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  • Canadian Government Continues Support For The Canada Media Fund

7th June 2011

Canadian Government Continues Support For The Canada Media Fund

Canada Media FundThe Canada Media Fund (CMF) thanks the Government of Canada and particularly the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, the Honourable James Moore, for announcing in the Budget that the CMF will receive funding support on an ongoing basis.The Honourable James Moore MP, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Lanuages

“This commitment will enable the CMF to truly play its part in Canada’s Digital Economy Strategy”, commented Louis Roquet, Chair of the CMF’s Board of Directors.

The Government’s support, combined with the funding that the CMF receives from Canada’s cable and satellite distributors, will enable the CMF to provide over $370 million to the television and digital media industry in 2011-2012 and to support the creation of quality Canadian content on multiple platforms.

“This is most welcome news for the industry as a whole” stated Valerie Creighton, President and CEO of the CMF. “With the help of this commitment, the CMF will continue to drive innovation and to support Canada’s competitiveness in the global marketplace.”

As a result of this announcement, the CMF will now be in a position to release a supplementary program budget of $100 million which, combined with the preliminary program budget of $271 million announced on March 31, will amount to a total program budget of $371 million for 2011-2012.

The total funding allocated to each of the CMF’s programs is outlined below, please click the image for full-size view.

CMF 2011-10 Program Budget Allocation

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7th June 2011

Canada Shines At E3 With Major Blockbuster Titles

ESACVia ESAC: Once again, some of the most anticipated games at this year’s E3 Expo, are developed in Canada. Over 10 major titles at this year’s show are developed in Canadian studios including major blockbusters such as Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, Mass Effect 3, and Prototype (full list below). These games showcase the exceptional talent and expertise of Canadians within the global video game industry.

“The Canadian made games shown at this year’s E3 really demonstrate the calibre of talent and innovation here in the Great White North,” said Danielle Parr, Executive Director of the Entertainment Software Association of Canada (ESAC).  “Canada remains a powerhouse in the world of game development, punching well above its weight,” she added.

According to recently-released research (PDF) by Secor Consulting for ESAC, over the past 2 years the video game industry in Canada has grown by 11% and now currently employs approximately 16,000 people across the country at nearly 350 companies, making Canada’s the third largest video game industry in the world.  The industry is projected to grow at 17% over the next two years.

New made-in-Canada games from ESAC-member companies* showcased at E3 2011:

·         Assassin’s Creed: Revelations (Ubisoft)
·         Far Cry 3 (Ubisoft)
·         FIFA Soccer 12 (EA Sports)
·         Hole In The Wall (Ludia / Microsoft)
·         Just Dance: Kinect (Ubisoft)
·         Mass Effect 3 (Bioware / Electronic Arts)
·         Need For Speed: The Run (Electronic Arts)
·         NHL 12 (Electronic Arts)
·         Prototype 2 (Radical Entertainment / Activision)
·         Spider-Man: Edge of Time (Beenox / Activision)
·         SSX (Electronic Arts)
·         The Darkness 2 (Digital Extremes / 2K Games (Take-Two Interactive))
·         War Hammer 40,000: Space Marine  (THQ)
·         X-Men: Destiny (Silicon Knights / Activision)
·         Your Shape Fitness (Ubisoft)

* This list does not include the many non-ESAC member studios who are also down showcasing their titles at this year’s E3 Expo.

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7th June 2011

Nintendo Introduces the Wii U

Nintendo CanadaAt the E3 Expo, Nintendo introduced a new paradigm for video games and home entertainment: Wii U, a new console that includes a controller with a 6.2-inch screen. Adding a second screen to the living room creates a multitude of new video game experiences while offering families a variety of options to customize their entertainment.

Previously, video games played on a home console have been confined to the TV and offered identical viewpoints to each player in a multiplayer environment. Furthermore, watching TV and playing console games have been completely separate experiences. The new controller removes these boundaries, creating a more dynamic and fluid gaming and entertainment experience. Visitors to the E3 Expo will see firsthand the type of gaming experiences made possible by Wii U and the new controller such as:Nintendo Wii U

  • In single-player games:
    • The new controller can display information on its screen that does not appear on the TV.
    • The information and viewpoint can also change in the new controller based on the orientation of its gyroscope.
  • In multiplayer games:
    • The player using the new controller can have a different experience than those looking at the TV. This will offer a wide variety of competitive and cooperative opportunities.

