Supreme Court of Canada Rules Against Music Industry Tariffs

July 12, 2012 -

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.

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Help EXP Bar Change BC Law on Video Games in Bars

June 11, 2012 -

Former Radical Entertainment employee Brian Vidovic is trying to launch the EXP Restaurant + Bar in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He was well on his way in doing so - having already raised $31,737 of its $50,000 goal via IndieGoGo - but ran into some serious red tape.

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Research: Active Play Video Games May Benefit Children with Cerebral Palsy

May 7, 2012 -

Children with cerebral palsy (CP) can greatly benefit from playing "active play" video games - as opposed to the kind that don't require any kind of physical activity. According to researchers from Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and the University of Toronto.

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EA Confirms Restructuring at EA Montreal Studio

April 27, 2012 -

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.

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Silicon Knights 'Confused' About Hold Up on Canadian Grant Money

March 30, 2012 -

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.

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Geist: CRTC Deserves Credit for Work on Canadian Traffic Throttling Issue

February 14, 2012 -

While criticizing the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) seems to be a frequent activity for many Canadians unhappy with the way it deals with problems related to broadcast media and the Internet, Canada Research Chair in Internet and e-commerce Law at the University of Ottawa Michael Geist recently penned an editorial praising the commission.

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Rogers Promises to Stop Throttling Canadian Internet Customers

February 3, 2012 -

Canadian Internet Service Provider Rogers has agreed to stop throttling its customers' connections, after pro-Internet group OpenMedia.ca and the Canadian Gamers Organization filed multiple complaints with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).

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EA Confirms Layoffs at EA Canada

February 3, 2012 -

Electronic Arts has confirmed that it has laid off a number of its staff at EA Canada. The company would not disclose just how many employees were affected by the layoffs. The cuts are part of a restructuring plan at the Vancouver office and its studio in nearby Burnaby. That studio is responsible for the development of such titles as Need For Speed: The Run and FIFA 12.

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ECA Action Alert: Canada's C-11 Amendment to the Copyright Act

February 1, 2012 -

The Entertainment Consumer Association has issued an action alert, a call to arms to let lawmakers in Canada know that C-11, an act to amend the Copyright Act, must remove a provision that makes "jailbreaking" illegal. While the amendment to existing copyright law in Canada isn't as strict or over reaching as SOPA and PIPA, it does contain some questionable provisions that could hurt consumers.

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As Canadian Politicians Push Anti-Piracy Legislation, Staffers Enjoy Stealing Software

January 3, 2012 -

Another day, another group of government officials pushing anti-piracy laws while they are blissfully unaware that their staffers are downloading stolen games, movies and other forms of entertainment. This time out it's the Canadian Conservative majority government. Recently the ruling party in Canada introduced the Canadian Copyright Modernization Act Bill C-11, which would criminalize the act of software circumventing - including the making available to the public software or techniques used to circumvent digital rights management software locks.

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Ubisoft's Injunction against THQ Montreal Overturned on Appeal

December 16, 2011 -

The Quebec Court of Appeal for the District of Montreal has ruled in favor of THQ Montreal and its parent company. The decision strikes down a provisional injunction obtained by Ubisoft that temporarily prohibited THQ from soliciting Ubisoft employees who were bound by a non-compete provision with Ubisoft. The lawsuit was filed by Ubisoft after THQ announced that developer Patrice Désilets had joined the studio to create a new intellectual property after he resigned as Creative Director of Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed franchise.

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CIPPIC Tackles 'Copyright Pentology' Before Canada's Supreme Court This Week

December 5, 2011 -

While the United States has groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation to fight against unfair copyright law and government encroachment on internet freedoms, Canada has the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC for short). CIPPIC will be making oral arguments in what it calls the "Copyright Pentology" - five copyright cases that the Supreme Court of Canada will hear from December 6-7.

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Square Enix Plans New Studio, Expansion in Montreal

November 21, 2011 -

Square Enix announced plans this morning to expand its presence in Montreal by adding jobs to its existing Eidos-Montreal studio and opening a new studio in 2012 called Square Enix Montreal.

