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  • Co-founder of Sanctuary Appointed As Academic Director of Art Institute Vancouver

5th February 2009

Co-founder of Sanctuary Appointed As Academic Director of Art Institute Vancouver

Art Institute of VancouverVancouver – One of the co-founders of the award winning science fiction show Sanctuary is bringing his gaming talents back to the classroom. The Art Institute of Vancouver is proud to welcome Marc Aubanel as Academic Director of Game Art and Design and Visual Games Programming.

Marc, originally from Montreal, took Communication Studies at Concordia University, On relocating to Vancouver in 1992, the lifelong hockey fan channeled this passion as Online Editor for the Canucks magazine, Winning Spirit. At an exciting, up and coming time for the gaming world, Marc found himself drawn to the industry and joined Electronic Arts Canada (EA), the largest 3rd party games publisher in the world. Marc spent 13 years and worked his way to vice president / executive

Marc Aubanel

Marc Aubanel

producer, working on such video games as chart breaking FIFA and Need for Speed Underground producing over 50 SKU’s for revenues generating more than a billion dollars.

Marc left EA around the same time as Damien Kindler left his role as co-executive producer on the hit show Stargate and they formed Vancouver based production company and full service visual effects house, Stage 3 Media. Deciding that there must be a better way of making entertainment in the new, emerging electronics market, they set about creating the first broadcast quality, High Definition dramatic series designed specifically for the internet, combining live actors and CG sets and backgrounds. In 2006 the web based series Sanctuary was born.

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4th February 2009

Mega Brands & Microsoft Game Studios Ink Global Licensing Partnership

MEGA Brands to Develop Construction Sets Based on Microsoft Game Studios’ New Game, Halo Wars Through Deal Brokered By Twentieth Century Fox Licensing & Merchandising

Mega BrandsMONTREAL – MEGA Brands Inc. is thrilled to announce that it has entered into a global licensing agreement with Microsoft Game Studios to develop construction toys based on its much-anticipated new game, Halo Wars, a realtime, exciting strategy game based on the legendary Halo® universe. The agreement was brokered by Twentieth Century Fox Licensing & Merchandising, licensing agent for the Halo franchise.

Under the global agreement, MEGA Brands will develop the first-ever construction toy sets based on the key characters and vehicles of Halo Wars under the Mega Bloks umbrella. The video game will be available at retailers worldwide in early 2009. The Mega Bloks licensed product offerings will make their retail debut worldwide in the summer of 2009.
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3rd February 2009

Ubisoft Acquires Vancouver Studio Action Pants, Inc.

UbisoftVancouver – Today Ubisoft announced it will be expanding its studio operations to Canada’s west coast through the acquisition of video game developer Action Pants Inc. This marks Ubisoft’s first in-house development studio on the North American West Coast.

Established in 2006 by industry veterans Simon Andrews, Nik Palmer and Omar Al-Khafaji, Action Pants Inc. currently employs more than 110 video game developers. Based in the trendy Yaletown area, the studio was ranked as one of the province’s Top 50 employers in 2008 and 2009, and among BC Business magazine’s “Best Companies to work for in BC in Action Pants Inc.2007.” 2009 will see the release of the studio’s first title, a sports game developed exclusively for Wii™. This new intellectual property will expand upon Ubisoft’s recent success in the sports genre with the Shaun White Snowboarding franchise.

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2nd February 2009

Call For Entries for PICK 20 Awards

PICK20 Awards – Backbone Entertainment Magazine and KPMG are searching for the Top 20 Web 2.0 pioneering companies in Canada. Is yours one? Do you know one that is? Backbone and KPMG are looking for the companies who are leading the way across four implementation categories:

1) Problem solving: customer response, idea generation, solution brainstorming ?
2) Innovation: crowdsourcing, market prediction, participatory feedback
3) Collaboration: jams, customer input, user rankings?
4) Knowledge sharing and management: teamware, wikis, blogs and collaborative content creation

To nominate your company or someone else’s, visit the PICK 20 nomination page. Winners will be announced in the August/September issue of Backbone Magazine. The deadline for submissions is March 2 2009.

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2nd February 2009

Sony Unveils Winning VAIO Notebook Designs Created by Canadians

sonystyle CanadaTorontoSony Canada today unveiled the winning designs from its This Vaio PC Is Me Contest.  Canadians were given the opportunity to submit designs and share their inspirations for the latest line of VAIO FW notebook computers. The contest, which ran from October 1 First Placethrough November 15, 2008, offered entrants from across the country the unique experience of working with Sony to develop an authentic and stylish product.

