31st July 2011

Eastside Games Open For Business

eastside gamesVancouver’s DES Games, Jason Bailey, and a mountain of cash have all gotten together to form the latest greatest games studio, Eastside Games. This exciting new studio aims to be a powerhouse of Social and Mobile games, focusing on Android and the new Google+ platforms as well as their current staples in Facebook, the open web and iOS.

The new studio aims to make quirky and original titles with a bit of edge and a lot of humour. Studio Manager Josh Nilson stated that “this is not your Mom’s Farmville, but she will spend the grocery money playing it anyway.”
Eastside Games Founders
•    DES Games developed the popular game ‘Pot Farm‘, a unique and highly successful social game on Facebook. Eastside games retains ownership of Pot Farm and 5 other iOS and Facebook games, with over 1 million Monthly Active Users and over 750,000 fans.

•    Jason Bailey, CEO of Eastside Games, was the co-founder of Super Rewards which pioneered monetization on the facebook platform, paving the way for the virtual goods based games that dominate the platform today. Jason bootstrapped Super Rewards from zero to a 100mm run rate to a healthy eight digit exit all in under 18 months.

•    Josh Nilson remains as Studio Manager.  Josh has been working for the last 2 years as Studio Manager at DES Games and helped turn it into one of the most successful and profitable social gaming studios in Vancouver. He  has become an industry go to for expertise in the area.  Prior to that he worked at Relic Entertainment contributing to the successful and popular RTS games, Dawn of War II and Company of Heroes. He was a Project Manager for an innovative and successful web development startup, Sitemasher.

•    Galan Akin remains as Creative Director. Galan has over 14 years experience in the game industry, as a Lead designer, design consultant, and creative director on a wide variety of projects, from big budget console titles to mobile and social games. At Radical Entertainment he played key roles guiding hit games such as the Simpsons Hit and Run and Scarface: the World is Yours to completion and has extensive experience in IP creation. Galan has been working in the Social games space for 3 years and is developing some exciting new properties for both the Social and Mobile spaces.

•    A pile of cash (1.5 million) has been raised to clean up the cap table, leaving Jason Bailey as majority owner, as well as being earmarked for growing the studio.

•    Eastside Games begins its life as a dynamic and exciting startup leading the creative charge in Vancouver with 2 profitable IPs and more in the works:the pot farm game

  • In Pot Farm players help their Uncle Floyd and their friends grow over 60 different  “crops”, make hemp oil, brownies, “potcorn”, and try to protect their farms from that mean lo’ Ranger Dick. Loads of useful items, quests, and over 300 levels keeps fans coming back for more.
  • In I Like Slots, players compete on a wide variety of fantastic – looking slot machines. Engaging gameplay and 100s of prizes make for a superior slot experience.
  • Launching soon, Zombinis is a collectable battle game featuring adorable and somewhat explosive zombies with detachable body parts and addicting gameplay. Assemble your army of furry (or zombinisscaly, or feathery) minions out of discarded stuffed animal parts and battle your friends to become the undisputed ruler of Zombiniland!

The company is currently on the search for Producers, Project Managers, Engineers and Artists.

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30th July 2011

XMG Long Weekend Dual Title Sale

xmg studioTo celebrate the long weekend, XMG Studios wants to give mobile gamers a reason to pick up some new titles. Two of the studio’s releases are available in the iTunes store for the sale price of 99 cents.

Drag Racer: Pro Tuner, a reinvention of the classic flash game Drag Racer, this game will appeal to those of you who enjoy burning up the race track and saving $2.00 at the same time. Drag Racer: Pro Tuner offers new features, more customization and new racing modes, as well as the ability to share your car designs with your friends on social media. Drag Racer Pro Tuner

Each car can have its own unique look, with custom paint jobs and over 70 decals to choose from. If you want even more customization, you can create your own decals from photos or images on your device for a truly one of a kind car.

Once you’ve created your dream car it’s time to race. Drag Racer: Pro Tuner lets you race head to head in more than 20 challenges, including a new Street Race mode which puts you bumper to bumper with some of the toughest drag racers on the street. Fans of Drag Racer: Online will be happy to hear that Nitrous Oxide, gear tuning, and other performance options have been included in Drag Racer: Pro Tuner as well as the ability to race against your friends over BlueTooth or Wi-Fi.

