21st July 2011

Recycling Council of BC Announces Trailer Trashed 2011 Video Competition

rcbcThe Recycling Council of British Columbia (RCBC) is proud to announce that the Trailer Trashed 2011 competition is now open. Trailer Trashed is the environmental short film competition with a twist – all entries must be in the form of a movie trailer and convey this year’s waste reduction theme, The Unrecycled. Please see the competition web site for full details and contest rules.

Last year, 280 million beverage containers were not recycled in B.C. Despite the convenience of depots, return-to-retail options and the incentive of refundable deposits, containers are still trashed. Studies show there’s one group collectively responsible for 242 million of these missing containers. They’re mostly single, mostly male, and for the most part, aged 18-34. The other thing they mostly have in common is watching trailer trashedmovies. That’s why RCBC wants filmmakers to help change this wasteful behaviour by making a movie! A movie trailer to be exact; a spectacular, entertaining movie trailer to enlighten this group to return their containers, collect their deposits, and help save the planet, one bottle and can at a time.

You can use animation, live action, claymation, Lego, toy soldiers or sock puppets, in any genre you like such as drama, horror, comedy, sci-fi, action, romance, musical, parody, satire or wherever you creative energies take you.

Anyone can enter, young or old, amateur or professional, as long as your entry is engaging, entertaining and enlightening. Enter as many films as you like. The trailers will be judged by a panel of RCBC staff, sponsor representatives and film industry experts. First prize is $2000 and HD video camera, second place is $1000 and third place is $500 plus all the fame and glory you can handle. Yes, fame and glory because these trailers will be used in a viral internet campaign to put an end to . . . THE UNRECYCLED!

Trailer Trashed is generously sponsored by Encorp Pacific, Belkorp Environmental Services Inc., London Drugs, the B.C. Film Commission and Warner Bros.

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21st July 2011

Virgin Mobile Opens Flagship Store in Nova Scotia

Virgin Mobile CanadaVirgin Mobile is bringing something awesome to the East Coast today as it opened the doors to its first flagship store in Canada’s Atlantic region at Halifax’s Mic Mac Mall.

“This flagship store truly amps up our presence in Halifax and brings the experience of Membership to life like nothing the East Coast has seen before,” says Robert Blumenthal, President, Virgin Mobile Canada. “We’ve created a full-on experience – from a great atmosphere to the best range of smartphones and more.”

The awesome space, helping spice up Nova Scotia’s largest mall, shows off all the hottest phones and gadgets that are up for grabs on the super-speedy 4G network. Plus, the new flagship store will sell tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab and BlackBerry Playbook. For a limited time, Virgin Mobile is also offering a special deal of $100 off to Members who activate a smartphone in store.

Virgin Mobile’s flagship store was designed by IIBYIV Design Associates and is located in Mic Mac Mall at 21 MicMac Boulevard. Members and Member-wannabes can check out the store Monday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. and noon – 5 p.m. on Sunday.

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21st July 2011

Ubisoft Unveils Rocksmith

ubisoftUbisoft will redefine music gaming with the release of Rocksmith in October 2011. Rocksmith is the first and only music video game where players can plug into any electric guitar. Every copy of the game will include a Rocksmith™ Real Tone Cable, a standard quarter-inch to USB cable allowing guitars to be played through an Xbox 360®, a PlayStation®3 or a PC for the first time. Players can access an in-depth library of music including everything from the latest hits to classic rock songs.

Rocksmith features gameplay that automatically adjusts to the player’s skill level, mini-games to help hone specific skills, a split-screen multiplayer option, and a first-person perspective that puts the player on stage. Rocksmith will feature a huge variety of in-game effects pedals that allow users to customize and reproduce their favourite tones. Its innovative game design makes reading music visually fun and intuitive. The game includes a sizable catalogue of music from classic rock bands such as The Animals, David Bowie and The Rolling Stones, to current artists like The Black Keys and Interpol.

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“Canadian music and game lovers can be among the first in the world to try out Rocksmith at select, high profile music events this summer,” says Lucile Bousquet, Director of Marketing and Communications for Ubisoft Canada. “Rocksmith not only engages experienced musicians, it’s also exciting for those who are playing a guitar for the very first time.”

