29th September 2010

Renown Entertainment Begins Countdown To Launch

renown entertainmentExperienced game developers have confirmed the formation of a new independent studio named Renown Entertainment Inc. in Vancouver. Founded in 2009 by James Lau and Bill Li, the company will develop, publish and distribute interactive entertainment for video game systems, wireless devices and online.

President and Creative Director, James Lau, brings more than a decade of experience in the games and visual effects industries to drive the direction of the studio and game Waves Survivordevelopment.

“With today’s software, communication platforms and support for digital distribution, independent developers are empowered to create Triple-A games and reach a worldwide audience. This shift in the industry allows us to focus on crafting high quality games of exceptional value with efficient, multi-discipline teams on any platform including big blockbusters, which are usually reserved for large publishers and developers.”

“It’s a great time to be in game development despite the downturn over the last couple of years. It revealed a lot of issues that need to be addressed in order for developers to keep innovating and remain profitable while maintaining quality. With this in mind, we’re implementing new methods of game development for the rapidly evolving industry.”

Co-Founder and Technical Director, Bill Li feels “Engineering is only a means to an end to realize exceptional gameplay and a memorable experience. Our goal is to emotionally captivate players and keep them coming back for more.”

Waves SurvivorIt is with these philosophies that Renown strives to transcend the artistic and technical aspects of game development to create truly rewarding interactive experiences.

Renown will launch their first game, Waves: Survivor, in October for the iPhone® and iPod Touch®. In this debut game, gamers will be challenged to see how many days they can survive in a rowboat while lost at sea. Obstacles will include riding huge waves and fending off dangerous creatures like the electric jelly fish and hungry sharks. Your character will also require some strong swimming skills as gamers build up their collection of deep-sea treasures and celebrate achievements by rockin’ out on their paddle guitar.

Waves: Survivor will also featuring leaderboards (via Facebook and Twitter), interactive water physics, continuous survival gameplay, touch and accelerometer controls, collectible items and more. Renown Entertainment’s second game (currently referred to as iOS Game D) is scheduled for released this winter. It would appear from the studio’s game listing that they are also working on a Triple A title for console and PC gamers.

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28th September 2010

TechnoMontreal Names New Board Members

technomontrealTechnoMontréal’s Chairman of the Board and Senior Vice President and Director of the Montreal office for DMR-Fujitsu, Mr. Yves Pelletier, M.SC., CMC, FCMA announced today the appointment of three new members to the Board of the organization. TechnoMontréal is one of the major Information and Communications Technology (ICT) clusters in North America and is a powerful economic driver for entrepreneurs and creators of technology in Greater Montreal.

According to the OECD, ICT and the Internet are essential infrastructures for today’s economy. Given the significant contribution of the ICT industry to the knowledge economy, competition among host countries and regions to attract global leaders is increasingly aggressive, particularly in terms of incentives. The ICT industry provides over 120,000 jobs in the metropolitan area.

“We are faced with increasing global competition in the Information and Communications Technology field,” added Mr. Pelletier. “Unlike other traditional industries, we are facing a shortage of manpower which could, in the more or less long term, weaken the position of Montreal and Quebec on the world stage,” said Mr. Pelletier. “This situation is even more preoccupying considering that we have a recognized talent base and dynamic entrepreneurs that appeal to investors.” According to the president, our priority must be investing in the workforce, whether through training, immigration or tapping into the large pool of talented “baby boomers”.

The Information and Communications Technology sector plays an exceptional role in productivity, growth, job creation and the attraction of investments globally. “TechnoMontréal’s Board of Directors can further support the ICT cluster by stimulating its development in the region and strengthening its position among the world leaders,” said Mr. Pelletier. It is in this context that TechnoMontréal invites governments, entrepreneurs and creators to rally around major developmental projects and to support innovation, financing and the commercialisation of ICT companies. “I sincerely thank all the Board members who are willing to devote their time to our collective success and bring their experience to the growth and expansion of the industry globally,” he added.

