote Robert Tercek, former President of Digital Media at The Oprah Winfrey Network. This event will showcase the latest trends and technologies in this space and facilitate valuable funding and partnering opportunities.CMPA-BC

“Merging+Media is an important community inspired and supported event,” explains Executive Director Christine Lim-Labossière, “We wish to present a world-class event aimed at creating a greater awareness of the vibrant business of cross-media production, as well as to encourage media producers in the region to take full advantage of newly introduced funding and revenue opportunities. This includes awarding a 10K BC Film Development prize to the Best Pitch at our Masterclass.”

Says Liz Shorten, President, the Canadian Media Production Association, BC Branch (formerly CFTPA-BC), Says Liz Shorten, President, the Canadian Media Production Association, BC Branch (formerly CFTPA-BC), “Merging+Media will be an opportunity for media professionals to come together to explore, discover and debate emerging business models. I am confident this event will have a positive impact on the industry in BC.”

“The launch of Merging+Media is timely with the launch, earlier this year, of the Canada Media Fund, which supports the creation of innovative Canadian content and software applications for current and emerging digital platforms,” said Betsy Chaly, Director of Marketing and Communications, CMF. “The combination of Conference and Masterclass gives producers the opportunity to network, to learn, and to hone their cross-media business plans.”
Robert Tercek
Merging Media’s illustrious speaker line-up is headlined by former President of Digital Media at The Oprah Winfrey Network, Robert Tercek. Featured speakers include Susan Bonds, President & CEO, 42 Entertainment; Anita Ondine, CEO, Seize the Media; Caitlin Burns, Transmedia Producer, Starlight Runner Entertainment; and Sibley Verbeck, Founder, Electric Sheep Company, to name a few.

Cross-media, also known as transmedia, is the blending of a variety of media forms across multiple media platforms. Statistics show the digital and film industries in BC are growing annually; BC is well positioned to take a lead in the cross-media space.

According to a 2010 report by Canada Pacific Gateway, the official international site for the province of BC, “British Columbia has the third largest film and television industry in North America after Los Angeles and New York” and was recently named as one of Fast Company’s global top five “fast cities” in 2009. The study reported: “Vancouver was seen to have “the right mix of technology and tolerance to attract talent.” BC is also the largest centre of Canada’s $7-billion digital media industry.

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7th September 2010

Arrest Made for Copyright Act Infringements At BC Video Game Store

RCMPOn September 1st officers from Richmond RCMP’s Station Targeted Action Response Team as well as officers from the Economic Crime Section arrested a 31 year old male for allegedly selling pirated copies of video games at a local Richmond business.

In April of this year Richmond’s Economic Crime Section received information from investigators at IPSA International that a video game retail business located in the Parker Place Mall was selling pirated copies of video games. IPSA International is an independent firm which provides clients with investigative consulting & risk advisory services in areas such as anti-money laundering & fraud.

On September 1st a search warrant was executed at Penguin Village Hobbies & Entertainment located in the Parker Place Mall. A search warrant was also executed on a vehicle associated to the business which was located outside the store. Numerous copies of infringed video games were seized along with electronic devices of evidentiary value.

A 31 year old Richmond resident was released from custody & will face his first court appearance on December 2nd. Police will be forwarding a charge of selling or offering for sale an infringing copy of a work or other subject matter in which a copyright subsists for Crown’s approval.

crackleCrackle, Sony Pictures Entertainment’s premium video entertainment network is now available in Canada, it was announced today by Eric Berger, Senior VP of  Digital Networks for Sony Pictures Television (SPT).

Crackle’s unique mix of high-quality content can now be found online in Canada, as well as via distribution partners including RogersOnDemand, YouTube, Boxee, Dailymotion, and Metacafe. Advertiser supported, Crackle features high-quality original short-form series, full-length and short-form television shows, and motion pictures from the vast Sony Pictures library. The site’s content is refreshed on a regular basis and reaches a wide audience through its impressive online distribution network. Rogers Digital Media will be the ad sales agent for Crackle.com in Canada and will sell the site’s Canadian inventory across its online distribution channels. Read the rest of this entry »

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7th September 2010

Double DLC Day For Dragon Age and Mass Effect Players

Bioware CorpEA BioWare™ has released new downloadable content for the critically-acclaimed games Dragon Age™: Origins and Mass Effect™ 2, throwing gamers back into epic battles with new stories revolving around key supporting characters in each franchise. The Dragon Age: Origins DLC pack, “Witch Hunt” ($6.99 on PlayStation® Network, 560 Microsoft points on the Xbox 360®, New DLC Witch Hunt560 BioWare Points on PC) features a story that reconnects players with one of the series’ original larger-than-life heroes, Morrigan. The Mass Effect 2 DLC pack, “Lair of the Shadow Broker” (800 Microsoft Points on Xbox 360, 800 BioWare Points on PC), centers around Liara, a popular character and squadmate from the original Mass Effect.

“Both ‘Witch Hunt’ and ‘Lair of the Shadow Broker’ represent our commitment to keeping the game worlds alive with high quality content, even post-launch,” said BioWare Edmonton General Manager Aaryn Flynn. “Fans are asking for more characters, more adventures and that is what we’re delivering. Morrigan and Liara are two of the most beloved characters in their respective franchises and completing these new journeys will add to the story and action of both games.”

Dragon Age: Origins “Witch Hunt” picks up Morrigan’s story after the defeat of the Archdemon and her disappearance into the shadows. Nearly a year has passed since the Archdemon’s death, and word has reached the Wardens that Morrigan has returned to Ferelden. Seeking to confirm her presence and confront Lair of the Shadowbrokerher about her mysterious disappearance, players will head into the forest to tie up this last loose end once and for all. Players can either import their characters from Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age: Origins — Awakening or create a new, high-level hero.