In addition to the 6.2-inch screen, the new controller also features an accelerometer and a gyroscope, a rumble feature, an inward-facing camera, a microphone and speakers. Adding these features to the Classic Controller button scheme – two analog Circle Pads, +Control Pad, A/B/X/Y buttons, L/R buttons and ZL/ZR buttons – will enable a breadth of game-play experiences while appealing to both casual and dedicated video game players.

Wii U combines motion-sensing game play with the ability to support full HD graphics. Each Wii U console will be partnered with a new controller and can also use up to four additional Wii Remote or Wii Remote Plus controllers. The system is also backward compatible and can play all Wii games and use all Wii accessories. The Wii console has sold more than 86 million units globally and greatly expanded the overall audience for video games. Wii U aims to expand that audience even further. Developers worldwide are already working on new games and experiences for the console.

“Wii U redefines the structure of home entertainment by fundamentally changing how the TV, the game console and the Internet function and interact together,” said Nintendo President Satoru Iwata. “The experience enabled by Wii U and the new controller takes players deeper into their games, while reaching out wider than ever before to be inviting to all kinds of gamers.”

Nintendo 3DS, which lets users see 3D images without the need for special glasses, launched in the North America on March 27 and continues to evolve. Owners will find that their Nintendo 3DS experience is different every time they pick up the system, thanks to new content and updates delivered by Nintendo, by third parties and exchanged between users.

A new system update is now available for the Nintendo 3DS system. Users who connect to a wireless broadband Internet connection and install the system update will instantly gain access to the Nintendo eShop, which contains a variety of games and applications for download using a cash-based system.

Users can browse original 3D software, 3D Classics (select classic video games re-mastered in 3D), classic Game Boy and Game Boy Color games, and more than 350 games and applications currently offered for the Nintendo DSiWare service. Visitors can also see videos and screen shots for games, plus see how other players rank games.

The system update also provides Nintendo 3DS owners access to free items, including an Internet browser that can show 3D images on sites specifically designed to show 3D images, a download of a re-mastered 3D version of the NES classic Excitebike game (free until July 7) and Pokédex 3D, which lets users discover and view more than 150 Pokémon from the Pokémon Black Version and Pokémon White Version games in visually engaging 3D.

Nintendo also announced a huge lineup of upcoming new and fan-favorite franchise games:

  • Nintendo 3DS: Super Mario, Luigi’s Mansion 2, Mario Kart, Kid Icarus: Uprising, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, Star Fox 64 3D, Animal Crossing, Paper Mario, Picture Lives!, The Rolling Western.
  • Wii: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Kirby Wii, Wii Play: Motion, Mystery Case Files: The Malgrave Incident, Mario Party 9, Rhythm Heaven and Fortune Street.
  • Nintendo DS: Kirby Mass Attack, Professor Layton and the Last Specter, Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2 and Super Fossil Fighters.

Nintendo kicked off its E3 Expo Presentation by announcing a number of initiatives to celebrate the 25th anniversary of The Legend of Zelda. A re-mastered 3D version of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time launches for Nintendo 3DS on June 19, while Wii owners will see the arrival of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword in the 2011 holiday season. Additionally, Nintendo announced a tour of orchestral concerts featuring music from the beloved franchise. Additional commemorative activities will be announced at a later date.

For the duration of the E3 Expo, Nintendo will provide fans with exclusive videos and Nintendo content on the Nintendo Network. People can visit http://e3.nintendo.com to watch developer interviews, get all the information about new games and see coverage coming directly from the show floor. The same exclusive content also will be streamed through the Nintendo® Channel to Wii owners who have a broadband Internet connection.

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7th June 2011

Padworx Creates Alice – Madness Returns Storybook App

padworxPadWorx Digital Media Inc. has put the finishing touches on its latest project, Alice: Madness ReturnsTM Storybook App. Created in conjunction with Electronic Arts, the app is designed to bridge the gap between games American McGee’s Alice and Alice: Madness Returns. The storybook app introduces readers to the world of Alice as imagined by acclaimed game designer American McGee, recapping the events, characters, and environments from the first game while setting the stage for the visionary world of Alice: Madness Returns.

“It was an amazing experience for us to work with EA and American McGee’s company Spicy Horse on such an intensely realized project,” said Jeffery Alan Schechter, Creative Director and President of PadWorx Digital Media, Inc. “American McGee’s Alice is a legendary title in the game industry, and just being mentioned in the same breath is a real honor.”