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CRTC Moves Rogers Investigation to Enforcement Division

October 28, 2011 -

Jason Koblovsky's blog reports that the Canadian Gamers Organization’s (CGO) current battle against ISP Rogers has had some good fortune this week. The CRTC sent a letter to the CGO this week stating that its complaint against Rogers limiting access to online games would be moved to its enforcement division for further action.

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'Black Rifles' Popularized by Games Trending in Canada

October 26, 2011 -

The demand for modern day weaponry is apparently on the rise in Canada, and video games are the reason why, according to a report in The Times Colonist. The paper of note for Newfoundland notes that the tastes of Canadian gun owners has shifted from firearms associated with hunting to modern-day, military grade weapons, or what the cool kids call "black rifles."

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CGO Files Final Response in Rogers Game Traffic Mismanagement Fight

October 17, 2011 -

The Canadian Gamers Organization (CGO), a group dedicated to fighting for Internet openness in Canada, announced today that it has submitted its final response to the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission's (CRTC) request for information. The CGO has waged war against ISP Rogers for "discriminating against online applications—namely World of Warcraft and Call of Duty Black Ops—using illegitimate Internet traffic management practices."

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Canada Pushes for DMCA-Style Law

September 30, 2011 -

The government of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has resubmitted a revision of the Canadian digital copyright law (C-11) to Parliament. The bill is being described by Canadian media as pretty much the same as the previous bill submitted by Harper's government the last time. This time the bill will probably pass.

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Canada to Rogers: Come up With Plan to Stop Throttling game Traffic

September 19, 2011 -

The Canadian government’s telecommunications regulator has had enough of Internet service provider Rogers Communications throttling online game connections. The ISP tried to provide a reason but the government seems unsatisfied with the answer. The Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission has given the company until September 27 to put together a plan to deal with the problem of game throttling.

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Babel Media Employees Face Layoffs as Company Moves to Montreal

August 24, 2011 -

While we've often reported favorably on the tax incentives and other perks being handed out to developers to lure them to Canada, there is a consequence to companies overseas in countries such as the United Kingdom. Those consequences are being felt by employees of Games outsource firm Babel Media, who are in the midst of moving their operations from Brighton to Montreal. Those employees that want to stay with the company will either have to relocate or face a layoff, according to a GameIndustry.biz report.

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Up in Arms: Winnipeg Police Union Upset over GTA IV in Manitoba Jail

August 22, 2011 -

The Winnipeg police union is up in arms over inmates at Headingley Correctional Centre in Manitoba having access to Grand Theft Auto IV... in 2008. The union calls the situation "absolutely disgusting" and says that prisoners were treated to a game that glorifies violence, crime and cop-killing.

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The Power of Tax Breaks in Ontario's Technology Corridor

August 19, 2011 -

Members of Ontario's "Technology Corridor" attended Gamescom in Cologne, Germany to show their support for the culture, work ethic and incentives the Canadian region provides to developers. Over the past two years, Canada's gaming industry has expanded 11 percent annually and is forecasted to grow 17 percent in each of the next two years. Executives from the Ontario Technology Corridor were at Gamescom to demonstrate the province's "winning combination" of talent and tax credits.

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Delta Kappa Gamma Society Leader Encourages B.C. Video Game Ban

July 19, 2011 -

An open letter by Mrs. O. Babiuk of New Westminster, British Columbia - written on behalf of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International - urges (with dramatic flair) Premier Christy Clark to "keep sexually explicit video games away from kids." The letter appeared this week in the Royal City Record newspaper. The group she represents is a professional honorary Society devoted to women educators in British Columbia. In her letter Babiuk asks Clark to take steps to limit the availability of violent and sexually explicit video games as part of the premier's "caring for children and families initiatives."

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Women Who Killed Game Developer Get Prison Time

June 13, 2011 -

Two women are going to prison for a September 2010 crash that took the life of a prominent Relic Entertainment developer, injured his pregnant wife and killed two passengers in the woman's Chevy Blazer. The two women were found guilty of three counts of vehicular homicide each, with the driver Jordyn Weichert sentenced to eight years in prison and the passenger Samantha Bowling receiving a five year sentence. Wood was the lead developer on Company of Heroes Online.

