Four days remain to donate to the Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for the Pixelles Game Incubator 2015/2016. While the crowdfunding effort has already generated $8,716 CAD - well above its $5,000 CAD goal and beating all of its funding stretch goals - the money put towards the campaign will help Pixelles Montreal have even more resources to realize its goal: empowering young girls and women to "learn, love, and create games."
According to this Globe and Mail report, the Entertainment Software Association of Canada (ESAC) and the video games industry are pushing for more flexible rules related to temporary foreign workers a week after the federal government of Canada agreed to allow universities to be more self-governing in how they comply with the temporary foreign worker programs.
The government of British Columbia has reauthorized a tax credit for video game companies that was set to expire in September of this year. The tax credit, which has been extended to 2018, gives video game companies situated in British Columbia a 17.5 percent tax credit on labor costs related to video game production.
Electronic Arts has laid off an undetermined number of employees at its EA Montreal studio according to what the company tell Gamasutra in this report. A source close to the situation also tells Gamasutra that the division might be in for some very hard times in the future.
Minneapolis-based retailer Target announced that it is getting out of the retail business in Canada and will be closing all of its 133 stores in the country. The company said that it has failed to connect with Canadian customers and that its holidays sales in the country were less than optimal.
Target Chairman and CEO Brian Cornell made the announcement on Target's website.
Ubisoft announced today that Jade Raymond is leaving the company's Toronto studio to pursue "future opportunities separately." Alexandre Parizeau will take on Raymond's former role as managing director of the studio on October 29.
Jade Raymond has spent ten years working at Ubisoft, where she served as the producer on Assassin's Creed, Assassin's Creed II, Watch Dogs, and Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist. She also opened the Ubisoft Toronto studio and served as its managing director from 2009 to the present.
Organizers of the 2015 Canadian Video Game Awards announced that tickets are for sale to the public now. This year's awards ceremony will take place Friday, November 21st at The Carlu in the heart of downtown Toronto. The presentation will feature videogame actor voice actor Mark Meer from the Mass Effect and Dragon Age franchises, as it's host.
A Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign is underway for GamesCon, a dedicated PC & video game expo for the city of Toronto. Organizers who hope to answer the question (assuming they hit their goal by the campaign's end) "where Canada's version of the E3 Expo?" with the answer, "GamesCon."
Here's more on what GamesCon will be if everything goes according to plan:
Street Fighter IV and series producer Yoshinori Ono announced today that he is resigning from his director position at Capcom Vancouver. Ono announced via Twitter that he was leaving his position and thanked the staff working on the Dead Rising series and Capcom Vancouver in general:
"I resigned from the director position about [sic] CAPCOM Vancouver. Thanks good staff of CAPCOM Vancouver, and Dead Rising staff!"
Game companies in Quebec are about to see their subsidies from the government evaporate. In an effort to get rid of the provincial government's deficit and cut spending, lawmakers in Quebec have decided to cut the generous subsidies they have given companies willing to move to and do business in the region.
According to a report in the French-Canadian publication La Presse, the Quebec government plans to cut as much as $500 million from the incentives it currently offers multinational businesses like Ubisoft. Ubisoft could lose as much as 20 percent of their benefits.
A new game making fun of Toronto mayor Rob Ford is finding some early success, according to its creators. The free flash game, "Rob Ford: The Game" drops a rotund Mayor Ford into a one-screen platformer made up of Canadian flags. The object of the game is fairly straightforward: collect power-ups like marijuana leaves, crack pipes, and bottles of booze, while avoiding journalists and the police.
The game also features sound bites from Ford, including the infamous comment he made about having oral sex with his wife.
AbleGamers Founder Mark Barlet announced during his SXSW speech this weekend that the first Canadian Game Accessibility Lab (or AbleGamers Accessibility Arcade) will be hosted by the University of Toronto. The arcade will include the "most up-to-date technology and controllers designed to enable gamers with disabilities access to today’s most popular video games," according to AbleGamers. It will be hosted by the Semaphore Research Cluster, which is part of the iSchool (Faculty of Information), on a permanent basis.