The winning design and runner-ups were selected from hundreds of submissions. Through the voting and submission process, Canadians were asked to vote for their favourite designs, allowing them to be part of creating a truly personalized product.
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2nd February 2009

CFTPA Pleased With Federal Budget’s Support For Funds

CFTPAOttawa – The Canadian Film and Television Production Association (CFTPA) is pleased the government has listened and given a two year extension to the Canadian Television Fund (CTF) and the Canada New Media Fund (CNMF).

“The CTF is the single most important initiative that supports distinctively Canadian television shows,” says Guy Mayson, President and CEO, CFTPA. “Since its inception in 1995, the CTF has contributed $2.5 billion to the economy, and triggered the production of more than $8 billion in Canadian programming. Overall across Canada the independent production sector employs close to 100,000 Canadians every year. Long-term sustainable financing is absolutely key to the stability of our sector.”

The CFTPA is also pleased the government is supporting the growth potential of interactive media production by essentially maintaining funding levels to the CNMF. The CNMF is a national program that supports the creation and distribution of interactive digital cultural content products. A strong interactive sector is essential if Canada is to be competitive in the exploding international digital marketplace.

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30th January 2009

Rocket Builders Releases 2009 Ready To Rocket List

Rocket BuildersAnnual list highlights technology trends and those private BC companies positioned for high growth potential in 2009

Vancouver Rocket Builders has released its seventh annual “Ready to Rocket 25” list naming 25 privately held BC companies that are best positioned to capitalize on the 2008 technology trends that will lead them to faster growth than their peers in a number of technology sectors. The annual “Ready to Rocket 25” list provides accurate predictions of companies that will likely experience significant revenue growth, venture capital investment or acquisition by a major player in the coming year. The “Ready to Rocket 25” list is the only predictive list of its kind in North America.

Although companies identified on this year’s “Ready to Rocket 25” did not grow at the pace of the previous year, the group still experienced a median growth rate of 50%, and an average growth rate of more than 100%. Of the identified twenty-five companies on the list:

* 76% exceeded 25% growth
* 58% exceeded 50% growth
* 44% exceeded 100% growth

The average increase in headcount for the 25 companies was 12%, with median annual revenue for 2008 benchmarked at $2.5 million dollars. Across the list of twenty-five companies:

* Aggregate revenue of over $130 million dollars
* The companies employed over 1200 employees
* Employment increased by 129 people
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30th January 2009

Jokeroo Entertainment Is Now Jolt Media Group

Toronto – As of today Jokeroo Entertainment will rebrand into JMG, short for Jolt Media Group. Like Jokeroo Entertainment, JMG will maintain ownership over all properties including Linkbee.com, Filecabin.com and the flagship property, Jokeroo.com.

“With the upcoming release of various websites in different channels, it’s important that our Jolt Media Groupparent company name be suitable for all our properties” says CEO of JMG, Chris Pavlovski. “We felt that Jolt Media Group fit the bill perfectly.”

JMG is set to launch four new properties by the end of the first quarter. The verticals in focus are social networking, lifestyle, gaming and financial. “Our goal is to reach audiences in all corners of the web,” says President of JMG, Aleks Dugonjic. “Expanding into these verticals brings us one step closer.”

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29th January 2009

Registration Opens for GDC Canada

First Annual Game Developers Conference® Canada Announced: May 12-13, 2009, Vancouver, BC

GDC CanadaVancouver – Registration is now open for the Game Developers Conference® Canada (GDC Canada). Building off of the success of the Vancouver International Games Summit (VIGS), GDC Canada will be a forum for Canadian developers to share best practices for fostering ingenuity and quality games. Presented by Think Services Games Group and Reboot Communications, GDC Canada will take place May 12-13, 2009 at the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre (VCEC) in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Conference is offering a special registration period for those who have attended past VIGS events. Paid conference delegates to either the 2007 or 2008 VIGS are entitled to special alumni savings of up to 25% on conference passes. Those who qualify for Alumni Rates will receive an email directly from GDC Canada which will give further registration details.

GDC Canada Conference Tracks

The Game Developers Conference® Canada emphasizes studying the challenges and opportunities of creating games with long production cycles, large development teams, and multi-platform releases. Unique to GDC Canada’s content lineup, is its focus on the production cycle of game development with tracks focused on:

  • Concept/Preproduction
  • Production
  • Finalling
  • Post Launch/Analysis

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28th January 2009

3D Models Embedded Anywhere On The Web

Presto 3DMontreal – Spread 3D art across the internet: having become the destination site for 3D artists looking to show off their artwork in 3D, Presto3D.com extends these frontiers by allowing 3D previews to be embedded anywhere on the web. Presto 3D is a marketplace for digital 3D models. Models can be submitted for sale by anyone, and are sold royalty free, with the artist earning a commission on each sale.

Like on YouTube or many other websites, anyone can embed a preview of a 3D model on any website or blog. The preview will appear just as it does on Presto3D.com, and contain links back to other work by that artist.
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