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“We needed a partner who could bring the incredible story and styling of Alice: Madness Returns to life, we wanted to set the bar for what a free interactive storybook experience could be, and we needed it done fast,” said Ben Swanson, Online Marketing Manager at EA.  “PadWorx stepped up and not only delivered a beautifully intense book in record time – just six weeks – they also simultaneously developed the book for iOS, Android, and even a Flash version that’s playable from inside our Facebook page.  These guys are rock stars!”

PadWorx Digital Media, Inc. worked closely with game developer Spicy Horse to create what has been described as the most intense reading experience ever on a mobile device. Rated 17+ by iTunes, the Alice: Madness Returns Storybook is a free download and is both a prequel and a companion to the upcoming EA game Alice: Madness Returns.

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7th June 2011

Beeline Interactive Cooking Up Some Zombie Grub

Capcom MobileA dash of kitchen simulation, a smattering social elements and a heaping spoonful of Zombies is on the Fall 2011 menu over at Beeline Interactive Canada (formerly Capcom Mobile Canada). Play as a Zombie Chef and cook Zombie Food, prepare ingredients and put them in the stove or oven for just the right zombie cafeamount of time. A brand extension of Zombie Cafe, players of both games will be able to unlock unique content across both titles.

While Zombie Cookin’ is free to play, players can accelerate gameplay or acquire unique items by purchasing “Bones,” the game’s in app premium currency.

  • Master more than 50 recipes
  • Send your zombie hoard out to discover macabre, unusual and downright disgusting ingredients.
  • 18 finger cleaving, brain scooping mini games.
  • Decorate and increase the efficiency of your kitchen with better stoves, windows, floor coverings and more.
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7th June 2011

MicroVolts Going Live On June 9

rock hippo productionsRock Hippo Productions Ltd has announced that MicroVolts, the fast and furious MMO-TPS  is officially going live on June 9th, and since many players have already started their own clans, Rock Hippo decided it’s about time these clans received a home. The new Clan Hall is the place to create, manage, or join a clan and compete to see who’s best of the best in the MicroWorld. A new map is going to be revealed on June 9th, players can also look forward to a new character set, new weapons, and new costumes. A hint of what’s to come can be seen in the “Build Your Legend” trailer.

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The official release of MicroVolts will also mark the grand opening of the new online shop, where players will find exclusive weapons, parts, accessories, items and sets to help make their character truly unique. On Saturday, June 18th the “Free the Hippo” Tournament will take place, and the winners of this Free For All tournament will receive a ton of Micro Points and a Hippo-In-Style character set as prizes. Be sure to check the MicroVolts web site for tournament and in-game event updates.

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7th June 2011

Public Service Without Borders Offers Social Community Connecting Public Servants Worldwide

Open TextOpenText™ has joined forces with the Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC) to launch a new and exciting service for the public sector around the world called Public Service Without Borders (PSWB).

The secure, cloud-enabled collaboration and social media site, based on OpenText’s Social Workplace software, will connect all levels of public service employees to one another in order to network, share ideas, impart valuable lessons learned in such areas as governance, healthcare, technology and the environment, and engage.

Whether via the Internet or through mobile devices, participants will be able to connect, network, plan and deliver exciting new partnerships and initiatives at anytime, from anywhere in the world. Whether you are Canadian, American, South African, Brazilian, British, Chinese or Indian public-sector employee, you can now connect to PSWB and engage with colleagues in a safe and secure fashion; whether to exchange policies, compare programs, or simply network.

“IPAC recognizes the need to facilitate the flow of ideas and best practices across all orders of government and areas of public services,” said Denise Amyot, IPAC’s President, adding, “PSWB will create links between knowledgeable individuals, as much as between institutions and jurisdictions in an objective and non-partisan environment, to ensure that expertise, research, and best practices are shared widely.”

“Public administration touches the lives of citizens around the world through the daily actions of their governments,” said Tom Jenkins, Executive Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer of OpenText. “Improving public policies and processes is a constant challenge in our increasingly interconnected world. Public Service Without Borders offers leading social, cloud and mobile technologies to connect the public sector around the world in a way that wasn’t possible before to open an exchange of program ideas and solutions.”

Jenkins added that PSWB represents one of the world’s first truly global, cloud-based government program, one in which OpenText is proud to support, and a program for which IPAC has established truly visionary goals. Read the rest of this entry »

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