In Mass Effect 2 “Lair of the Shadow Broker”, Liara T’Soni is tracking down the mysterious Shadow Broker with the hopes of recovering a kidnap victim. Liara enlists the help of Commander Shepard and his crew, chasing clues from the luxurious heights of Illium to the depths of the Shadow Broker’s own secret lair. The new DLC pack adds the Shadow Broker intel center, new research, as well as the chance to continue a relationship with Liara from the original Mass Effect.

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7th September 2010

EA Sports Opens NHL Season With New Titles

EA SportsAfter a very successful midnight launch at two Canadian EB Games outlets, EA SportsNHL® SlapShot and NHL® 11, developed by EA Canada, are now in Canadian stores. EA Sports NHL 11 for the PlayStation®3 and Xbox 360® is rated E10+, while the E rated NHL SlapShot is available exclusively for the Nintendo Wii™.

“We are extremely excited about our hockey offerings this year,” says Brent Nielsen, executive producer, EA Sports. “Our NHL product is consistently one of our strongest titles on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and this year with NHL SlapShot, we feel we’ve created a hockey experience that is unlike anything that has come before it on the Wii.”NHL 11 Launch

NHL 11 marks the 20th Anniversary of the award winning EA Sports NHL franchise, by introducing a genre changing real-time physics engine that replicates the real sport like never before. With real physics powering NHL 11, every check, broken stick and bounce of the puck will now react like it does in the real world. NHL 11 also introduces a revamped faceoff system to the franchise. Now players will be given all the options that an NHL center has in the faceoff circle, giving users even more control than they have ever had in an EA Sports NHL game. In addition, the EA Sports Ultimate Hockey League makes its debut in NHL 11. In the EA Sports Ultimate Hockey League, players collect cards that represent the players on their team. With 4000 cards to collect and use, representing players from the CHL, European leagues and NHL, users must manage chemistry, training, and a salary cap as they build their squad, and take them to the ice to challenge the world.
Wayne Gretzky NHL Slapshot
EA Sports NHL SlapShot is the franchise’s first outing on the Wii, and it skates onto the platform by literally putting a hockey stick into the player’s hands. The hockey stick accessory*, which is included in all copies of NHL SlapShot, will allow players to pull off shooting, checking, stick handling and many more moves in the game by performing real life motions that the pros use on the ice. In addition, Peewee to Pro mode allows users to start as a youngster playing on a backyard pond and grow through Bantam leagues and the CHL before stepping on to the NHL ice. With skill growth and unlockable boosts, the Peewee to Pro Mode is one of the deepest single player career modes in an EA Sports title to date. NHL SlapShot also features Wayne Gretzky on both the cover, and in-game. Players will have a chance to play through the Great One’s career, from his humble beginnings on a frozen pond to his dominating NHL presence.

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7th September 2010

Spider-Man Shattered Dimensions Swings Into Canadian Stores

Beenox StudiosMarvel’s famous web-slinger is back in action and on store shelves in Spider-Man™: Shattered Dimensions from Activision Publishing, whose Quebec development studio Beenox has created a unique, immersive experience allowing fans to play as four distinct versions of Spider-Man in four unique worlds – Amazing, Noir, 2099 and Ultimate – in a race to save their universes against the villainous machinations of Mysterio, Carnage, Deadpool, Vulture, Kraven and more.

“The team at Beenox is giving fans an incredibly diverse SpiderMan Shattered Dimensions 2099Spider-Man™ video game experience,” said David Pokress, Head of Marketing for Licensed Properties, Activision Publishing, Inc. “Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions casts players in an epic action adventure where they battle in four different worlds, rife with classic villains re-interpreted within each world, offering a rich variety of gameplay and striking art styles in one unique storyline.”

Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions transports players to a variety of locations, from lush jungles and sand quarries to a futuristic NYC, and allows them to use unique gameplay styles for each Spider-Man, including stealth moves in Noir, gliding maneuvers in 2099, black-suited tendril attacks in Ultimate, and innovative web combat in Amazing.

Penned by acclaimed Marvel comic book writer Dan Slott, the story takes players on a mission to restore the magical energy of the Tablet of Order and Chaos, which has been shattered and scattered across parallel universes. Gamers are challenged to battle fan-favorite villains such as the lethal Kraven and a custom, never-before-seen Noir version of Hammerhead, in a quest to restore the fabric of reality.

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Each of the actors voicing Spider-Man in the game has portrayed the web-slinger in previous Spider-Man animated television series. Neil Patrick Harris (Amazing Spider-Man) voiced the wall-crawler in “Spider-Man: The New Animated Series” in 2003; Josh Keaton (Ultimate Spider-Man) was the voice of Spider-Man in “The Spectacular Spider-Man” from 2008-2009; Dan Gilvezan (Spider-Man 2099) starred in “Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends” from 1981-1983; and Christopher Daniel Barnes (Spider-Man Noir) voiced the iconic Super Hero™ in “Spider-Man,” the 1994 series. SpiderMan Shattered Dimensions HobGoblin

Additionally, legendary Spider-Man co-creator and comic book icon Stan Lee will guide players through the storyline of Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions as the game’s narrator, and Emmy Award-winning composer Jim Dooley has created an original orchestral score for the game.

Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions is rated “T” for Teen by the ESRB and is available now on the Xbox 360®, PlayStation®3, Nintendo Wii™ and will be available soon for Windows PC, all developed by Beenox. A Nintendo DS™ version, developed by Griptonite, is also now available and features a side-scrolling adventure full of unique villains, such as the first-ever appearance of Calypso Noir and two other boss characters created exclusively for this version.

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