Canadians are invited to pick up a guitar and try out Rocksmith at official Rocksmith Rehearsal Studios across the country, which are designed to look and feel like an authentic garage-style rehearsal studio space. The Rocksmith Rehearsal studios will be located at some of the country’s biggest rock music festivals including:

  • Heavy TO in Toronto: July 23-24
  • Osheaga Music and Arts Festival in Montreal: July 29-31
  • Sonic Boom in Edmonton: September 3
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21st July 2011

Pre-Order Your Special Editions of Star Wars The Old Republic

BiowareThe start of your personal Star Wars™ saga grows ever nearer, and now BioWare has revealed three editions of Star Wars™: The Old Republic™, each custom-designed to delight RPG and Star Wars fans worldwide. The Star Wars: The Old Republic Collector’s Edition, Digital Deluxe Edition and Standard Edition are available for pre-order today at participating retailers (some conditions apply), with digital versions available exclusively at Origin™. Upon pre-order, players will be granted a redemption code that will unlock early game access as well as an in-game color stone to change your weapon effect. Note that pre-order quantities are limited, they will be processed in the order in which they were received, and Early Game Access will only be available to those who pre-order the game and redeem their code before the game’s official release.

Star Wars: The Old Republic has been honored with over 95 industry awards and accolades from game critics worldwide and continues to be one of the most anticipated launches of 2011. The game innovates and advances the MMO genre by emphasizing story as a key pillar of the experience – a proven strength of BioWare and Lucasfilm. As anticipation grows, BioWare also announced today that Star Wars: The Old Republic will open “Beta Test Weekends” starting this September. These weekend play sessions will be open to selected players worldwide and create an opportunity for fans to get a sneak peek of the epic stories, worlds, quests, battles and characters in the game.  Read the rest of this entry »

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21st July 2011

Internet Marketing Conference Comes To Vancouver in October

IMC VancouverThe Internet Marketing Conference is coming to the Renaissance Vancouver Harbourside Hotel on October 3rd and 4th (Monday and Tuesday). This conference features an experienced roster of speakers who will present their thoughts on the many challenges faced by today’s moderner marketer, with a focus on the following:

  • Are the web marketing lessons of the past 10 years still relevant?
  • Do we still need to be “site” focused?
  • What is our Cross-Platform Content Strategy?
  • Who should manage our social media initiatives? Is it replacing PR?
  • Should social commerce be managed separately from social media?
  • Should we spend more on campaigns, technology or people?
  • Is now the time to test mobile? What does a mobile strategy look like?
  • Should we invest in an app or mobile site? What kind of results should we expect?
  • How do we win the budget for more advanced digital marketing programs?

The digital eco-system has expanded across multiple platforms through multiple devices putting pressure on marketers to not only manage multiple touch points, but make sense of new behavior, sentiment and intent. At IMC Vancouver you will have the chance to explore, discuss and debate today’s challenges, opportunities and solutions in four different tracks:

Content, Community, Campaigns and Insights:

Why You Should Attend:

  • Take home practical, tactical advice you can apply immediately
  • Get up to speed on marketing technology without becoming an engineer
  • Improve your ability to manage multiple campaigns across multiple platforms
  • Learn how to get insights out of data without becoming a statistician
  • Align online marketing with overall business goals

Double Early Bird pricing for this conference is available until July 30th, with Regular Early Bird prices available until September 9th, when Regular prices come into effect.

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21st July 2011

Yo Deshi Named As Winner of GameTree TV Developer Competition

TransGamingLast night at Casual Connect in Seattle, Toronto’s  TransGaming Inc. announced that Yo Deshi by Scottish developer Proper Games had been declared the winner of the company’s $ 50 000.00 GameTree Developer Competition.

Yo Deshi is a cerebral martial arts-themed board game that challenges players of all levels with a unique multi-player puzzle experience. Gamers can experience the excitement of incredible gains and stunning losses as they engage both real and simulated opponents with a range of thought-provoking strategies. Yo DenshiFeaturing highly immersive and fully customizable gameplay, the game was chosen as the grand prize winner of TransGaming’s GameTree Developer Competition.

The influential celebrity judges included actor, director, producer and writer LeVar Burton, President of Development at Jerry Bruckheimer Games Inc., Jay Cohen, and Lorne Lanning, co-founder of Oddmobb, Inc. The competition was launched in January,  with developers being offered the chance to win $50,000 and have their game featured on the GameTree TV platform for Smart TV, making it accessible to millions of Smart TV users as the GameTree TV market adoption continues to grow.

“We were highly impressed by the level of skill that all the finalists demonstrated. In the end it came down to talent, attention to detail and the overall quality of the winning game,” said panel judge LeVar Burton. “We’ve been able to offer developers the chance to reach a global audience with GameTree TV, a fantastic opportunity for a new developer eager to make their mark on the industry. It’s an exciting time for developers as the way we all interact with games and entertainment on a daily basis is changing rapidly, and TransGaming is playing a vital part in that process.”