Eidos Montreal has laid off 27 employees, the company confirmed in a statement to Kotaku last night. The company did not say how many of these employees were full time or if some of them were temporary employees brought in to work on its most recently released title, Thief. Thief was released last week and has received a mixed reception from both gamers and critics.
A new white paper, "The Importance of Global Workers in Canada’s ICT and Digital Media Industries" (PDF), urges the Canadian government to do more to provide technology companies in Canada access to a larger pool of skilled workers from outside the country. The organizations argue that the Canadian ICT workforce is aging and most of the employable ICT professionals available in the country have already been hired.
Ubisoft announced this week that it plans to add around 100 jobs at its Quebec City studio over the course of the next three years as part of a $25 million investment initiative. Around $460,000 of that is from the Quebec government, which the company says will allow it to "strengthen its infrastructure" and "take the lead" on development of AAA next-generation games.
A new study by neuroscience student Brendan Lehman at Laurentian University (Sudbury, Ontario, Canada) has found that video games activate parts of the brain that are usually activated through physical activity. Lehman, who says he has been playing video games since he was a "wee child," hopes his research will counter the belief that playing video games can "rot a person's brain."
A brief report in the Canadian Press reveals that the Canadian military is keen to start using video games and video-game related simulations in the future to train its soldiers. In fact, officials say that games like Call of Duty will play an "increasing role in its training in the future."
A Winnipeg man pled guilty to a dozen charges last Thursday related to the sale of pirated entertainment products on his Winnipeg-based web site Audiomaxxx.com. The Canadian recording industry called the music and video piracy operation twenty times bigger than anything ever taken down in the country.
Five students from universities in Canada were recognized on Tuesday night for research achievements that advance industry innovation, creating new products and services and transforming the lives of Canadians.
Each of the students received an award at the third annual Mitacs Awards Reception, held to honor the contributions of researchers, who have participated in Mitacs programs aimed at fostering research and innovation, as well as forging stronger bonds between academia and businesses across Canada.
A 12-year-old Canadian boy reportedly was the mastermind behind a hack that brought down government web sites during the 2012 Quebec student protests, according to an RT.com report.
The unnamed fifth grader managed to take down multiple Canadian government web sites including the Quebec Institute of Public Health, and even Chilean government site. His targets were down for several days, according to reports, even as police clashed with college students in the streets over tuition hikes in a 2012 protest.
While watchdog groups, activists, and everyday citizens are speaking out about the NSA's domestic surveillance programs in the U.S., it turns out that our neighbors to the north have one of their own engaging in very similar activities. The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association claims that the Attorney General of Canada violated the country's Constitution by authorizing CSEC to intercept emails, telephone calls, text messages, and other data using the country's anti-terrorism act. The Civil Liberties Association has sued the government in B.C. Supreme Court.
The Entertainment Software Association of Canada (ESAC), the trade group representing the video games industry in the region, has released its 2013 report on the state of the Canadian games industry. The report reveals that the video games industry brought in $2.3 billion of Canada's gross national product (GDP) in 2012. It also found that 76 percent (about 250 companies) of the 329 studios in Canada are "domestically owned" and employed roughly 16,500 people full time across the country.
Canadian Internet rights group La Quadrature du Net warns that a trade treaty between Canada and the European Union will ultimately hurt internet freedoms in both regions if its ratified. CETA recently reached "agreement in principle" status during a meeting between José Barroso, the President of the European Commission, and Stefen Harper, the Canadian Prime Minister.
University of Saskatchewan computer science PhD student Kathrin Gerling is designing video games specifically for the benefit of senior citizens. Gerling, who loves video games, wants to combine her love for her hobby with her passion for her community by working with seniors in local nursing homes to make accessible games. Gerling was inspired to do this by a number of studies that showed that seniors who play games gain mental and physical benefits from them.
According to this Polygon report, Eidos Montreal founder and general manager Stephane D'Astous resigned from the company last Friday, citing what could best be described as irreconcilable differences between the GM and parent company Square Enix. D'Astous is being replaced by David Anfossi, the current Eidos Montreal studio head and producer for Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Deus Ex: The Fall. D'Astous helped found the studio in 2007.