If designing the next greatest fashion look is more your thing, Style Studio is also on sale for $2.00 off the style studio fashion designerregular price. Style Studio: Fashion Designer allows users to create a full line of men’s and women’s clothing from dresses to tops, outerwear, pants and skirts.

The easy-to-use interface is simple enough for the younger user, but provides options to keep even the most experienced designer entertained. Users can choose one of the basic product designs, and alter it to fit their style. Then they can choose from thousands of materials, prints, belts, buttons, zippers, bows, pockets and accessories to further customize their design. Clothing can be tried out on any of the models included within the application, or designers can upload a photo of themselves or friends to try on the new fashions.

Once clothes have been designed, they can be showcased on fashion magazine mockups or turned into an entire fashion show. Designs can be shared with friends through Facebook, Twitter and Email integration into the app. Additional styles, materials and accessories can be purchased through the in-app store with more content being added all the time.

Style Studio: Fashion Designer has the most extensive customization engine for clothing design ever seen on the iPhone. It takes XMG’s powerhouse customization engine and applies it to the world of fashion, making this App for more compelling then the many dress-up-doll types of applications found in the App Store.

Style Studio: Fashion Designer is available for the iPhone and iPod Touch in both a free version and the full version, as well as for the iPad. Style Studio has been featured by Apple in their Fashion Week roundups and in the App Store’s “What’s Hot” sections.

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29th July 2011

Billion Bootstraps Co-Author Philip Smith To Speak At Microfinance Summit

The Toronto International Microfinance Summit organizers have announced that Philip Smith, successful American entrepreneur and co-author of A Billion Bootstraps: Microcredit, Barefoot Banking, and the Business Solution for Ending Poverty will speak at its Friday Gala and set the tone for the 2-day Toronto event. In its third year, the Summit brings together microfinance practitioners, business, international development agencies, NGOs and students to learn, interact and get involved. This year’s theme – From Microcredit to Financial Inclusion: Making a Difference in our World – is the focus of the signature events:

Gala – September 16 (Arcadian Court, 401 Bay Street) to raise funds for international and domestic microfinance projects and a scholarship. Reception: 6:00 pm, Dinner & Program: 7:30 pm. Silent & live auctions, entertainment.

Conference -September 17 (Allstream Centre, Exhibition Place,105 Princes’ Blvd.) features experts who address the effectiveness of microfinance as a poverty alleviation tool and provide frontline insights from around the world. A NEW MicroMarketplace will showcase products of micro-entrepreneurs. Registration: 7:30 -9:00 am, Program & Lunch: 9:00 am-5:00 pm.

“Microfinance is an effective way to deal with poverty,” says Dr. Carol Golench, President of Toronto International Microfinance Summit. “When you consider that, worldwide, in 2009 over 92 million borrowers from nearly 2,000 microfinance institutions had an average loan balance of $527USD, you realize microfinance is addressing poverty in a significant way and transforming people’s lives.”

“Microcredit enables people to become givers, not takers,” adds Philip Smith. “Microcredit should not be seen as charity but rather as the opportunity poor people need to build a decent life. Through microcredit, donors can shed the old hand-out mentality and become true partners in progress with the people of the developing world.”

Over 30 event speakers include: Bob Annibale – Citi, Joyce Lehman – Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Michael Bowles – Aga Khan Foundation, Kadita (A.T.) Tshibaka – Opportunity International USA, Stéphanie Émond – FINCA Canada, Dr. Tanjina Mirza, PLAN Canada, Jeff Rayman – UEnd: Poverty Foundation, Deborah Lindholm – Foundation for Women and Gordon Crann – Rotarian Action Group for Microcredit.

Once again, The MasterCard Foundation is providing financial assistance for the first 100 students to register for the conference. Early Bird Deadline for conference tickets is September 2nd.

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29th July 2011

Twitter Co-founder Biz Stone To Speak At Montreal Board of Trade

Board of Trade of Metropolitan MontrealThe Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal is pleased to announce that Biz Stone, the co-founder of Twitter, will speak on Tuesday, September 27, at the Palais des congrès de Montréal, as part of the “Bell International Leaders” series.