If you are interested in developing titles playable on the GameTree TV platform, visit the GameTree Developer Portal to find out how to have your games published on Smart TV systems around the world. Other games in this first competition included Smiles HD by Canadian developer Sykhronics Entertainment and Bubblenauts: The Hunt For Jolly Roger’s Treasure by Western Star Entertainment of Oregon.

“Our passion for discovering, promoting and distributing the innovative content developed by the incredibly talented independent game development community is the main reason we decided to run this competition. We received an overwhelming response from developers around the world and were thrilled by the quality of the submissions,” commented Vikas Gupta, CEO & President of TransGaming. “GameTree TV is emerging as a top new gaming platform and we are extremely happy that Yo Deshi, and all of our finalists, are going to be part of the experience. My sincere congratulations go out to Yo Deshi and Proper Games.”

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20th July 2011

Mazooma Unveils Micropay-in-a-Box Solution for Discover Digital Goods Merchants

mazoomaMazooma, which is an American company with an office in Toronto, has unveiled their new micropay-in-a-box solution, which has as much as a 71% reduction in merchant fees for digital content merchants.  With 25% year-over-year growth, digital content is currently the fastest-growing eCommerce sector, driving an explosion in small-ticket transaction volumes. However, merchants selling digital music, games, books, and videos are underserved by traditional payment options. Mazooma’s new micropay solution fills this void, enabling these merchants to sell their goods faster, safer, and more cost-effectively.

Mazooma’s micropay-in-a-box solution is available to Discover’s direct merchants using the Centinel® Universal Merchant Platform through CardinalCommerce Corporation. For a merchant using Centinel, it is as simple as placing the Mazooma payment button on their checkout page to support a new payment option that enables consumers to pay using their online banking account. For these merchants, there is no implementation required and no changes to existing settlement and reporting from Discover. It is a turnkey solution that makes it easy for merchants to offer the new Mazooma payment brand.

An online banking-based payment solution, Mazooma connects consumers directly to their bank account from the merchant’s checkout page, enabling secure, instant payments for online purchases. Other features of Mazooma’s micropay solution include a processing fee of 1.5% + $0.05 per transaction without the need to aggregate transactions, and a streamlined checkout in two clicks, with no offline sign-up process.

“With Mazooma’s micropay-in-a-box solution, Discover merchants selling digital content can enjoy instant, online payments, as well as ease of implementation, less technical resources and consolidated settlement and reporting,” says Farhan Ahmad, General Manager, Prepaid & Director of Emerging Payments at Discover. “At Discover, we aim to provide our merchants with more payment choices, and we believe the relationship with Mazooma will do just that.”

“We’re pleased to be able to leverage Centinel to extend the Mazooma payment option across the Discover Network of retail merchants,” said Janet Kapostasy, Vice President, Financial Institution Services, CardinalCommerce Corporation. ”The micropay solution addresses a key pain point in the digital goods vertical.”

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20th July 2011

Goldtooth Creative Jacks Up San Diego Comic-Con With Prototype 2 Trailer Debut

Goldtooth CreativeGoldtooth Creative once again proves itself a force to be reckoned with as its cutting edge trailer for the highly anticipated sequel to 2009’s top-selling game from Activision Publishing and Radical Entertainment, PROTOTYPE® 2 debuts today at San Diego Comic-Con International 2011.Radical Entertainment

The first entry in PROTOTYPE 2’s three-part CG trilogy, which are behind age-gates on the Prototype 2 site, is titled “Homecoming,” displays the slick editing and breathtaking visuals for which the Vancouver-based creative agency and full-service production studio is quickly becoming known.

Director Paul Furminger and the Goldtooth crew worked tirelessly to build a captivating trailer that introduces gamers to the post-outbreak world inhabited by James Heller, PROTOTYPE 2’s all-new protagonist, and it offers a sneak peek at what’s to come as Blackwatch Special Forces continue the struggle to contain and control the outbreak of the Blacklight virus.prototype 2

Artists at Goldtooth produced all the visuals for the trailer, including animation, lighting, effects, and compositing, and used all the latest technical tools in their arsenal—including motion capture, game capture, facial performance capture, CG and intense live action shoots—to achieve the look and feel of a feature film that hints at the epic showdown looming between Heller and Alex Mercer, the protagonist of the original game.

The sequel to Radical Entertainment’s best-selling open-world action game of 2009, PROTOTYPE 2 takes the unsurpassed carnage of the original PROTOTYPE and continues the experience of becoming the ultimate shape-shifting weapon. PROTOTYPE 2 is currently in development for Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Windows PC.

As the latest project in the ongoing collaborative relationship between Goldtooth and Activision, the first trailer for PROTOYPE 2 demonstrates Goldtooth’s continued dedication to captivating story-telling and technical excellence. For the original PROTOTYPE game, Goldtooth created multiple trailers and provided creative direction on story cinematics; Furminger directed the ‘Web of Intrigue’ in-game cinematics for the first game.

