Gartner’s MarketScope provides specific guidance for users who are deploying, or have deployed, products or services. A vendor with a “Strong Positive” rating is viewed by Gartner as a provider of strategic products, services or solutions, meaning that current customers should continue with investments while potential customers should consider the vendor a strong choice for strategic investments.
Open Text Records Management helps organizations safeguard against the liability, risk and cost of content and provides a way to verify the integrity of business practices. By ensuring that business policies and legal requirements govern the retention and disposition of content, Open Text Records Management helps organizations comply with worldwide regulations, standards, and certifications, such as U.S. DoD 5015.2, U.S. FDA 21 CFR Part 11, U.S. SEC Rule 17a, Europe’s MoReq, and Australia’s VERS. Open Text Records Management is a service provided to all applications of the Open Text ECM Suite and uses the core enterprise archiving capabilities of the suite. Read the rest of this entry »
The winners of the Deloitte Canadian Technology Fast 50™ set a record pace in 2010, with an average five-year revenue growth rate of 5,638% – an all time high. Some of this was due to the economic rebound and exciting new technology niches, but some was also due to the small size of these companies five years ago. In addition, this year’s survey of Canada’s fastest growing technology companies reveals a domestic tech sector that’s been resourceful in bootstrapping its growth, but sees the country’s domestic venture capital industry as in crisis and potentially unable to help sustain future expansion.
“Canada’s tech companies set records for growth in 2010: Both the top five companies and the entire Fast 50 roster were at all time highs for five-year growth at almost 43,000% and 5,600% respectively,” said John Ruffolo, National Leader, Technology, Media & Telecommunications Industry Group, Deloitte.
“While we take time to celebrate the winning companies’ achievement, we also need to keep in mind that this year’s winners have grown off very small bases and tend to be successful in what are relatively smaller technology niches.”
“Over the last twelve years, there have been some interesting trends (and non-trends) within the Fast 50 list,” said Duncan Stewart, Director of Research for Technology, Media & Telecommunications for Deloitte. “Although the growth rate and the winners change over time, the split between hardware, software, telecom and other technology areas has been fairly consistent. Equally, the regional split of winners hasn’t varied: Ten years ago, 26 of our winners were from Ontario, and in 2010, we have 27 Ontario winners. On the other hand, reflecting a difficult time for initial public offerings (IPOs) and the ongoing venture capital crisis, the number of winners who are public companies has fallen from 54% a decade ago to 30% today. Turnover is up too – the five fastest growing companies on this year’s list weren’t even on the 2009 list.”
Richmond Hill-based Clickfree (Storage Appliance Corp), a hardware company specializing in automatic computer backup, has emerged as a strong winner: Sitting atop the ranking of this year’s Fast 50 list with a 64,240% five-year revenue growth.
Second and third spots go to Real Matters (40,532%, a Markham-based software company operating in property information solutions, and Varicent Software Incorporated (40,269%), a Toronto-based sales performance management software firm. Rounding out the top five are Toronto-based NexJ Systems (36,128%), an Enterprise CRM Software company, and Avigilon (33,664%), a Vancouver-based high-definition surveillance company.
As happened in 2009, a Quebec GreenTech company is a winner in multiple categories: Montreal-based 5N Plus Inc. appears on the Fast 50 list and it is present on both the Green technology and the Leadership rankings as well.
Deloitte’s annual survey of Fast 50 Tech CEOs, also released today, provides further causes for concern and some glimmers of hope. Almost 80% of respondents to Deloitte’s survey of tech CEOs say Canadian-based venture capital firms are in danger of becoming an irrelevant source of financing for the country’s companies, and 83% see this development as jeopardising future generations of technology companies in Canada.
This year’s Tech CEO survey showed that the main source of financing was cash flow from operations for 76% of companies, higher than in past years, while angel and VC funding was ranked as less than half as important. “Although this year’s winning companies are doing incredibly well,” added Ruffolo, “who knows how much bigger they would be today if they had had access to more growth capital in their formative years?”
“This persistent weakness in the country’s venture capital ecosystem began around 2004, it has now reached crisis levels and it has serious implications for the future of our technology sector and the future of Canada,” said Ruffolo. The ongoing Canadian funding crisis in venture capital continues to have a negative effect on our tech sector, and as a nation we need to rapidly adopt key policy responses that will help build our Innovation Economy, create jobs, and make future Technology Fast 50 lists even better.”
According to survey results, 73% of Tech CEOs said their company’s performance was negatively affected to some extent by the recent recession. At the same time, 68% predict either weak or negative growth over the next 12 months.
On the job front, more than 53% of CEOs indicate their firms have benefited from current conditions thanks to the greater availability of skilled labour at a reasonable cost.
Carbon credits are a hot topic for many tech companies: Of survey respondents who saw credits as relevant to their businesses, a surprising 40% said that future carbon credits were a major part of their strategic thinking.
“Cloud computing is often seen as a beneficial technology for early stage tech companies,” said Stewart. “But there has been a debate if it helps more because it is cheaper than traditional infrastructure-based computing, or if it was the time-to-market factor. The results, at least for Canada, are in: More than twice as many CEOs said that cloud helped them grow/scale more quickly than those who cited the cost benefit.”
