Former IGDA executive director Jason Della Rocca he been appointed to the advisory board for the ICT practice of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada. The advisory board provides the ICT Practice with advice on various aspects of the ICT industry including its various sub-sectors like video games. Members advise on related issues and make recommendations on the funded programs and services delivered by Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada.
The Canadian Video Game Awards will be held in Toronto next year, organizers announced this week. The awards that honor the Canadian video games industry and the games they create took place in Vancouver for the last few years. The change in venue is the natural progression of the event, say organizers.
"The intention has always been to have this a travelling awards show," said Nicole Emmett, director of business development for Reboot Communications which co-produces the awards show.
A former Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer claims that a bet on a Wii game competition involving sex as the prize was what triggered him murdering her in self defense. Keith Wiens is currently on trial for shooting his common law wife and faces a charge of second degree murder. Wiens testified this week, admitting that he fired a single shot into the head of Lynn Kalmring in August 2011 at their Penticton (British Columbia, Canada) home, but maintained that he did it in self defense because she was brandishing a knife.
Precursor Games developer Kenneth McCulloch has been arrested for allegedly possessing child pornography and the company he worked for has issued a statement saying that it has let him go. According to a press release from the Niagara Regional Police Service, Police executed a search warrant at McCulloch's St. Catharines, Ontario residence yesterday, and seized a "significant" number of computers and peripherals. The police began investigating McCulloch in April.
According to data collected by the Entertainment Software Association of Canada (ESAC), Canada's video game industry is growing at a moderate rate even as the sector continues to grow and evolve. According to the research, Canada currently has 329 video game studios that generated over $2.3 billion in GDP for the Canadian economy in 2012. The video game industry employed 16,500 men and women in 2012, up five percent from employment numbers in 2011.
The Entertainment Software Association of Canada (ESAC) is urging members of the Canadian games industry to take part in a survey to gauge the size, composition and economic impact on the country's economy. The survey has been available for awhile, but today's public service announcement extends it for an extra week. Results of the survey will be published within a few months of its competition on April 15.
An interesting story via the Huffington Post (based on this CBC report) details sexual predators in the United States using online games and consoles to talk to children in Canada. This particular report focuses on Winnipeg, but it's not far-fetched to imagine that if it's happening in one province, it's happening to some degree in other provinces as well.
Earlier in the week we reported that Nintendo announced plans to bring the budget minded Wii Mini to the United Kingdom after launching it in Canada back in December. One of the things we did not know was just how well the scaled down console was performing at retail in Canada. Popular Nintendo-focused web site Nintendo World Report offers some insight on that today. According to NWR, the Nintendo Mini has sold 35,700 units across Canada - from launch to January 31.
Is public transportation a "brand?" That's the question one has to ask oneself when it reads about the Montreal transit authority threatening two Counter-Strike designers with a $49,200 fine over a new Counter-Strike map based on the Montreal subway station. According to Ars Technica, Diego Liatis and Frédérik Denis spent nine months making a detailed digital version of the Berri-UQAM station.
A Canadian tax department worker who developed and released a game that made fun of his day job as a customer service representative now finds himself out of work. Apparently his bosses at the Canada Revenue Agency didn't find his game all that amusing. That game is called I Get This Call Every Day and, as anyone who handles a phone support role (or any other profession where you have to directly deal with people) can attest, people aren't always that fun to deal with...
Canadian internet service provider TekSavvy has found itself in the crosshairs of U.S.-based movie studio Voltage Pictures LLC. The ISP announced on Monday that it had received a request on behalf of the studio to provide subscriber information on "a couple thousand" of its users that the studio alleges have downloaded or shared such films as The Whistleblower, Balls to the Wall, Fire with Fire, and others.
Electronic Arts employee Wendell Harlow has been honored by the Make-A-Wish Foundation with a Queen's Diamond Jubilee Award. The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal marks the 60th anniversary of England's Queen Elizabeth II’s "accession to the Throne" and honors the achievements and contributions of Canadians. Wendell received the distinct honor for over a decade of supporting the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Canada.
Nintendo of Canada communications manager
director Matt Ryan tells Polygon that the Wii Mini lacks important features such as GameCube backwards compatibility and online connectivity because the firm wanted to keep the cost low so that "families" and "non-core gamers" could afford the device. Nintendo announced the pared down Nintendo Wii recently as being only for Canada and set at a suggested retail price of $99 CAN.
It turns out that the rumors about a new pared down Wii console were true but there are several caveats. For one, the new console will be released only in Canada for some reason. It will be released to our wonderful neighbors in the northern kingdom on December 7 and will retail for right around $99 CAN. So what are the other caveats? For one it does not support backwards compatibility, which means it is not capable of playing those old GameCube games. It is also not online capable, which means you can't use any services such as Netflix or Hulu Plus...