Activision and Radical have also confirmed the release date for PROTOTYPE 2. The shape-shifting title will be on stores shelves April 24, 2012 for Xbox 360, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Windows PC. You can get your pre-orders in at several retailers – I already have mine in.

“We know our fans have been clamoring to find out when they would be able to get their hands-on PROTOTYPE 2, and the whole studio is excited that we can finally reveal the timing,” said Ken Rosman, Studio Head, Radical Entertainment.  “We’re also thrilled to be at the point where we can show the game directly to our fans.  It’s always rewarding to see those first time reactions to what we’ve been working on for the past couple years, and we can’t wait for them to see some of Sgt. James Heller’s amazing new shape-shifting abilities at San Diego Comic-Con.”

Show goers attending ‘The Con’ will have the opportunity to check out PROTOTYPE 2′s signature crazy, over-the-top, shape-shifting action during 15-minute live stage presentations held throughout each day.  Fans who come by the Activision booth to check out the game can enter a raffle for a chance to win a limited edition, custom leather jacket modeled after the one Sgt. James Heller wears in the game; or a Alex Mercer one of a kind, custom skinned Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft.  Additionally, the team from Radical will be on-site handing out assorted PROTOTYPE 2 themed goodies, including t-shirts, posters, giant foam Heller Blade Arms and more! < not fair! :(

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20th July 2011

Participate In The Canadian Digital Marketing Outlook Study for 2011

Pixel to ProductPixel to Product has launched its final wave for the Canadian Digital Marketing Outlook for 2011. This portion of the Pixel to Product research wave is an introspective look at how brands are using social media, mobile and email marketing. Through this research, Pixel to Product aims to understand how organizations are using social media, mobile and email marketing to promote their products and services, engage their customers and drive brand awareness.

I fully concur with Justin Kozuch, Pixel to Product’s Lead Researcher, who stated that “too often, we’ve been forced to rely on US numbers to make informed decisions for our Canadian clients or rely on outdated, expensive and inaccessible data to help us better understand the trends in social media.”

The company’s goal is to survey 1000 of the world’s biggest brands. They are aiming to better understand how Starbucks is using mobile to engage and inform their customers, and Pixel to Product is interested in better understanding how Dell is using social media to provide customer support over Twitter.

While this survey is focused primarily on Canadian companies, Pixel to Product is also interested in gathering data from American and international companies. To make this process as easy as possible, they’ve written copy to support that communication. If you’d like to use this copy in your communications, don’t hesitate to send Justin an email and he’ll be happy to provide it to you.

Finally, if you’re responsible for your organizations digital marketing efforts and a have deep understanding of how your organization uses social media, mobile platforms and email marketing, please take a few moments to complete the survey.

As with the recently issued report on the Canadian digital media economy, Pixel to Product will be making the report available free of charge. This report will be made available for download from their website in Q4 2011. In addition to the final report, Pixel to Product will be releasing the raw, anonymized data sets in a variety of open data formats. For an example of what the final report will look like, take a look at their report on the Canadian digital media economy.

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20th July 2011

Commanders Needed For Supreme Ruler Cold War by Battlegoat Studios

battlegoat studiosSupreme Ruler: Cold War from Battlegoat Studios has been released, and the future of the world is at stake. The Korean War looms, the Arms Race intensifies, the Berlin Crisis leads to the formation of NATO, and the world anticipates a new World War. The tension and uncertainty of the Cold War is unbearable.

Now is the time to choose which faction you will control and which strategies you will employ to safeguard your way of life and that of your country’s. As leader of the United States or the Soviet Union, you must make the correct decisions to successfully navigate your country through this dangerous historical era.

Supreme Ruler: Cold War is now available on all major digital download portals with the suggested retail price of $29.99 USD. Take a peek beyond the iron curtain and the wealth of strategy features available to ambitious world leaders, in the release trailer for Supreme Ruler: Cold War.

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Supreme Ruler: Cold War Features:

  • Play as the United States or Soviet Union in Campaign Mode
  • Control any Nation in Post-World War II Era in Sandbox Mode
  • Use Diplomacy, Trade and Espionage to influence the policies of other nations
  • Research new Technologies to give your nation an edge
  • Grow and Modernize your Economy
  • Control Military production and deployment, or let your Ministers take care of the details
  • Experience the redesigned GUI with improved On-Map feedback and streamlined controls
  • And when Diplomacy Fails… Sophisticated Real-Time Strategic and Tactical Control of your Military Forces!
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