Canadian Technology Fast 50 2010:
1 Clickfree – Richmond Hill 2 Real Matters – Markham 3 Varicent Software Incorporated – Toronto 4 NexJ Systems – Toronto 5 Avigilon – Vancouver 6 Vital Insight Group Inc. – Mississauga 7 ProSep – Montreal 8 OmniGlobe Networks, Inc. – Pointe-Claire 9 GuestLogix Inc – Toronto 10 In Motion Technology Inc. – New Westminster 11 ARISE Technologies Corporation – Waterloo 12 Vision Critical – Vancouver 13 CarProof – London 14 Solace Systems – Kanata 15 Strategic Connections, Inc. – Markham 16 Impact Mobile – Toronto 17 ParetoLogic Inc. – Victoria 18 QuickPlay Media – Toronto 19 KineticD – Toronto 20 PNI Digital Media – Vancouver 21 ViXS Systems Inc. – Toronto 22 Allegro Mobile Solutions – Mississauga 23 H2O Innovation – Quebec City 24 Opale Net Inc. – Montreal 25 RuggedCom Inc. – Concord 26 SherWeb inc. – Sherbrooke 27 Dominion Voting Systems Corporation – Toronto 28 Nightingale Informatix Corporation – Markham 29 DragonWave Inc. – Kanata 30 Research In Motion – Waterloo 31 Tantalus Systems Corp. – Burnaby 32 Averna – Montreal 33 Diversinet Corp. – Toronto 34 Coveo – Quebec City 34 Corinex Communications – Vancouver 35 Vantrix – Montreal 36 5N Plus Inc. – St. Laurent 37 iBwave Solutions Inc. – St. Laurent 38 Absolute Software – Vancouver 39 Nexterra Systems Corp – Vancouver 40 uptime software – Toronto 41 GEOTAB, Inc. – Oakville 42 WellPoint Systems Inc. – Calgary 43 In-Touch Survey Systems Inc. – Ottawa 44 MAKE Technologies Inc. – Vancouver 45 Adenyo – Toronto 46 EION Wireless – Ottawa 47 Haivision Network Video – Montreal 48 Level Platforms – Ottawa 49 Sandvine Incorporated – Waterloo 50 Payworks – Winnipeg
Leadership Awards single out companies that are the elite members of the Canadian technology industry, whose ability to create a distinct competitive advantage in a high-growth market allows them to dominate their sector and quickly join the ranks of other Canadian global leaders. This year’s four Leadership Awards recipients are:
5N Plus Inc. – Montreal Evertz Technologies Limited – Burlington Open Text Corporation – Waterloo Research In Motion – Waterloo
The Deloitte Technology Fast 50™, the Companies-to-Watch (CTW) Awards honour early-stage Canadian technology companies who have been in business less than five years, and have the potential to be future Deloitte Technology Fast 50™ winners. The ten companies recognized as CTW this year are:
Awasi Incorporated – Waterloo Dayforce – Toronto Morega Systems Inc. – Mississauga N4 Systems – Toronto Neuralitic – Montreal Polar Mobile – Toronto Syncapse – Toronto Telepin software – Ottawa Tynt Multimedia Inc. – Calgary X20 Media – Montreal
The Deloitte Technology Green 15™ Awards recognize Canada’s leading GreenTech companies who promote a more efficient use and re-use of the earth’s resources in industrial production and consumption. In doing so, they use new, innovative technologies to create products and services that compete with existing products and services on price and performance while reducing our impact on the environment. The 15 winners are:
5N Plus Inc. – Montreal Bionest Technologies Inc. – Grand-Mère Cavet Technologies – Toronto ecobee – Toronto Energate – Ottawa Fielding Chemical technologies Inc. – Mississauga GEEP – Barrie Global Emissions Systems Inc. – Whitby H2O Innovation – Quebec City McMillan-McGee Corp – Calgary Nexterra Systems Corp. – Vancouver Odotech – Montreal ProSep – Montreal Real Tech Inc. – Whitby RTI Cryogenics – Cambridge
The Deloitte Technology Fast 50™ ranks companies based on their past five-year revenue growth rates. Celebrating business growth, innovation and entrepreneurship, the program features four distinct categories including the Deloitte Technology Fast 50™ Ranking, Companies-to-Watch Awards (early-stage Canadian tech companies in business less than five years, with the potential to be a future Deloitte Technology Fast 50™ candidate,) Leadership Awards (companies that demonstrate technological leadership in four industry subcategories: Hardware/semiconductor, software, telecommunications and emerging technologies) and the Deloitte Technology Green 15™ Awards (Canada’s leading GreenTech companies that promote a more efficient use and reuse of the earth’s resources in industrial production and consumption). Program sponsors include Deloitte, Gowlings, GrowthWorks, Wellington Financial, TMX, HKMB Hub, CVCA, NACO, IGLOO Software, MaRS. Media partners include Canadian Business magazine and La Presse.
Congratulations to development studio Digital Extremes who has been named as a winner of The Ontario Business Achievement Awards Royal Bank Award for Small Business. Digital Extremes is one of a dozen Ontario companies who have been named provincial winners of The Ontario Business Achievement Awards (OBAA) and the Ontario Global Traders Awards (OGTA) by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.
