Reminder: Banff World Media Awards submissions closes on February 18th.
Indie game developer Matt Rix has put his super-hit puzzle game Trainyard on sale in the iTunes store – and 25% of February’s profits will go to the Heart and Stroke Foundation. The goal in Trainyard is simple: get each train to a goal station. Red trains go to red stations, blue trains go to blue stations, etc. You control the trains by drawing track for them to follow. There isn’t a time limit or even a score; the only thing you need to do is figure out a solution for each puzzle – which is often easier said than done, believe me. Trainyard is very much worth the price, plus for this month you’ll be helping to support a very important organization. If you haven’t bought this challenging puzzler yet, now would be the time.
XMG Studios has released its latest title on the iTunes App Store. Cows vs Aliens is a game of bovine protectionism. Aliens are invading and amid all of the chaos, you need to get your cattle in the barn as fast as possible. Featuring a fun and unique multi-touch interface, Cows vs Aliens challenges your herding skills as you squeeze as many cows through the barn doors as possible before time runs out. Not all cows are created equal, either – you’ll soon learn that some beefy beasts are more valuable than others, and the more heifers you herd at one time the higher your multiplier. Remember you are battling spacemen, though – Aliens are sneaky and determined to free you of your beef. Make sure you keep those visitors from the outer limits out of your barn or they’ll take off with your herd. Cows vs Aliens is currently priced at 99 cents USD and offers Game Center integration.
Congratulations to our Canadian developers on multiple BAFTA 2011 nominations:
Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood topped the total number of nominations, being named to seven categories: Action, Artistic Achievement, Best Games, Gameplay, Multiplayer, Technical Innovation and Use of Audio, while Bioware’s Mass Effect 2 received nominations for Artistic Achievement, Best Game, Gameplay, Original Music and Game Award of 2010.
Toronto studio Digital Extremes developed the multi-player components for Bioshock 2, and that title is nominated in the Action and Story categories. EA Sports‘ FIFA 11 is nominated as Best Game, Sports and the Game Award of 2010. Vancouver’s Smoking Gun Interactive is the developer behind 20,000 Leaks, which is a component of Kinect Adventures, and that title is nominated in the Family category.
Continuing in the awards recognition theme, this year’s winners for the Exploriem.org 2011 Bootstrap Awards (PDF) have been announced, and receiving recognition for their achievements in the interactive, digital and social media industy were:
Favequest received Gold Best Micro Business medal
Ideavibes received Gold for Most Innovative Source Bootstrap Capital, while VirtuStructure received Silver and Purple Forge received Bronze.
Zeebu Mobile received Gold for Best Guerrilla Marketing Idea/Social Marketing, while NetGen took Silver and ContestMob received Bronze.
Select Start Studios received a Silver Medal for Best Value Proposition/Value Differentiator/Pixie Dust
Threedify took home Bronze for its corporate website
NetGen also won Silver in the Most Innovative Social Enterprise Fundraiser category, while Civiside received Bronze.
Ideavibes took Silver for Most Innovative Business Model, while Arkli took the Bronze.
There is one more Bootstrap award to be presented – the top Ottawa start-up will be named at the OCRI Awards in April. IDM nominees for that award are: Purple Forge, Dual Code, Inc., GPS To Go (who also won a Bronze medal for Best Value Proposition/Value Differentiator/Pixie Dust), Blindside Networks and Pretzil.
OMDC is reporting that Ontario’s film and television industry contributed $964.3 million to the provincial economy in 2010- an increase of almost $18 million over 2009 — despite fierce competition from other jurisdictions, a sluggish U.S. economy and a high Canadian dollar. The $964 million in production activity accounted for more than 23,000 full-time direct and spin-off jobs.
The film and television industry held and gained ground over 2009, a year which experienced dramatic growth over 2008 and marked a return to production levels not seen in Ontario since 2002. Increased spending was seen in foreign television series, reflecting the continuing influence of the Ontario Government’s 2009 enhancements to the Ontario Production Services Tax Credit (OPSTC), which was expanded from 25% of eligible labour to include all eligible Ontario production costs.
Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) programs also support the book and magazine publishing, music and interactive digital media industries. The entire entertainment and creative cluster supports almost 300,000 jobs and contributes $12.2 billion annually to the province’s GDP.
Calgary marketing firm Rare Method Interactive has experienced recent stock activity that prompted a statement from the company this morning, whereby “Rare Method Interactive Corp. wishes to confirm, at the request of IIROC, that the Company’s management is unaware of any material change in the Company’s operations that would account for the recent increase in market activity.
Mood Media Corporation has acquired PELIKA Business Music Oy (Pelika) for US $9.8 M, implying an acquisition multiple of 4.9 x EBITDA. Pelika is a dominant market leader in digital business music solutions in Finland, predominantly serving clients in the hospitality sector.
Endras BMW, one of Canada’s most innovative BMW retailers, is offering the ultimate job for a social media savvy, BMW enthusiast. Beginning today, anyone in the world who loves to be “in the BMW know” can attempt to make a career of it by applying to be Endras’ Ultimate Blogger at EndrasBMW.com. The most qualified and connected applicant will land the job of a lifetime. This in-house social media gig pays the chosen candidate $65K a year to drive a brand-new BMW, attend BMW events around the world, find the latest BMW news, and blog, Tweet and Facebook about it all. If these responsibilities aren’t enough to pique interest, the job also comes with a downtown Toronto condo for the Ultimate Blogger to call home for the duration of his or her contract. Stage One of the application process closes on April 1, 2011.