Named Entrepreneur of the Decade by Inc. Magazine, Biz Stone was also picked as one of the world’s most influential people by TIME Magazine, Nerd of the Year by GQ, one of the top 10 most influential people of the information age by Vanity Fair and won the International Center for Journalism Innovation Award. Mr. Stone is known above all for having helped develop an information network of over 200 million users worldwide to help people work together to democratize information.biz stone

“Biz Stone is an inspiring example for the entrepreneurs of this world,” said Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade. “He managed to develop a high-performance tool that is a major innovation, which allows users to keep abreast of the latest information in real time. His success lies not only in the final product, but also in the process he went through to get there.”

A Fellow at Oxford University, Mr. Stone won a debate at the Oxford Union about the positive impact that entrepreneurs can have by contributing solutions to the major problems of our world. Mr. Stone is a flag bearer of a new way to do business, combining ambition, success and altruism.

In addition to the many awards he has received, Biz Stone is an associate fellow at the Saïd Business School of the University of Oxford, an associate member of the senior common room at the University of Oxford’s Exeter College, university executive follow at the Haas School of Business of the University of California at Berkeley and an advisor to the School of Information, also at UC Berkeley. He also consults for many companies, from start-up micro-enterprises to publicly listed companies and NPOs.

“The Montréal business community has a lot to learn from the experience and ingenuity of this visionary businessman,” Mr. Leblanc said. “This event is a must for entrepreneurs and political buffs and for anyone who wants to know everything there is to know about social media and new practices in social responsibility.”

This Board of Trade event is made possible through the support of Bell, with the participation of Infopresse for content and promotion. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, George W. Bush, Alain Greenspan and Sir Richard Branson have all preceded Biz Stone at the Board of Trade podium.

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29th July 2011

Powerpay Web Mobile App Now Available For iOS Devices

ceridian canadaCeridian Canada Ltd. has launched the Powerpay Web Mobile app, already available to BlackBerry users, on iTunes for iPhone and iPad devices. Available for $6.99, Powerpay Web is Ceridian’s flexible payroll solution that enables small businesses to process their payroll online. The Powerpay Web Mobile app gives Ceridian Powerpay Web clients the ability to review and then submit their payroll figures directly from their smartphone.

“This app will definitely make processing payroll much easier because you can approve from anywhere without having to find a computer with an Internet connection,” says Anthony Jacobelli, Controller, Eden Oak. “It’s also easy to use.  The various screens are very similar to, if not exactly like, the screens I’m accustomed to.”

Later this summer, an updated edition of this app will be released that to provide further functionality such as the ability to add and edit employee profiles and quickly enter time information. If a manager is at off-site meetings or travelling for business, the Powerpay Web Mobile app will ensure all employees – full time, part time or occasional – are paid correctly and on time.

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29th July 2011

Manitoba Team Takes Top Honours at the 2011 Canon Envirothon

canonA five-member team of high school students from Swan Valley Regional Secondary School, Manitoba beat out more than 50 other teams to win the 2011 Canon Envirothon, a week-long North American environmental education competition sponsored by Canon U.S.A. Inc., a leader in digital imaging. The winning team was announced on Thursday, July 28th, during closing ceremonies at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick.

The 54 teams representing 45 U.S. states, eight Canadian provinces and one Canadian territory tested their knowledge on various environmental issues and resource conservation, while competing for a share of over $125,000 in scholarships and Canon products.Canon Envirothon 2011 winners from Swan Valley Regional Secondary School (Photo: Canon Canada Inc.)

“We’re extremely proud of the victory by the Swan Valley Regional Secondary School team and the efforts put forward by all of the other teams,” said Colleen Ryan, Senior Director of Corporate Communications at Canon Canada. “To see Swan Valley win and have West Hill Secondary School from Owen Sound, Ontario and Oromocto High School from Oromocto, New Brunswick in the Top five is a testament to the commitment and dedication these young people have made to the Envirothon program since its introduction to Canada in 2000. We’re thrilled to support Canadian students in this program.”

