30th April 2009

Big Fish Games Scales Vancouver Studio

Big Fish Acquires Premium Sim Developer Grubby Games

Big Fish GamesVancouverBig Fish Games™, the world’s leading online destination for games and interactive entertainment, announced today the acquisition of Grubby Games, an award-winning Vancouver games studio which was established in 2004.

“Big Fish Games has a remarkable culture and a unique, multi-platform development approach that aligns with our vision for creating a differentiated content.” said Grubby GamesRyan Clark, co-founder and CEO of Grubby Games. “We are thrilled to be a part of Big Fish Games and in just a few short weeks, we are fully integrated into the company.”

Known for several award-winning titles such as “My Tribe,” “FizzBall,” and “Incredibots,” Grubby Games stands out in the casual game industry for their innovation and success in challenging genres and for their proprietary simulation game platform.

“The creative minds at Grubby Games have generated a best-in-class approach to design that fits wonderfully within our studio,” said Patrick Wylie, Vice President of Big Fish Games Global Studios. “We have had the pleasure of working with Ryan and his team during the last four years and we are delighted to have them as part of our future.”

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18th February 2009

New Mobile Gaming Developer Sets Up Shop In Vancouver

Genius Factor GamesVancouver-based Genius Factor Games has announced their first video game release for the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch. The company has also launched a new corporate Web site and a gaming industry blog.Genius Factor’s first title will be available on iTunes and the Apple App Store this spring. “It’s a fun puzzle game with a unique twist only possible on the iPhone and iPod Touch” indicates Cory Yip, Creative Director. “These mobile devices make great gaming platforms, which really surprises some people” he adds.

“In light of recent news for our industry, with serious layoffs, delays, and cutbacks at several major studios, some people wonder why we have chosen to launch now,” says Genius Factor’s president, Ted Nugent. We’re a small and nimble group, allowing us to react quickly to obstacles and opportunities in these challenging times. More importantly, however, we saw a real gap in the market for engaging, professionally-built casual games.”

The Genius Factor Games team is composed of industry veterans from some of the top studios in Vancouver and California. “That’s another reason we’re excited to launch the company at this time,” Nugent says. “The talent pool right now is incredible. Here we have people who revolutionized some of the most popular video games of the last two decades working side by side, pioneering a whole new field of casual entertainment.”

A new Web site at www.GeniusFactorGames.com has been launched to support the company and the announcement of their first title. It will feature an industry blog to keep tabs on video games, mobile devices, the game development process, and other news and opinions.

Focusing on a pick up and play, two to five minute gaming experience, Genius Factor plans to release a series of on-the-go titles throughout 2009.

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5th February 2009

Gamerizon Opens Its Doors In Montreal

Gamerizon MontrealGamerizon, an emerging game development studio, today announced its official opening in Montreal, a city well-known for its vibrant video game industry. The new independent casual game development studio – led by a team of seasoned industry experts – aims to be at the leading edge in defining the next generation of casual games.

“Gamerizon has a unique and innovative vision of the development of casual games,” says Dominique Bélanger, President of Gamerizon. “Our unique game design approach combined with our long-standing expertise allow us to create innovative gameplay mechanics that appeal to today’s gamers. Gamerizon is quickly carving out a distinctive niche into the casual gaming market.”

The young Montreal studio currently focuses its efforts on the development of multiplatform casual games, targeting digital distribution on various platforms – from smart phones to new generation consoles – as well as PC and Mac. Its first title, the highly-anticipated and soon to be released QuantZ, offers a simple yet addictive organic gameplay that refreshingly merges elements of the marble popper, action-puzzle and match-3 genres. The demo version of the game has already made a great impression on industry experts and video game enthusiasts alike.

Gamerizon was founded by brothers Martin and Robert Lizée (two seasoned video game entrepreneurs who have produced and developed several popular titles) and by digital media entrepreneur Dominique Bélanger. Focusing on an industry experiencing booming growth, Gamerizon is also seeking to hire senior level candidates to complete its talented Montreal team.

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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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1st December 2008

Chuck Gammage Animation Announces New Toronto Address

Chuck Gammage Animation’s new facility will coincide with the studio’s recently stronger focus on nontraditional and 3D animation.

TorontoChuck Gammage Animation, an internationally acclaimed animation production company and commercial animation service facility, announced today that it is changing its downtown Toronto address.

After three years at its current downtown location, the company is moving to a state-of-the-art production facility in Toronto’s Trinity-Niagara neighbourhood, an up-and-coming hub for Canada’s design, entertainment and high-tech industries.