New members joining the TechnoMontréal team come from the private and institutional sectors of the industry:

Mrs. Lyne Bouchard, Vice-Rector of the Longueuil campus and Vice-Rector of Information Technology Université de Sherbrooke
Mr. Denis Faubert, Senior Manager, Hydro-Québec Research Institute (IREQ)
Mr. André Gamache, Strategic Advisor, École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS)

Complete Board of Directors: Read the rest of this entry »

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28th September 2010

Corus Quay Is Open For Business

Corus EntertainmentCorus Entertainment today announced the official opening of Corus Quay – the Company’s new Canadian headquarters built on Toronto’s waterfront. Corus Quay integrates advanced digital technologies and automated systems that transform Corus’ broadcast and content businesses making Corus Quay North America’s most advanced broadcast facility and Toronto’s smartest building, shown here in two photos by Richard Johnson.

Corus has implemented an integrated approach to the management of its broadcast and content creation systems. Corus Quay’s innovative use of technologies Corus Quaydelivers a highly efficient, digital infrastructure which can provide a full range of content offerings on multiple platforms to Corus’ customers. Its insightful design creates a collaborative work environment, as well as an environmentally responsible facility. (See Corus Quay Technological and Operational Infrastructure Appendix)

“Corus Quay gave us the opportunity to transform the operational and technological processes that underpin our business,” said John Cassaday, President and CEO, Corus Entertainment. “Our fully integrated digital infrastructure provides Corus with the agility to respond to our customers needs in a changing marketplace. Corus Quay will also allow us to efficiently leverage all future growth opportunities.”

“With a fully integrated and 100% digital infrastructure, Corus is more prepared than anyone for a digital world because it can deliver content to distributors in any format for any platform with equal speed and efficiency,” said Marcos Gonzalez-Flower, Global Head, Media Consulting, Siemens IT Solutions and Services, Inc. Read the rest of this entry »

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28th September 2010

Telefilm Canada A Partner of Choice On The International Market

Telefilm CanadaTelefilm Canada is has mad public its 2009 International Markets Report (PDF). The report spotlights Telefilm’s key role in supporting Canada’s audiovisual industry at foreign markets. Despite the economic downturn during the year, the report highlights the remarkable increase in foreign sales achieved by Canadian producers and distributors at international markets and festivals where Telefilm organizes and runs the Canada Pavilion: the European Film Market at the Berlin Film Festival, MIPTV, the Cannes Film Market and MIPCOM.

Highlights

* Telefilm invested about $1.2M in support of Canadian companies’ participation at international markets. Every dollar invested by Telefilm within the framework of its foreign activities generated $16 in sales deals for Canadian film companies, compared with $11 in 2008 and $9 in 2007. If we include pre-sales and probable sales (that is, sales deals likely to be closed quickly after the market), this figure jumps to $100 for every dollar invested.
* In 2009, total sales and pre-sales of Canadian films and television programs stood at $17.6M, a 26% increase over the $14M earned in 2008. Negotiations conducted during the international markets generated $90.7M in probable sales. This brings the total of sales, pre-sales and probable sales to $108.3M, a 27% increase over the previous year’s total of $85M.
* In 2009, the Cannes Festival was the most profitable market in terms of the ratio of sales, pre-sales and co-production/co-venturing agreements per dollar invested: every dollar invested by Telefilm generated more than $333 in economic activity.

“There’s no doubt that Canada’s audiovisual industry benefits from the strategic support it obtains abroad from Telefilm,” said Carolle Brabant, Executive Director of Telefilm Canada. “We’re very pleased to see how dynamic our companies are when they negotiate co-production and co-venturing agreements with foreign partners. Telefilm’s activities at international markets provide a real showcase for Canadian talent abroad and prove that Canadian products can compete on the world stage.”

On the international stage, Telefilm, in partnership with members of the International Business Development Group, offers strategic and operational support to Canadian companies by organizing the Canada Pavilion at a number of international markets and festivals. At the Pavilion, Telefilm supports producers’ and distributors’ sales promotion efforts through initiatives that target investors and buyers from around the world. These activities also allow Canadian and foreign producers to pool their resources in order to co-produce films and television programs. Finally, Telefilm supports the international launch of Canadian productions through special marketing activities at festivals deemed to provide the best business opportunities for Canadian companies.

Overall, Canadian companies stated that they were very satisfied with the full range of services that Telefilm offered abroad in 2009.