“These outstanding award winners exemplify business excellence through innovation, export diversity, entrepreneurial spirit and an understanding that the best investment is in their people,” says Len Crispino, President & CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “This is the award winners’ opportunity to step into the spotlight to celebrate success, not only for themselves but, for Ontario.”
Square Enix revealed today that a new premium-quality action figure based on the central character from the Eidos Montreal game Deus Ex: Human Revolution™, Adam Jensen will be the latest addition to the Play Arts® -KAI- series, and will feature newly-augmented Adam Jensen and even more.
“The Square Enix Merchandise Division is dedicated to creating collectible action figures that combine high production value and excellent articulation,” said Kanji Tashiro, Merchandise Director of Square Enix, Inc. “The DEUS EX series has captivated fans across the globe since the first game was released, and we are thrilled and pleased to be making action figures for its latest entry. The game’s truly unique style and visually striking technology provides us with a perfect opportunity to do what we do best: craft a high-quality product that brings to life a vibrant universe.”
Ludia and FremantleMedia Enterprises have launched The Price Is Right HD for iPad® on the App Store. Now iPad users can “COME ON DOWN!” to an unparalleled The Price Is Right experience, enhanced with stunning new HD graphics and incorporating Multi-Touch game play. Incorporating all the familiar elements of the beloved TV game show, The Price Is Right HD for iPad puts players in Contestant’s Row to bid on items in order to earn a shot at playing popular pricing games, try their luck at spinning The Big Wheel, and experience the winner-takes-all tension of the Showcase.
“The Price Is Right is one of Ludia’s most successful titles across platforms, and we are thrilled to now bring it to iPad owners in HD,” said Alex Thabet, Founder and CEO of Ludia Inc. “Game show fans can now enjoy immersive and engaging The Price Is Right fun anywhere, thanks to the iPad’s advanced capabilities.”
The Price Is Right HD features:
* Eye-popping HD graphics designed and optimized for the iPad.
* Two game modes: single player and multiplayer.
* Favorite pricing games to play including Plinko, Cliff Hangers, Punch-a-Bunch & many more.
* Authentic stages, Big Wheel, and other game elements combine with familiar music and Rich Fields as announcer to create a true-to-show experience.
* Customizable 3D player avatars: choose hairstyles, clothing, accessories and more.
* Unlock bonus items as a reward for progress in the game.
Astral Media Inc. has launched a campaign that celebrates its contributions to Canadian culture. The two TV messages were conceived by Bos and depict what the film, television and music industries would look like without such crucial financing. Both situations use humor to offset an otherwise very serious issue.
The campaign premiered last week at the opening night of the Toronto International Film Festival, which Astral is a proud sponsor. One of the two trailers was showcased during the Opening Night Gala Presentation of Score: A Hockey Musical, one of 19 Astral supported Canadian Films selected for the 2010 Festival. Other movies include gala presentations of Barney’s Version, A Beginners Guide to Endings, and the Bang Bang Club; and a special presentation of Trigger. Both messages are now airing on Astral’s pay-television and specialty services.
For over 25 years now, Astral has played a leading role in providing private funding for Canadian culture. This dedication to the vitality of our communities and to the arts industry has allowed for ambitious television and film projects to see the light of day, and for now popular musical notes to take flight. Every year, through its pay and specialty TV channels, radio stations and The Harold Greenberg Fund, Astral invests over $170 million in Canadian culture.
“We are fortunate to live in a dynamic, inclusive and creative culture. This unique point of view needs to be nourished and celebrated. We take much pride in the fact that Astral’s investments help great projects come to life, contribute to a creative product of quality, and support the talented artists and artisans behind these projects,” said Derev Antikacioglu, Corporate Marketing Director at Astral.
Astral continues to be the country’s largest private investor in Canadian feature film, funding the development and production of homegrown film and television projects. In the world of music, Astral has worked closely with partners to develop and launch over 20 projects to support Canadian singers, songwriters and performers.
Overview of Unity 3D Game Development by Example Beginner’s Guide:
* Build fun, simple games using the free Unity 3D game engine even if you’ve never coded before * Learn how to “skin” projects to make totally different games from the same file – more games, less effort! * Deploy your games to the Internet so that your friends and family can play them * Packed with ideas, inspiration, and advice for your own game design and development * Stay engaged with fresh, fun writing that keeps you awake as you learn
What you will learn from this book:
* Find out how people are using the amazing new Unity 3D game engine * Develop and customize four fun game projects, including a frantic race through hospital hallways with a still-beating human heart and a catch game with a jilted lover that morphs into a space shooter! * Create both 2D and 3D games using free software and supplied artwork * Add motion, gravity, collisions, and animation to your game objects using Unity 3D’s built-in systems * Learn how to use code to control your game objects * Create particle systems like shattering glass, sparks, and explosions * Add sound effects to make your games more exciting * Create static and animated backdrops using multiple cameras * Build crucial elements you’ll use again and again, like timers, status bars, title screens, win/lose conditions, and buttons to link game screens together * Deploy your games to the Web to share them with friends, family, and adoring fans * Discover the difference between game skins and mechanics, to earn more money from your games
PadWorx Digital Media, Inc., an independent developer of a new category of interactive eBooks for tablet PCs, today announced that it is set to debut a series of eBooks on September 15th that combine text, gameplay and interactive touch screen technology to create a new digital book experience completely controlled by the reader. The series of interactive eBooks will be released on Apple®iPadTM in Fall 2010. There will be two debut titles, the first of which is for teens and adults, with the second title being suitable for families.