The first-place winners, Swan Valley Regional Secondary School team, received a total of $25,000 in Canon scholarships.  West Hill Secondary School, Owen Sound, Ontario ($20,000), and Spartanburg High School, South Carolina ($15,000), placed second and third, respectively. The fourth-place team, Oromocto High School, Oromocto, New Brunswick, received $10,000, and the fifth-place team, Housatonic Valley Agriscience, Connecticut, received $7,500. Teams that placed first through tenth received Canon products for their advisors and sponsoring agencies/organizations to use in science education. The list of schools/organizations finishing in the top 10 appears at the end of this announcement.

The top 10 teams at the 2011 Canon Envirothon:

  1. Swan Valley Regional Secondary School, Swan Valley, Manitoba
  2. West Hill Secondary School, Owen Sound, Ontario
  3. Spartanburg High School, Spartanburg, South Carolina
  4. Oromocto High School, Oromocto, New Brunswick
  5. Housatonic Valley Agriscience, Falls Village, Connecticut
  6. West Johnston High School, Benson, North Carolina
  7. Fort Defiance High School, Fort Defiance, Virginia
  8. Middleton High School, Middleton, Wisconsin
  9. Jupiter High School, Jupiter, Florida
  10. The Wheeler School, Providence, Rhode Island

Each team is made up of five students that previously won their state or provincial competition and came together to compete in categories including aquatics, ecology, forestry, soil and land use, and wildlife. Each year an additional topic is included that is based upon a current environmental issue. For 2011, the topic was salt and freshwater estuaries.

Since 1997, Canon U.S.A. has been the title sponsor of this annual competition. The Canon Envirothon is the culmination of a series of competitions that began during the past school year and involved more than 500,000 high school students throughout North America.  In written tests and oral presentations, starting at the local level, winning teams from schools and organizations competed for the distinction of representing their state, province or territory at the Canon Envirothon.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2012, the competition will be held at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania.

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29th July 2011

EA Sports Unveils Global Stars for FIFA Soccer 12

EA SportsEA has revealed an iconic lineup of international stars that will help launch EA Sports™ FIFA Soccer 12, winner of 20 “Best Sports Game of E3” awards, including the prestigious E3 Game Critics award.* Headlining the group of players is Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney and Real Madrid’s Kaká, who will be joined by stars Philippe Mexès in France, Gerard Piqué in Spain, Giampaolo Pazzini in Italy, Mats Hummels in Germany, Jack Wilshere in United Kingdom and many others all over the world to launch FIFA Soccer 12 on September 27 in North America and September 30 worldwide. The international stars will grace the cover of FIFA Soccer 12 packaging, be integrated into marketing and advertising campaigns, and utilized in social media activities around the world.

“This is an iconic group of players who all passionately play our game, and we are excited to have them speak to fans around the world about their own personal experiences playing the best sports game on the planet,” said Matt Bilbey, Vice President and GM of Soccer, EA Sports. “With all the accolades FIFA Soccer 12 has received so far we are confident we have the most authentic and highest quality game we have ever created, and these superstars will play an integral role in sharing their excitement for its highly anticipated launch.”FIFA 12 Global Stars

For the first time ever, Rooney will appear on the cover of FIFA Soccer 12 in North America. Rooney has won the England Player of the Year award twice, in 2008 and 2009, and played for the England national team in the 2006 and 2010 FIFA World Cup. Today is the first of a series of announcements as the complete FIFA Soccer 12 player lineup is unveiled leading to the game’s launch. Rooney will be joined on the cover of FIFA Soccer 12 in North America by two additional players, and other stars will be revealed in other countries around the world.

FIFA Soccer 12 brings to the pitch the game-changing new Player Impact Engine, a physics engine built to deliver real-world physicality in every interaction on the pitch. Revolutionary gameplay innovations inspired by the real-world game make FIFA Soccer 12 deeper and more engaging. All-new Precision Dribbling creates a higher fidelity of touch on the ball for better control in tight spaces, more time to make decisions on attack, and more control over the pace of the game. FIFA12 Rooney

Innovations in attack are balanced by a re-designed defending mechanism called Tactical Defending, which fundamentally changes the approach to defending by placing equal importance on positioning, intercepting passes and tackling. Plus, players have been infused with Pro Player Intelligence, the next generation of player intelligence and performance.