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28th September 2010

FIFA 11 Invites Players To The Pitch

EA SportsEA SPORTSFIFA Soccer 11 is available in today in Canadian stores. Localized into 18 languages and available in 51 countries, FIFA Soccer 11 is the most popular sports videogame in the world (based on total sales in 2009 according to the NPD). It will be available for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system, Wii™, PC, Nintendo DS™, PlayStation®2, PSP® (PlayStation®Portable), iPhone® and iPod® touch. FIFA Soccer 11 for Wii will be available throughout North America beginning Oct. 4 and on Nintendo DS throughout Europe and Asia on Oct. 8.
FIFA 11
FIFA Soccer 11 reinvents player authenticity–on and off the ball–-with all-new Personality+. Individual abilities are now reflected in-game, allowing clear differentiation for every player on the pitch. Plus, players will experience true freedom in man-to-man interactions with 360° Fight for Possession that transforms physical play from lateral jostling to full 360° collisions and new Pro Passing, where pass accuracy is determined by a gamer’s ability on the control pad, and player skill, situation and urgency on the pitch.

My Live Season premium service for FIFA Soccer 11 on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, which enables subscribers to feel the weekly pulse of soccer with dynamic updates of real-world information, will be available beginning Sept. 29. The My Live Season premium service will feature weekly updates of player form, transfers, injuries, suspensions, fixtures, results and league standings for Barclay’s Premier League, La Liga BBVA, Ligue 1, Bundesliga, and Serie A. My Live Season is valued at $4.99 for the ongoing season on PlayStation Network and 400 points on Xbox Live Marketplace for each individual league. A package of all leagues is available for $9.99 for the ongoing season on PlayStation Network and 800 points on Xbox Live Marketplace.

FIFA Soccer 11 will feature Online Pass (restrictions and conditions apply), a one-time use registration code with each Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 copy sold new at retail which allows access to online services and features.

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28th September 2010

Two New Trailers Reveal Adventures Of Pixellatic Proportion

Those of you who are fans of The Sims and Army of Two will be pleased to know that Rios and Salem will be making a crossover appearance in MySims SkyHeroes. Here’s a sneak peek at their adventure:

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Relic Entertainment has released a new video for Dawn of War II: Retribution. This new video takes a look at the Eldar Race, which was revealed for the first time during last weekend’s Games Day UK.

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Montreal’s Audiokinetic Inc. has released the latest version of Wwise, its award-winning audio pipeline solution. Wwise 2010.2 introduces new features and enhancements.

Among the new features included in Wwise 2010.2:

* New Wwise effects: Tremolo, Flanger, Guitar Distorsion, Meter
* Side-Chaining
* Convolution Reverb
Read the rest of this entry »

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28th September 2010

The Dead Rise Again

CAPCOMUnless you’ve been living in a zombie-proof bunker somewhere in the backwaters, you know that Capcom’s Dead Rising® 2 will be infesting all major retailers in North America today. The second installment in Capcom’s zombie action series introduces you to a new setting, a new hero, a new combo weapons mechanic and thousands more flesh-eating zombies. Launching on the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Windows PC this week, Dead Rising 2 promises to increase the carnage with tons of zombies on screen at any given time and countless new objects including everyday items players can combine to create superior zombie-killing combo weapons.
Dead Rising 2
Dead Rising 2 will introduce players to a new protagonist named Chuck Greene whose Motocross background and tragic past has brought him to America’s new gambling playground, Fortune City. He is there to compete in “Terror is Reality”, a gruesome game show that dares contestants to survive zombie-filled environments for big money prizes at the delight of TV audiences around the globe. Chuck’s motivation for taking part and risking life and limb is his daughter Katey, who since being bitten by a zombie, requires a daily dose of Zombrex to prevent her from turning into one of the living dead. During his time in Fortune City, a zombie outbreak occurs and Chuck is blamed for the incident.Over the next 72 hours, he must survive the onslaught of the undead and clear his name. Pitted against two fearsome threats – tens of thousands of zombies and the constant countdown of the clock – while potentially rescuing other survivors of the zombie apocalypse, Chuck must also unravel the greater conspiracy behind the outbreak and just as importantly, find the Zombrex necessary to stop Katey from joining the ever growing zombie horde.