“With user interaction on almost every page, our books put the power to bring stories to life into the hands of the reader,” said Jeffery Alan Schechter, director and producer of Padworx Digital Media, Inc. “This is not your typical passive eBook experience. Because we develop our eBooks on our own game engine, our readers get engaged not only with the text of the story, but also with the interactive graphics and the gameplay elements. The reader, the graphics and the text form a partnership to create the ultimate reading experience.”
Schechter, a two-time Emmy-nominated writer and producer who is well-known for creating Contour, Mariner Software’s award-winning story development software system, founded PadWorx Digital Media in 2010 with his partner, Tod Baudais, a game programmer and the head of software for a feature animation film studio. PadWorx Digital Media is dedicated to pushing the boundaries of tablet PC capabilities in order to create unique ways for readers of all ages to experience both literature and entertainment.
Desire2Learn Incorporated (Desire2Learn), a leading provider of mission-critical enterprise eLearning solutions, is the recipient of a Best in Category Award for Learning Management based on the results of the 2010 IMS Learning and Education Technology Satisfaction and Trends (LearnSAT) survey.
For the 2010 competition, only 12 awards were made for “Best in Category.” Recipients were honored at the awards ceremony and presentation held earlier this year during the Learning Impact Conference in Long Beach, CA. Jeremy Auger, COO, Desire2Learn was on-hand to receive the award.
“Congratulations is extended to Desire2Learn on receiving this unique and meaningful award,” says Dr. Rob Abel, Chief Executive of IMS Global Learning Consortium. “It is the only award we are aware of where the end-user institutions and school districts can express their satisfaction with the vendors.”
The survey, conducted by the IMS Global Learning Consortium, in cooperation with Campus Technology magazine, is unique, for an open web-based survey, in its qualification process of the respondents and cross-check to eliminate any vendor responses or “ballot box stuffing.”
The LearnSAT report, and underlying research, is conducted to provide level of satisfaction information in the use of technology to support teaching and learning to a new and rapidly evolving marketplace. Through the LearnSAT report, those responsible for implementing and supporting solutions in this new marketplace have additional information to supplement that supplied by vendors as to the level of satisfaction expressed by current clients.
“We are honored to be the recipient of this prestigious award from IMS,” states John Baker, President & CEO, Desire2Learn. “The award provides external verification of our continuous commitment to our mission of focusing on our clients and providing them with outstanding client service and support as they continue to strive to ensure program and service excellence to their learning communities.”
A unique aspect of this research is that it also looks at trends in how these technologies are being used and supported, as well as the technologies themselves. It is based on over two years of research uncovering best practices for success in Internet-Supported learning. The IMS Global Learning Consortium LearnSAT is the learning community’s number one source for satisfaction and trends in the use of technology to support learning. Further information on the survey can be found online.
Desire2Learn was also the first LMS provider to have attained the IMS Basic Learning Tools Interoperability (IMS Basic LTI) standard. LTI is a standard developed by IMS Global Learning Consortium to allow Tool Consumers (Learning Management Systems primarily) to easily link to and pass user / organization / course information to Tool Providers (other online applications for eLearning such as wikis, simulations, protected content, assessment tools, etc.).
Congratulations to Big Blue Bubble, whose iPhone/iPad application Thumpies won the award for Mobile Entertainment of the Year at the Mobile Content Awards 2010 in Seoul, Korea. Facing some stiff competition that included more than 110 companies from 15 countries, Thumpies emerged victorious against semi-finalists Fallen EP-1 from 7th Sense Studios in the United Kingdom and UBC Mobile from UBC in Korea. Present to accept the award and the prize money, Big Blue Bubble CEO, Damir Slogar stated “After receiving nothing but absolutely glowing reviews from the media, Thumpies reached another milestone – formal recognition from industry professionals. This will just fuel our enthusiasm to bring the game to many new platforms.“
Thumpies is a unique rhythm-based music game for players of all ages. By correctly matching the beat of bouncing Thumpies the player progresses through a song. Unlike typical rhythm based games, Thumpies uses a mechanic of bouncing in time instead of just a series of notes. The quirky art design of Thumpies XL is accompanied by a unique musical score composed by award winning, industry veteran David Kerr. The music was crafted with game play in mind, giving the player a harmonizing experience.
Vancouver Film School’sGame Design Expo 2011 is now accepting speaker proposals from game industry professionals who have a passion to share their expertise. Past speakers at the consistently sold-out Industry Speaker Day at Game Design Expo have included the makers of games such as Dead Rising 2, Halo, Mass Effect, ModNation Racers, and Saints Row 2 (amongst many others). The deadline for submissions is October 4th 2010, so download the Speaker Proposal Package (PDF) today and send your completed proposal in as soon as possible.
Telefilm Canada announced today a streamlined approach to submitting corporate information as part of an application.
* Corporate secretary’s certificate naming the shareholders and the number of shares held by each * Corporate secretary’s certificate naming the officers and indicating their signing authority * Declaration of Corporate Information * Canadian Status of Corporation Affidavit
Telefilm Canada is committed to providing effective and efficient service to its clients and as such continuously works to provide new ways in which to work with the industry.