The accident happened on Highway 20 near North Whidbey, Washington on September 3, 2010. According to police reports, Weichert tried to remove her sweater while driving her Chevy Blazer, and asked the passenger, Bowling, to steer. This lead to the confusion that caused the driver to lose control of the vehicle, which veered to the left and into oncoming traffic.

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Ontario Funds For Algoma University Serious Games Effort

June 1, 2011 -

Algoma Games for Health, a development team at Algoma University that specializes in developing serious games for educational and rehabilitation purposes, has received a cash injection from Ontario's provincial funding. The team will use the $713,200 to develop a game that will help stroke victims at the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre. The news was announced by MPP David Orazietti. The program will combine video conferencing, voice recognition and therapeutic video games to provide an online platform to help improve speech therapy.

"We are continuing to build on the progress we have made improving health care infrastructure and front-line services in Sault Ste. Marie by making investments that are delivering measurable results, including this initiative that will provide stoke victims with interactive rehabilitation therapy to help improve their quality of life," said Orazietti.

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Mass Effect 2 wins Big at Canadian Videogame Awards

May 20, 2011 -

Mass Effect 2, BioWare's popular sci-fi themed RPG sequel, was named Game of the Year at this year's Canadian Videogame Awards, beating out the likes of Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, Dead Rising 2, FIFA 11, and Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction. Mass Effect 2 also won Console Game of the Year, Best Game Design, and Best Writing. Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood from Ubisoft Montreal received two awards - Best Audio and Best Visual Arts. Other winners included Deathspank, Osmos, Pocket God, WOMP!, ModNation Racers, and Kinect.

The full list of winners (and nominees can be found below:

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One More Day to Vote in 2011 Canadian Videogame Awards

May 12, 2011 -

Voting for the Game of the Year category of the 2011 Canadian Videogame Awards is still open to the public for one more day. Voting is open to the public until midnight, Friday, May 13th. The five Game of the Year finalists are Assassin's Creed Brotherhood, Dead Rising 2, FIFA 11, Mass Effect 2, and Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction. You can make your selection here. The site apparently allows visitors from outside the country vote.

Awards organizers also announced that tickets are still available for the event that takes place next Wednesday (May 18). The show will be hosted by Victor Lucas and his team from the TV show The Electric Playground. Video Games Live will also be back this year to provide the musical entertainment AND Nintendo will be offering attendees a special opportunity to play The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D for Nintendo 3DS.

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Canadian Teen Confesses to Murder Via a Bugged Xbox 360

May 6, 2011 -

A Canadian teenager was brought to justice by an Xbox 360, Guitar Hero, and an uncle who was already in trouble with the law. The combination has landed the unnamed teenager from Saskatoon, Canada in jail, according to a CBC report. Police had their suspicions that the young man had committed a murder so they approached his uncle to take him down. The murder in question took place in 2009; police allege that the boy murdered 16 year-old Charlotte Jolly with a stolen rifle after a fight in an alley.

The uncle was more than happy to participate in the sting because police promised to drop a drunk driving charge for his help.

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Ontario Court to Decide First Class Action Suit Against Sony in Canada

May 3, 2011 -

Toronto is the location of the latest class action suit against Sony launched on behalf of one million Canadian consumers for security breaches of the company's PlayStation Network and Qricoity. The class action alleges a breach of privacy and negligence on the part of Sony. The class action suit is seeking in excess of $1 billion in damages and is fronted by plaintiff Natasha Maksimovic, a 21-year-old Humber College student. Maksimovic describes herself as an avid PlayStation player and Sony e-reader user.

She filed her suit because she was concerned that Sony's security breach would have a dramatic impact on her privacy and her finances.

"I’m very loyal to Sony," she said in a phone interview with the Star. "I buy a lot of their products. I trust their brand. It’s kind of disappointing. I’m disappointed in the company to have something like this happen."

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Canada's Privacy Commissioner Looking Into PSN Security Breach

April 28, 2011 -

Canada's Privacy Commissioner is now investigating PlayStation Network security to find out if any privacy laws were violated. Jennifer Stoddart, the current Privacy Commissioner of Canada, will head the investigation. Stoddart said Sony had not notified it of the security breach which involved the theft of personal information and possibly credit card data. Of course, Canada's Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act does not require notification in these kinds of events.