Blue Castle GamesDeveloped by Blue Castle Games in close collaboration with Capcom, Dead Rising 2 takes the acclaimed gameplay the series is known for and pushes it to a new level in zombie-destroying fun. Chuck is quite the handyman and he uses it to his advantage as players are able to take everyday items and combine them with a roll of duct tape to build the ultimate combo weapons to annihilate the undead. A piece of wood and a lawnmower become a Portamower, the handheld mower that cuts zombies down to size in an instant; while a garden rake and car battery combine to create an electrified zombie prod. The more combo weapons a player uses, the more Prestige Points (PPs) they will gain along the way in order to level up Chuck. Read the rest of this entry »

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28th September 2010

New Developments From Complex Games, Battlegoat and Kerberos

Complex GamesWinnipeg’s Complex Games has announced the impending release of their latest iPhone game, but the game’s name is a total mystery! Further details about the title will be released in the following weeks, but in the meantime visitors to the game’s site can for a limited time win prizes by guessing the name of the mystery game. The game will be available on both the iPhone and the iPad.

Although there are no details available yet regarding the title, the Canadian-based game developer has promised that a game trailer will be available shortly after the winners of the contest are announced.

“We expect this game to make #2!”, says Complex Games Lead Programmer Frano Sailer in his usually cryptic way, “once this game launches, it’s really going to hit the fan!”

Battlegoat StudiosBattlegoat Studios and Paradox Interactive today announced the launch of the first Supreme Ruler: Cold War developer diary. In addition, to celebrate the occasion, they have released a selection of new downloadable wallpapers.

In Supreme Ruler: Cold War, players will enter the world of the 1950’s and navigate their nation through many of the historical headlines. Prepare to battle economic challenges, unstable governments and worldwide tensions in this grand strategy experience. Supreme Ruler Cold War

“With Supreme Ruler: Cold War as our first historical title, it brings the very exciting new realm of ‘what if’ into the gameplay of Supreme Ruler,” said Stewart Braybook, Battlegoat CEO. “History tells us about the Cold War, but there are so many turning point events and personalities that the end result was never certain. Supreme Ruler: Cold War will allow players to see if they can change history, improve upon it or succumb to it.”

Game Features:

– Play as the United States or Soviet Union in Campaign Mode
– Control any Nation in Post-World War II Era in Sandbox Mode
– Use Diplomacy, Trade and Espionage to influence the policies of other nations
– Research new Technologies to give your nation an edge
– Grow and Modernize your Economy
– Control Military production and deployment, or let your Ministers take care of the details
– And when Diplomacy Fails… Sophisticated Real-Time Strategic and Tactical Control of your Military Forces
– Enhanced Graphics and Sound including New 3D Terrain
– Experience the redesigned GUI with improved On-Map feedback and streamlined controls
– Up to 16 players in Multiplayer over local network or Internet

kerberos productionsStill with publisher Paradox Interactive, they, along with Vancouver’s Kerberos Productions have released a new engine teaser trailer for Sword of the Stars II, the follow-up hit to the 4X franchise, Sword of the Stars. The game offers an evolved version of the original six races from Sword of the Stars and its expansions, Sword of the Stars II reveals the deep, dark secret of the Suul’ka. Boasting an all new graphics engine and incorporating new ship details that allow for new fleet strategies and tactics, Sword of the Stars 2 is poised to revive the 4X space genre and is scheduled for a 2011 release.

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27th September 2010

CityTV Releases Viewer App for iPad

CitytvRogers Media announced today that Citytv.com is launching the first iPad video application by a Canadian television broadcaster. The new Citytv Video app will feature shows from its primetime broadcast schedule along with CityLine and Breakfast Television Toronto. The ad supported Citytv.com video app for iPad is available free from the App Store on iPad.

“How Canadians interact with traditional television is evolving. They want to watch their favourite shows when and where they want to on their preferred device – whether it’s a television, smartphone or a tablet,” says Claude Galipeau, SVP & GM, Digital Media, Rogers Media Inc. “Rogers has a reputation for innovation in Canada. Launching the first Canadian TV iPad application reinforces Rogers’ commitment to deliver seamless entertainment experiences for our customers. In addition to catching-up on their favourite shows online, on Citytv.com, through Rogers Video On Demand and RogersOnDemand.com, audiences can now access the easy to use and convenient iPad option.”