Vancouver-based developer Silicon Knights is being ordered by a U.S. court to recall and destroy all unsold copies of games using Unreal Engine 3, including Too Human and X-Men: Destiny. The new ruling on post-trial motions for the case between Silicon Knights and Epic Games also saw Epic's jury award upped from $4.5 million to over $9 million, much to the chagrin of the troubled studio.
A prominent executive officer at Vancouver-based game developer Slant Six Games says that the Vancouver video game industry in danger of dramatically declining because of the lack of support from the government of British Columbia. CFO Lance Davis blames a lack of investment from the regional government since 2008. He also claims that this lack of support has led to 14,000 job cuts at various game studios in Vancouver. In June of this year Slant Six cut a quarter of its workforce temporarily.
An extensive report over at Kotaku claims that the offices of developer Silicon Knights has become a ghost town, with less than five employees remaining at the company. Citing multiple sources who worked at the company, the report claims that the studio was playing fast and loose with the funding of X-Men: Destiny coming from Activision, while secretly working on an Eternal Darkness 2 demo to pitch to publishers.
The Entertainment Software Association of Canada announced that Jayson Hilchie is the new president and CEO of the lobbying group for the Canadian video game industry. Before taking on this new leadership role, Hilchie previously served in a similar role at Nova Scotia Business Inc., where he helped foster growth in that region's video game industry by aiding such studios as Longtail, Frontier Developments, and Radian6 establish offices in Halifax.
UK papers The Telegraph and the Daily Mail seem to be delighted with a new study from researchers at Brock University in Canada published in the journal Developmental Psychology. The study, which bases its findings on 1,492 adolescents surveyed from eight high schools in Ontario over a four year period. Researchers say that 51 percent of those surveyed were female, while 49 percent were male. Participants were ages 14- to 15-years-old at the start of the study and 17- or 18-years-old at its conclusion.
A report from Holland (uncovered by IT World Canada) reveals that the Dutch government plans to fight a proposed Canadian-European trade treaty because it contains language similar to what had been rejected earlier this year when the European Parliament voted down the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).
If you're a video game tester and you act like a dumb ass (allegedly) you'll probably get fired. Just ask 20-something Blake Marsh, who decided to try a little political comedy with a dash of misogyny and hate on his Facebook page. It's too bad for Marsh that his bosses at Eidos Montreal weren't laughing when they found out.
Following a failed assassination attempt by suspect Richard Bain on the newly-elected Quebec premier-designate Pauline Marois that saw one person killed and another severely injured, Marsh decided to make light of the crime:
As more details emerge on the secretly negotiated trade agreement between Canada and the European Union, online rights activists are voicing their opinions on why it is a bad idea and why they are getting a strange sense of déjà vu. Critics of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, which was ultimately voted down by the European Parliament, have warned that those forces in Europe and other parts of the world behind such treaties will continue to push parts of that treaty that most citizens do not want.
THQ continues to cut costs by closing down operations it believes it can live without. Unfortunately for the employees of the company's Quality Assurance operations in Phoenix, Arizona that means a round of layoffs. THQ has decided to consolidate its QA teams into its Montreal location and will be closing its Phoenix, Arizona-based operation in response. According to GII THQ will close the QA center and lay off 57 employees.
Capcom has confirmed that it has laid off a number of employees at its Vancouver-based studio, though it did not disclose a specific head-count.
"Capcom Vancouver has let go seven percent of our employees as a result of unsuitable fit with the studio goals," said the company via Twitter.
Capcom went on to say that the studio is still looking to hire new talent - presumably talent that fits in with the studio's new direction - whatever that may be...
The highest court in Canada has delivered some depressing news for music and other rights holders today: they can't charge additional fees to educators, video game makers, and Internet service providers. In a ruling on multiple cases today the Supreme Court of Canada struck down five cases that had to do with tariffs.
EA's Montreal studio is reorganizing, with a change of focus from AAA titles like Army of Two (a game it developed) to more social and mobile game properties. Earlier reports, citing inside sources, had speculated that EA would lay off around 50 employees from the studio, but it is believed that many of those employees have simply been reassigned to other studios within EA's studio system. Naturally some people were laid off, but the extent of those layoffs remains unknown as of this writing.
Earlier this week it was revealed that Silicon Knights had not received grant money from the Canadian government that was announced on July 14, 2011. In a "he said, she said" moment, SK front man Dennis Dyack tells GamesIndustry International that he just doesn't understand why the Canadian government is holding out on the grant money. The Canadian government attempts to explain the hold-up, which Dyack then denies.