Nevertheless, the office of Canada's privacy commissioner says that it plans to look into the matter and expects to hear plenty of complaints from Canadian consumers.

"We are currently looking into this matter and are seeking information from Sony," a spokesperson told Canada.com. "We will determine next steps once we have a full understanding of the incident."

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Digital Extremes Get Millions from Canadian Government

April 18, 2011 -

According to a Develop report, Canadian development studio Digital Extremes has been given $2.5 million to move its office and create more jobs. The money comes from the Canadian government. The "provincial grant" allows the studio to add 30 new employees to its 150 strong staff, and to build new game engine technology. Digital Extremes has been tapped to create the next The Darkness game - the first game was created Swedish studio Starbreeze.

A news story from IFPress also reports that the studio will invest $33 million of its own money into its new game engine.

"Right now we can’t hire people fast enough," studio founder James Schmalz said.

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Andrew EisenI think more professional gamblers should get into games publishing. They'll play the odds but they'll also take risks to maximize profits.06/30/2015 - 11:57pm
Andrew EisenAt the end of the day, the ball is rolling and it's rolling in the right direction. Maybe not as fast as we'd like, but it is moving. All we can do is play the games that interest us and make our thoughts known.06/30/2015 - 11:55pm
Matthew Wilsonits unfortunate that the dataset is so tiny for female leads, and is a mixed bag, so money people get the wrong idea.06/30/2015 - 11:54pm
Andrew Eisen"Duke Nukem Forever sold poorly. See? Games staring white guys don't sell!" Pretty silly thing to say.06/30/2015 - 11:50pm
Andrew EisenOr, at the very least, that gamers aren't turned off by female leads.06/30/2015 - 11:49pm
Matthew Wilsonyou would think games like metriod, portal and tomb raider would show that it work, but hopefuly those knew ones will.06/30/2015 - 11:47pm
Andrew EisenBut, luckily strides are being made and the money peoples are slowly learning that diversity -> larger targeted audience -> more potential dollars.06/30/2015 - 11:43pm
Andrew EisenSure does. That's why there should be more than just one or two attempts. (7 games at E3 with female leads and 35 with a gender option. I think it's safe to say that not all of these will fail!)06/30/2015 - 11:42pm
Matthew Wilsonthat puts alot of presure on the early stuff to do well. lets hope games like recode and harizon are good, and sell well.06/30/2015 - 11:38pm
Andrew EisenLuckily, money people also like to follow trends. So, it's a "simple" matter of making proper representation a trend. And wouldn't you know it, we're seeing the beginnings of exactly that!06/30/2015 - 11:34pm
Andrew EisenBut yeah, money people are risk averse. That's why we see so many sequels, reboots, and adaptations. To a lot of money people, "there's no evidence this works because it's rarely ever been tried" is the same as "this doesn't work."06/30/2015 - 11:33pm
Andrew EisenThat's why I think it's worth convincing the money peoples that proper representation (in any of its forms) isn't a financial risk, it's the path to expanding your audience and making even MORE money!06/30/2015 - 11:32pm
Matthew Wilson@AE will I agree, I kinda understand why. when your risking 50 to 100 mil you are going to try to do the safest thing you can sadly.06/30/2015 - 11:27pm
Matthew Wilsonhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0a6H_7_A5o a fairly impressive fake nx showing by hyberes5606/30/2015 - 11:23pm
Andrew EisenYou see that kind of nonsense in the movie business too.06/30/2015 - 11:02pm
Andrew EisenI think the bigger problem are those who see such things as substantive evidence that games with female leads don't sell well.06/30/2015 - 11:01pm
Matthew Wilsonit doesnt help that games like beyond good and evil did not do well.06/30/2015 - 10:58pm
MechaCrashThey don't advertise games with women leads because they don't sell because they don't advertise them because they don't sell because (repeat ad nauseum).06/30/2015 - 10:52pm
Andrew EisenAnd, with representation getting better and better, I think that's exactly what we'll see over the years.06/30/2015 - 10:49pm
Andrew EisenOf course, there's always the opposite viewpoint: perhaps more women would be inclined to join in the so-called AAA space if representation was better.06/30/2015 - 10:48pm
 

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