With the launch of the Citytv iPad video app, Rogers Media is advancing its strategy of bringing multi-screen branding opportunities to its advertising partners. The Shorts in the City app for iPad and iPhone, which launched in May of this year, is another example of a multi-screen programming initiative.

The app gives Citytv fans the ability to catch up on full-length television programs and clips on their iPad. The Citytv app also includes a number of convenient features, such as a TV schedule and a notification service that allows users to be reminded when their favourite shows are available on the app and on TV. Other features include the ability to share video links on Facebook, Twitter and via email. The app also saves your viewing history and favourites.

Dead Rising 2American PC game distributor CompuExpert has announced that the company has signed a deal with Capcom to be the exclusive North American PC distributor for Dead Rising 2, the highly anticipated sequel to 2006’s critically acclaimed survival horror action game developed by Blue Castle Games (now Capcom Game Studio Vancouver).

Set several years after the Willamette incident of the original game, Dead Rising 2 takes place in Fortune City, a glamorous entertainment playground where people attempt to escape from reality and the threat of zombie outbreaks by winning at games of chance. Players take on the role of Chuck Greene, a former national Motocross champion and handyman who is willing to do anything for his daughter Katey, including fighting the undead.CAPCOM

The original Dead Rising forced gamers to fend off hundreds of zombies at any time by using everyday objects like bowling balls, shower heads and traffic cones. Dead Rising 2 will pack even more zombies on screen, as well as additional new items that Chuck can use to make customized weaponry, such as explosive footballs or chainsaws strapped to kayak paddles.

Dead Rising 2 for the PC will be available at Gamestop, Best Buy, Amazon and other PC game retailers tomorrow, September 28th. The game has been rated M for Mature by the ESRB.

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27th September 2010

Two Vancouver Conferences Focus on Convergence And Storytelling

Women In View, an association of independent Canadian professionals in media, will be presenting SexMoneyMedia on October 14 – 16th in Vancouver. Registration for this event is now open, and you are invited to join a stellar group of media artists, industry leaders, scholars and policy sexmoneymediamakers in celebrating the achievements of women in media and creating a more vibrant, innovative and equitable media landscape for the 21st century. SexMoneyMedia will provide an unprecedented opportunity to engage in an international, multi-sector public dialogue on the future of media culture focusing on 4 core themes

• Vision and Representation
• Cultural Labour, Audiences and Markets
• The Unfolding Digital Universe
• Remedies, Policies, and Strategies

The opening keynote address will feature Trina McQueen, OC., Broadcast Journalist & former President of CTV Inc. and Rita Deverell, CM., Broadcaster & Nancy’s Chair in Women’s Studies, Mount St. Vincent University.

In addition to the symposium, there are also a number of Master Classes being offered, including a full day CFC Media Lab workshop on Interactive Storytelling featuring Ana Serrano and Anita Lee. There are several half-day workshops also being offered, including Documentary Storytelling, Behind The Scenes, and Visual Rights and Clearances. Space for these and other workshops is limited, so you should register soon to avoid disappointment.

International Digital Media and Arts AssociationLeading academics, professionals and artists will gather at Emily Carr University of Art and Design for the International Digital Media and Arts Association’s 8th annual conference to explore the world of digital technologies with a focus on the subject of The Digital Narrative. The conference will include workshops, keynote speakers, “extreme close-up” guest panels, paper presentations, networking, discussions, student showcase and social events as well as opportunities to explore Emily Carr’s state of the art facilities and the Innovative Program Awards.

New digital technologies and mediums are informing, challenging and reinventing our notions of narrative structures and storytelling. Non- linear, virtual, artificial, interactive, and cyber culture have become common terms and concepts when describing the emerging integration of science, art, and sociology. The Digital Narrative explores ideas of how storytelling and communication is influencing and influenced by new and emerging technologies. The conference takes place in Vancouver this November 4 – 6th, with Early Bird pricing available until October 20th.

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