New indie house Wild Games Studio Inc. has announced the title and genre of their first game in production, an open-ended RPG/Adventure game. The game, which will release a trailer in October, will be set in third person view. Dhaila’s Adventures will be a game for PC, Mac, PS3 and Xbox 360, with a playable demo coming soon.
Featuring Dhaila, a young fairy whose powers are bound to nature, the game will rely on gameplay taking place in an open world where the player will update the origins of Dhaila and help fulfill her destiny. In addition to the main quest, Dhaila could fill hundreds of side quests depending on the choices and actions proposed. Puzzles and large dungeons filled with traps and monsters will be part of her adventure to enhance the gameplay. Furthermore, Dhaila will be accompanied with a friend that can be controlled by another player to help Dhaila during certain puzzles through teamwork.
Orphaned in the fantasy world of Martania, Dhaila possesses unknown extraordinary powers. She has special skills, including one which can absorb the energy of nature directly through its DNA. She can also absorb the DNA of other creatures, making the heroine able to acquire their shape at any time. Living in one of these valleys, the village seems protected by an unknown magical force, more powerful than in other villages. Dhaila will leave to research her origins, while trying to release Martania of the influence of Dysan, a tyrant who has subjugated the people, forcing them to labour under the threat of the dragons he also holds sway over.
Selected as one of the glorious PAX 10, Retro City Rampage from VBlank Entertainment will be showcased at PAX Prime this weekend at booth 3017, where visitors can meet the dev team, play the game and get some fantastic swag.
This unbelievable FREE swag includes:
* Retro cartridge labels (stick ‘em on NES carts)! * Retro game boxes* (stick your cart in it)! * Retro plastic case inserts (with BLURST processing)! *Retro game rental case inserts (“INDESTRUCTIONS”)!
As an added Bonus, the team will also be having a daily draw to win a Retro City Rampage cartridge case in the box! The team does caution, however, that due to the indie budget and a recent price increase on Ramen Noodles, the “box” is a cleverly designed and exciting arts and crafts project. Simply cut out and fold it yourself for some analog fun Alternatively, you could frame it and stick it on the wall of your local museum.
Capcom will be taking up residence at PAX in Booth 652, where you can drop by and try out their upcoming lineup of titles including Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Okamiden and Blue Castle Games‘ Dead Rising 2 – shipping on September 28.
Ubisoft will have three booths at the show. You will find them in spaces 632, 622 and 712. Each booth will feature a variety of Ubisoft’s upcoming releases and lots of fun prizes for booth visitors.
For the first time in the U.S., PAX attendees will get to try out various titles from Ubisoft exclusively for Kinect™ for Xbox 360®, including Your Shape™: Fitness Evolved and MotionSports™, in addition to seeing the first public demo of Child of Eden™. Consumers will also get an opportunity to play H.A.W.X® 2 multiplayer, and see a sneak peak of Outland™, one of Ubisoft’s digital games for PlayStation®Network and Xbox LIVE® Arcade for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft. In addition, Just Dance® 2 will be available to play onsite at the show.
PAX attendees will have a chance to play Assassin’s Creed® Brotherhood, which will be playable on Xbox 360 and the PlayStation®3 at the Ubisoft booth before its November release. Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood fans who pre-order the game onsite at PAX will receive an exclusive Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood T-shirt, and there are also opportunities for consumers who fan the Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood Facebook page to win Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood posters. Other giveaways include a Just Dance–themed t-shirt for anyone who pre-orders the October release of Just Dance 2 at PAX. Read the rest of this entry »
Now you can compete against your Facebook and Twitter friends in the latest release of ApeZone’s SoliScare card game for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. The new version adds 11 leaderboards and 18 achievements to this already addictive little card game.
SoliScare lets you embark on a fantastic journey through graveyards, haunted houses, and spooky castles. Put the beat down on ghosts, zombies, and classic movie monsters in 100 levels of play.
Game play follows one simple rule: move monster cards to your hero pile by choosing cards that are one higher or lower than your current hero card. As you make longer card runs, you’ll capture these creatures and add them to your jailhouse. Capture all 37 ghosts, zombies, and monsters to become the new Van Helsing.
Ludia Inc., and Sony Pictures Consumer Products announced today that Ludia will create video games based on the hugely popular Pyramid series of television game shows. The licensing deal will result in games across major console platforms, PC/Mac, iPhone/iPod touch and iPad, the first of which games is slated for release in Q1 2011.
“Pyramid is a classic TV game show favorite, and we are thrilled to create games around the property so that fans of the show and broader audiences alike are able to feel the thrill of reaching ‘Winner’s Circle’ from home,” said Alex Thabet, Founder and CEO of Ludia Inc. “This deal serves to further expand Ludia’s prominence across platforms in the game show video game category, which has been a successful growth strategy for us.”
Pyramid will feature all the favorite elements from the show as the game pits pair against pair in a bid to reach the coveted ‘Winner’s Circle’. Players pick from six categories on the pyramid-shaped game board, and guess a series of words or phrases as described by their team mate. The duo that scores more points than their opposing team wins the match, and gets a shot at the grand prize. Additionally, the Pyramid video games will incorporate thousands of questions, connected gaming elements, single and multiplayer game modes, as well as reward systems to fuel the competitive fun between players.