FIFA Soccer 12 also introduces EA Sports Football Club—the heartbeat of FIFA Soccer 12. This live service is available at no additional cost and connects players to the real-world game with fresh, new content all the time, enabling them to support their favorite club and connect and compete with their friends, and millions of players around the world.

Not yet rated, FIFA Soccer 12 will be localized into 18 languages and available in 51 countries. It will be available for PlayStation®2 and PlayStation®3, PSP®, Xbox 360®, PC, Wii™, , Nintendo 3DS™, iPhone®, iPad™, and iPod® touch. The game will also be available for digital download on PC at Origin.

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29th July 2011

Rock Hippo Titles Now On Steam

rock hippo productionsRock Hippo Productions Ltd. has officially partnered with Valve’s Steam platform to distribute its two popular free-to-play games, MicroVolts and the upcoming Brawl Busters.  Both action-packed games will soon be available to Steam users and will offer all of the exciting benefits of Steam’s strong community features to a vast worldwide audience. Steam just began hosting free-to-play games this summer, and players can look forward to adding two more high-quality titles to their library.

“The online gameplay of MicroVolts and Brawl Busters make them a perfect fit for Steam, and we are thrilled to be among the first free-to-play games to launch on the platform,” said Howard He, President and CEO of Rock Hippo Productions. “We look forward to introducing both games to the millions of Steam users so they can experience all of the fun, excitement and non-stop action our games offer with all the ease of use that Steam provides.”

MicroVolts features fast paced, third person shooter action and pits players against each other in a secret microvoltsbattle that has been waged and going unnoticed right in our own backyard for years.  No one knows for sure when or where the first toy declared war but rumor has it that the uprising began with four original limited edition figures, code named MicroVolts. Battle lines were drawn when Naomi, Knox, Pandora, and C.H.I.P.-the prototypes -were soon joined by an endless number of modified versions. Now, toy figures around the world are engaged in an all-out war for valuable battery resources and supremacy of the Micro World.  All we can do now is stay out of their way and wait for a champion to be declared!  Featuring a ton of weapons, fresh character designs, and a huge list of customization features,

Game modes include Free for All, Team Deathmatch, Item Match, Capture the Battery, Zombie Mode and many more featuring various maps designed by toy concept. Players can also check out the recently released Summer Recharge patch that includes a brand new map, Magic Paper Land, new weapons and hot summer items such as a Pink Polka Dot Bikini that is sure to heat up the battlefield.

Brawl Busters is an upcoming action brawler that features competitive and co-operative battle modes all in a unique third person view. With its simple and intuitive controls, this easy to pick up and play game Brawl Bustersmakes team strategy a must as player’s battle against each other or team up against computer controlled enemies.

Players will find five unique character classes including the Slugger, the Firefighter, the Rocker, the Boxer and finally, the Blitzer. With its signature funky visual style, the game will offer tons of exciting maps and will also feature a huge variety of customization options including body type, gender, weapons, costumes and accessories along with the ability to upgrade weapons and costumes with new abilities. Brawl Busters will feature an intense training mode, challenge missions, leaderboards and persistent stat tracking.

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28th July 2011

Radio IP and Bell Mobility Sign Partnership

radio IPRadio IP Software Inc., developer of advanced mobile Virtual Private Network (MVPN) software solutions, has announced a co-marketing and co-selling agreement with Bell Mobility. Radio IP’s Mult-IP and ipUnplugged mobile VPN software solutions will leverage Bell Mobility’s nationwide 3G/4G wireless network to provide public safety and enterprise customers throughout Canada with MVPN services that offer unprecedented performance, seamless roaming and flexible management.

“Radio IP is pleased to continue working with Bell Mobility, bringing powerful, secure and flexible mobile VPN solutions to mobile workforces across Canada,” said Frank Draper, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Radio IP Software. “We’ve combined the 100% coverage, unmatched quality and carrier-grade reliability of Canada’s premier broadband mobile network with Radio IP’s network agnostic VPN solutions to provide our customers seamless mobility without sacrificing security,” he continued. “Together we elevate the user’s mobile experience while meeting IT administrative needs for increased ROI, improved productivity and reduced support costs.”