“We’re excited to be moving to this vibrant new location where we’ll be down the street from some of the world’s premiere entertainment companies,” Tammy Semen, producer. “This move also comes at a time when Chuck Gammage is switching its focus to emerging forms of digital animation while recruiting outstanding new talent. So this new space will reflect the company’s fresh outlook.”
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13th November 2008

Action Pants Showcases Artistic Talent

Karemaker Sculpture

Vancouver – Earlier this week the artists and developers of Action Pants, Inc. took over Ginger 62 on Granville street to showcase their varied artistic talents. The purpose of this showing, organized by Action Pants’ Marketing Manager Wendy Boylan, who emphasized that “the artistic talents possessed not only by our staff, but by many others who also work in the videogame industry. These artists, programmers and support staff are an integral part of the Vancouver arts and culture community, which is why Action Pants holds external studio space in the Eastside where our staff are encouraged to work on their art whenever they get a chance.”

Paul Tanner Artwork

Upon entering the showing, visitors were greeted by a pair of large Tiki masks, which I thought had been carved in wood. On closer inspection I found that the artist, Paul Tanner had carved them from styrofoam and then painted them to resemble aged wood. These large masks are easily of a high enough quality to be used in any type of display, from a museum scene to a movie scene. Paul’s other work which was on display included a sharp-shooting skeletal being and a Hulk-sized drummer, shown in the photo on the right. The sculpture to the left was created by environment artist Sean Karemaker. With such amazing attention to detail, one can look at this creature and almost expect him to continue his advance across the terrain.

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10th November 2008

Ubisoft Acquires Massive Entertainment & World In Conflict

MontrealUbisoft announced today that it has acquired from Activision Blizzard the assets and all of the personnel of esteemed Malmö, Sweden- based studio Massive Entertainment®, as well as the real time strategy brand World In Conflict®.

Created in 1997, Massive employs over 120 developers and was ranked as one of the top 50 best game studios in the world by Game Developers Research in 2008. The studio is world-renowned for its expertise in the RTS genre and for the quality of its innovative proprietary technologies. World in Conflict® was acclaimed by critics, receiving the Best Strategy Game of E3 2007 award, as well as being named Best Online Multiplayer Game of 2007 by IGN, and Most Innovative Game of 2007 by Gamespot, among many other awards.

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3rd October 2008

Smoking Gun Interactive Secures Multi-Million Dollar Private Funding

Creative forces behind the highest rated strategy game* of all time reveal new private funding investment

Smoking GunVancouver Smoking Gun Interactive Inc., an independent premier video game studio announced today that it has recently finalized a multi-year, multi-million dollar financing agreement with private investors to expand the studio and the development of an as-of-yet undisclosed new property.

“This injection of private capital allows us to continue to control our own destiny, and deliver on our vision of taking interactive entertainment in new directions, and redefining what tomorrow’s games can be”, said John Johnson CEO and Creative Director of Smoking Gun Interactive, “We’ve expanded our core team with some exceptional talent, and with this financial expansion we’re now looking forward to welcoming new faces to our team and new partners to our business, as we become a leading force in independent games development”.
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3rd October 2008

Sanuk Games opens Canadian studio led by Ali Kojori

Sanuk GamesBangkok/VancouverSanuk Games, a leading independent game studio in Southeast Asia, announced today the opening of a new studio in Vancouver. Ali Kojori, a seasoned game executive and entrepreneur, is appointed as managing director.

Ali started his career in the entertainment industry in 1994 as an FX/Character Animator/Lead Animator with Morning Glory Images and with Mainframe Entertainment on various television shows. In 1999, Ali moved into the video game industry at Electronic Arts, starting out in research and development on the upcoming PS2 and Xbox game consoles, and switching shortly thereafter to Technical Art Director role for a number of AAA titles including Def Jam: Vendetta (AKI), NBA Street, SSX, SSX Tricky, Triple Play Baseball 2001 and Fight Night 2004 (NuFX Chicago). He also served as Animation Director on FIFA 2003.

In April of 2004, Ali founded NextGen Entertainment, a new game production company. NextGen secured a contract with their first client Ubisoft to complete their Racing/Combat title 187 Ride or Die on which he served as Producer. In June 2005, Ali was assigned as a Senior Producer on a PS2, XBOX, PC title Heroes of Pacific, Published by UbiSoft / CodeMasters and Developed by IR Gurus Interactive in Australia. The game was released in October 2005.
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10th September 2008

Microsoft Opens Dev Centre In Richmond

Richmond, British Columbia – September 10, 2008 – Microsoft Corporation’s first Canadian development center officially opened today in Richmond, British Columbia. The Microsoft Canada Development Centre (MCDC) currently employs over 300 of the world’s best software developers who work on over half of Microsoft’s products including Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office, the Zune Media Player, Windows Mobile, Ad Platform, AD Search, Unified Communications, Exchange Server, Visual Studios, Silverlight and the Xbox 360.

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