“Pyramid has been a long-standing and successful game show franchise, and we are delighted to work with Ludia to create new opportunities that will bring an engaging entertainment experience to fans of the show,” added Mark Caplan, Vice President Licensing, Sony Pictures Consumer Products.
Three of EA Sports’ titles are vying for the top spot in the Golden Joystick Awards. FIFA 10, Skate 3 and 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa are all in the final run to the top. Ubisoft Canada is also competing against itself in the Action Title category, with both Assassin’s Creed 2 and Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Conviction in the running.
Assassin’s Creed 2: Bonfire of the Vanities and FIFA 10 are finalists for Downloadable Game of the Year while Next Level’s Punch Out!! and EA Sports’ Fight Night Round 4 have entered the ring for Fighting Game of the Year. EA Blackbox is trying to be first over the finish line in the Online Game of the Year with Need For Speed World while franchise twins Assassin’s Creed Bloodlines and Assassin’s Creed Discovery are both in the running for Portable Game of the Year. We have a cross-country showdown going between EA Montreal’s NFS Shift and United Front’s Modnation Racers in the Racing Game of the Year category.
Bioware fans will have a real problem voting in the Role Playing Game of The Year category as Mass Effect 2, Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age Origins Awakening have all made it to the final list. In the soundtrack category, we have Mass Effect 2 competing against Assassin’s Creed 2, and in the RTS category we have household favourite Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II – Chaos Rising from Relic. The voting for Ultimate Game of the Year is going to be hot and heavy with Assassin’s Creed 2, Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age: Origins all hoping to take the podium. Read the rest of this entry »
Montreal’s Strategy Firstand U.S. based Nvinium Games are expanding the Space Empires: Battle For Supremacy franchise which began on the PC in 1993. The five-title franchise has been infiltrating social media and casual game platforms, and with versions for the iPhone and iPad due to launch in 2011, social gamers will now be able to connect with Space Empire gamers anywhere and at anytime, including those on Facebook.
“The avid Space Empires audience pushed us to expand from the PC to Facebook. We have been extremely pleased by the response to the new social network version of the game both in terms of excellent reviews and the exceptional take up of the game by the Facebook community. Accordingly we are expanding to the iPhone and the iPad platforms which will allow us to make the game available to these popular and growing social game audiences”, said Strategy First’s President Emanuel Wall.
Big Stack Studios has released a new game in the iTunes App Store. In Dead of Night, you will travel back to the 19th century and direct the vampire army through their conquest of Europe. In this 40 level quest you will capture villagers with your vampiric gaze and defend your legions from those of Van Helsing and the Werewolves. This title, which is OpenFeint-enabled, blends elements of castle defense and line-drawing gameplay and is available now for $ 0.99USD.
The Zellers store located at 8925 Torbram Road in Brampton will be holding an in-store BattleTag event with the game’s producer, Gael Seydoux, who will be on hand to talk about the new game and answer questions. The event will run from 10:00a.m. until 3:00p.m.
The Canada Media Fundwill begin a new round of consultation sessions with the industry this fall. Valerie Creighton, President and CEO, and Stéphane Cardin, VP of Industry and Public Affairs, will meet with stakeholders across the country to gain input on key issues to be resolved prior to releasing the program guidelines for 2011-2012 in December.
If you wish to attend one of these sessions, you are asked to please register by selecting a location near you. Exact times and locations will be provided to registrants by email prior to each event. New this year, stakeholders who are unable to attend a session in person can participate through an online discussion forum. More details will be provided by CMF in the coming weeks.
Scheduling site Tungle.me has once again expanded its services, allowing users to add their Facebook Events to their Tungle.me account. With this new integration users can now see their entire schedule in one, simple calendar view, allowing them to factor Facebook events into their availability, thereby avoiding those pesky double bookings. As users RSVP to new Facebook Events, those events will be added to their Tungle.me calendar, automatically updating available time slots.
This past Saturday marked a momentous occasion for Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada and its long-standing partner Future Shop as they celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Future Shop Future Leaders Scholarships program. And what better way to celebrate than to give the gift of education to 25 Boys and Girls Clubs youth across Canada. Presented with scholarships based on their outstanding contribution to their Boys and Girls Club and local community, good academic standing and financial need, the deserving 25 recipients will use their bursary to pursue their careers and life goals through higher education. Read the rest of this entry »
Today is Universal Game Designer Appreciation Day. Let those responsible for your hours (or years) of exciting, frustrating and triumphant adventures in the digital world of weird realms, interesting characters and immersive stories know how much you appreciate their labours. Buy their games, play their games, and recommend them to your friends so that you have someone’s butt to kick in multi-player mode.
Interactive Ontariohas announced that Jordan Mechner, creator of the Prince of Persia franchise, will deliver the Keynote address at IN 2010. There is an impressive line-up of speakers presenting sessions at this year’s conference. IN 2010 will be divided into the following streams: Mobile, Social Media, Games, Cross Platform and Visionary. Make sure you register soon, the Early Bird tickets are only available until August 20th.
Building on the success of their inaugural event held this past May, the Canadian Video Game Awards will be returning on May 18, 2011 at the Centre For The Performing Arts in Vancouver. If you are in business and considering using Twitter as a tool, then the Twitter for Business Workshop is an event you may want to attend. Lead by social media pros Monica Hamburg and Tanya Roberts, this seminar will be held at the ING Direct Café Boardroom on August 21st and is designed to help you understand how to use Twitter to build your brand and interact with clients.