Radio IP’s Mobile VPN solutions are engineered to address the needs of commercial businesses and public organizations requiring ubiquitous and secure remote coverage across disparate wireless networks using the highest encryption standards resulting in persistent connectivity and data integrity. By partnering with leading mobile technology firms and network providers, Radio IP delivers a robust and secure end-to-end solution in any environment.

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28th July 2011

Nintendo Announces Price Drop For 3DS

Nintendo CanadaNintendo Canada has announced plans to drop the suggested retail price of its portable Nintendo 3DS™ system to $169.99 in North America, as new games based on some of the world’s most beloved video game franchises head to the system. The new price, down from the suggested launch price of $249.99 and effective Aug. 12, makes an outstanding value even better and sets up a strong holiday season for the system.

“For anyone who was on the fence about buying a Nintendo 3DS, this is a huge motivation to buy now,” said Nintendo of America President, Reggie Fils-Aime. “We are giving shoppers every incentive to pick up a Nintendo 3DS, from an amazing new price to a rapid-fire succession of great games.”

Nintendo 3DS has the strongest software lineup of any video game system this holiday season and the new price now opens up the glasses-free 3D experience to many more consumers. Building on the popularity of The Legend of Zelda™: Ocarina of Time™ 3D, which launched June 19, the upcoming game calendar is a Who’s Who of iconic videzelda 3dso game franchises. Star Fox 64™ 3D arrives on Sept. 9, followed by Super Mario™ 3D Land in November, Mario Kart™ 7 in December and Kid Icarus™: Uprising during the holiday season.

In addition to great games, Nintendo 3DS has a host of attractive features (internet connection required for some features) that make it the must-have video game system this season:

  • The new Nintendo Video™ service automatically delivers short 3D videos from the worlds of music, comedy, animation and Hollywood.
  • A free application allows Netflix members with unlimited streaming plans to instantly watch TV episodes and movies streaming from Netflix.
  • The Nintendo eShop is a digital store for Nintendo 3DS owners that provides access to a wide variety of downloadable content, such as original 3D software, classic games that have been re-mastered in 3D called 3D Classics, Game Boy™ and Game Boy Color “Virtual Console” games in their original 2D glory, and more than 350 Nintendo DSiWare™ games. Visitors can also view video game trailers, screen shots and product information for games, including those available at retail locations.

Since Nintendo 3DS launched in North America on March 27, nearly 900,000 people in North America have purchased one to enjoy 3D visuals without the need for special glasses. These Nintendo 3DS owners 3DS boxshotrepresent some of Nintendo’s most loyal customers, and Nintendo is rewarding them for getting in on the action early with 20 free downloadable games from the Nintendo eShop.

These free games are available to anyone who owns a Nintendo 3DS system and uses a wireless broadband Internet signal to connect to the Nintendo eShop at least once before 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on Aug. 11. These users will automatically be registered in the Nintendo 3DS Ambassador program. The program contains two elements:

  • Starting Sept. 1, Nintendo 3DS Ambassadors will be able to download 10 NES™ Virtual Console™ games at no charge and before they are available in the Nintendo eShop to the general public. These games, including Super Mario Bros.™, Donkey Kong Jr.™, Balloon Fight™, Ice Climber™ and The Legend of Zelda™, are slated to become paid downloadable games, but Ambassadors get them early for free. Once the paid versions of the games are posted to the Nintendo eShop later in the year, the updated versions will be available to Ambassadors for download at no cost.
  • By the end of 2011, Nintendo will provide Ambassadors with 10 Game Boy Advance Virtual Console games. These include games like Yoshi’s Island™: Super Mario™ Advance 3, Mario Kart™: Super Circuit, Metroid™ Fusion, WarioWare™, Inc.: Mega Microgame$ and Mario vs. Donkey Kong™. These games will be available exclusively to Ambassadors, and Nintendo currently has no plans to make these 10 games available to the general public on the Nintendo 3DS in the future.

More details about this program will be announced in the future.

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