The second Vancouver BookCamp will be taking place at the SFU Downtown Campus – Harbour Centre on October 1st. This free (registration required) full day event brings together a variety of stakeholders in the publishing industry to discuss digital publishing, digital reading experiences, the book’s evolving role and how publishers can leverage themselves for success in the digital age.
Frima Studio has put Zombie Tycoon on sale on the PlayStation Store for only $2.49 until August 9, 2010. Normally $4.99, Zombie Tycoon is one of the most successful PlayStation Minis of all time and unlike any zombie game you’ve played before!
Frima’s team thought that it was about time to turn the tables on those living dead stereotypes…again and again, you find yourself having to survive some kind of undead apocalypse. Well, no more! In Zombie Tycoon, you get to control your very own horde of ravenous zombies! This unique tale of intrigue and betrayal spans over 10 challenging levels, complete with animated cutscenes, in-game dialogs, and a bunch of humorous references. Equip your slavering, putrescent swarm of undead minions with over 100 quirky items and send them shuffling after humans like wolves on cattle, laying waste to town after town as they spread their blight across the globe.
If you haven’t seen it already, here is the latest trailer for Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions. In this trailer, hear from Spider-Man creator Stan Lee as he discusses the latest iteration of his web-weaving super hero.
Spider-Man Shattered Dimensions is scheduled for release on September 1st for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii (developed by Quebec’s Beenox Studios) and Nintendo DS (developed by Griptonite Games). There is a variety of pre-order bonuses available, depending on where and how you place your order.
“Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions delivers an original storyline that bridges four unique worlds,” said Rob Kostich, Head of Marketing, Activision Publishing, Inc. “Each action-packed universe will have its own detailed art design and thrilling missions, challenging gamers to use new skill sets to defeat enemies as they unlock powerful new moves and progress through the game.”
Those waiting for the resurrection of the True Crime franchise will have to wait a little longer. Activision has pushed back the anticipated release date for United Front’s upcoming open-world action title, True Crime®: Hong Kong. Instead of being released in 2010, it will now be making an appearance in 2011, stating that they are giving the dev team more time to polish the title in order to give gamers a high-quality playing experience.
Toon Boom Animationhas released its first iPad app. Available for free, Flip Boom Lite will help you learn how to animate and create cartoons on your iPad. Along with the included demo project are features such as:
* Intuitive user interface with collapsible drawing slider, full-screen drawing, adjustable line width * Brush, eraser, undo, reset view, bright colour selection, scale and translate * Previous and next drawings display, flexible frame rate and send to photo library
There are also features which are unique to the app version of Flip Boom Lite: Cool Shake to undo a previous action, Magic Grab to reset your drawing to original position and Finger Pinch to scale and translate your drawing.
Also new over at Toon Boom is StoryBoard Pro 2, and along with new features is a new licensing option – Toon Boom is now offering a rental option, letting users rent the software for a full year at a cost of $299.99 USD for either Windows or Mac operating systems. Visit the StoryBoard Pro 2 page to see what’s new in this latest version.
Vancouver’s Sillysoft Gameshas released the first screenshots of their upcoming turn-based strategy game Castle Vox, slated for PC release in September 2010. Castle Vox features simultaneously planned turns, as players vie to out-strategize each other on a variety of war maps. Multi-player modes allow both relaxed one-move-a-day games as well as fast speed wars. Board game fans will particularly look forward to Castle Vox, which mixes elements from Diplomacy and Axis & Allies and includes maps spanning many eras and mythologies, such as the American Revolution, Hades, Japan, Napoleonic Wars, Native America, Outer Space, and the Roman Empire. A map editor will let players create their own boards.
Toronto publisher Dreamcatcher Gamers, JoWooD Entertainment and the BVT Group announce that the release of the “ArcaniA – Gothic 4” Playstation 3 version is set for release in the first half of 2011. The successor of the internationally successful Gothic series will be released on current-gen consoles for the first time, additional to PC systems. Xbox 360 and PC versions will hit the stores on Oct. 12th 2010.
The focus during development of ArcaniA – Gothic 4 rested on a well-founded quality assurance. Playstation 3 gamers will experience the same, high quality product as Xbox 360 and PC customers. This has caused the adjustment of the release date but conversely sets the course for an outstanding gameplay experience on all platforms.
Telefilm Canada is pleased to announce the selected feature film projects from minority French- and English-language communities across Canada that have been selected under the Écrire au long and Feature It! initiatives, respectively.
Targeting eligible Francophone and Anglophone writers and producers, these initiatives are part of Telefilm’s Official Languages Activities (OLA) Program to develop market-driven feature film projects and to expand the available pools of these creators:
- Écrire au long targets eligible Francophone creators from Quebec communities outside Montreal and from Francophone communities outside the province of Quebec; – Feature It! targets eligible Anglophone creators working in Quebec.
Participating writers and producers receive development funding in the form of an advance for a later phase of their projects and take part in four-day workshops to review the fundamentals of film development and scriptwriting with industry experts. In addition, participants will subsequently receive personalized, professional support from scriptwriting advisors or producer-mentors.
Toronto-based Francophone writer Maxime Desmons sees his acceptance into the 2010-2011 Écrire au long program as an opportunity to improve both his project and his scriptwriting skills.
“To participate in Écrire au long and receive financial support from Telefilm for such an early stage of a project increases my credibility as a scriptwriter,” he said. “Working with a mentor who will challenge me and critique my work professionally will make me work even harder on my project and strengthen me as a writer.”
Montreal-based Anglophone writer-producer Debra Kouri raved about her 2009-2010 Feature It! experience and how it helped her project Oh, Christmas Trees.
“In my 12-plus years in the film and television industry, the Feature It! training was the best I have ever received. We had extremely experienced lecturers and industry professionals share their experiences with us. The lessons we learned have already proven invaluable and I’m sincerely looking forward to writing my next draft. I wish this type of training was mandatory for all Canadian writers and producers!”
“At their cores, the Écrire au long and Feature It! initiatives give minority Francophone and Anglophone writers and producers such as Maxime and Debra the hands-on mentoring that is so essential to the fine tuning of their work as fiction feature film creators,” said Sheila de La Varende, Telefilm Canada’s Director of National and International Business Development. “Through this program and others, we are making progress on our goal to enhance industry skills, increase the number of feature-film scripts, and improve creators’ access to our main funding programs for the eventual production of their projects,” she added.
Telefilm collaborated with the following organizations to deliver each initiative’s training components:
- The Creative Women Workshops Association is delivering Feature It! training components and held a four-day workshop session that ran from June 19 to June 22, 2010, in Montreal. – The Institut national de l’image et du son is delivering the Écrire au long training components and will hold a four-day workshop session that will be held in Montreal from August 30 to September 2, 2010.
Since the launch of the OLA program in 2006, Telefilm Canada has been seeking to expand the talent pool of Anglophone and Francophone creators working in minority official language communities across the country. A total of 36 English-language projects and 48 French-language projects have been supported following calls for entries issued to both of these communities. The Écrire au long and Feature It! initiatives conducted under Telefilm’s OLA Program have received financial support from Heritage Canada through the Interdepartmental Partnership with Official-Language Communities.
This is the fifth and final year for the Écrire au long program, and the fourth and final year for the Feature It! program. Telefilm will review results of both initiatives this fall to determine how best to support the professional development of minority-language Francophone and Anglophone creators moving forward.
SFO-based social web and mobile entertainment company Booyah has officially launched international support for its popular location based app MyTown. Now available exclusively for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad across Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia, MyTown is the first to support global check-ins utilizing the recently launched Places Web Service via the Google Maps API.
“Booyah is the premier mobile and social gaming company on top of the exploding location graph,” said Keith Lee, CEO, Booyah. “Our launches in the UK, Australia and Canada are just the beginning of bringing real world gaming to players across the globe.”
MyTown’s location data is provided by the Places Web Service, a feature of the Google Maps API which returns the 20 most popular places near a given location. Blending location-based services and social gaming features, Booyah’s MyTown is the first and largest consumer channel to utilize the Places Web Service.
Currently more than 2.8 million users in the United States are actively buying properties, collecting rent and checking-in to real places in MyTown. Last week, Booyah introduced the product check-in, allowing players to scan barcodes of real-world products to unlock points and earn exclusive virtual items, creating real-life scavenger hunts, brand discovery and engagement.
Calgary’s Rare Method Interactive Corp. has appointed Mr. Joshua Ius to the position of Chief Financial Officer, effective immediately. Mr. Ius obtained his Chartered Accountant designation articling with PricewaterhouseCoopers. He also holds a Master’s in Professional Accounting and a Bachelors of Commerce in Entrepreneurial Management. His background includes both Industry and Public Practice experience.
Rogers Media Inc. and BV! Media Inc. have entered into a definitive agreement pursuant to which Rogers Media will acquire all of the issued and outstanding Common Shares of BV! Media for $0.40 in cash per share. The all-cash consideration of $0.40 per Share values BV! Media at approximately $25 million and represents a premium of approximately 100% to the volume-weighted average trading price of the BV! Media shares for the past 20 trading days on the TSX Venture Exchange.
“We are thrilled to have the BV! Media team join the Rogers family,” said Claude Galipeau, SVP & GM, Digital Media, Rogers Media. “BV! Media has an extensive line of ad solutions that we will incorporate into our existing digital media sales offerings. In addition, the BRANCHEZ-VOUS! network of sites in Quebec will give us greater reach in the Francophone market. Upon closing, Rogers Digital Media will have an impressive set of content offerings and digital sales solutions, including premium brands, exclusive sales inventory on partner sites, channels targeting key demographics, and performance media.”
“We are very pleased with this transaction for many reasons: it reflects BV! Media’s true value and exemplifies our commitment to maximize value for all our shareholders,” commented Gino Coutu, President, Ad network and co-CEO of BV! Media. “Furthermore, it is occurring with a strategic partner that has already demonstrated its respect for our organization and our people, and it ensures total continuity with our trusted partners and clients. This transaction is fully supported by the senior management team.”
“After fifteen years as a successful standalone business we are eager to become part of one of Canada’s largest media companies and to have our team and assets contribute to Rogers’ expansion in both digital media and the Quebec market” commented Patrick Pierra, founder and co-CEO of BV! Media.