Random header image... Refresh for more!

Category — Canadian Developers

Telefilm Announces Video Game Developer Competition Finalists

Categories: Canadian DevelopersGame Industry IncentivesStartup Game Developer Issues

Competition Rules

The Canadian federal agency, Telefilm, has announced the four finalists in round 2 of its video game developer competition. The finalists are:

The finalists were chosen at this years’ Game Developers Conference.

In the prior round, each finalist had won $50,000 to explore their proposed game, seek venture capital etc.. In this round 2, each of the four finalists received a further $250,000 to develop a prototype of their game. In September a winner will be chosen at Vancouver’s VidFest. The winner will receive a further $500,000 to launch their game.

In addition to the four finalists above, on January 15, 2007 the following additional $50K round 1 winnners were announced:

Good luck to all.

Sources: Gamasutra | GameCareerGuide.com | CBC.ca | PlayBack | Canada.com

Digg! Digg Del.icio.us Comments Off 

Game Development Outsourcing Firm Babel Media Doubles Montreal Facility

Categories: Canadian Developers

Following the lead of its target customers, Eidos, EA, Ubisoft and others, game industry outsourcing and post production specialist Babel Media has announced plans to increase its Montreal capacity from 150 to 500 employees. From Babel’s press release:

“We have recently signed contracts with clients who, without exaggeration, own some of the greatest Intellectual Property (IP) in the world,“ said Algy Williams, Managing Director of Babel. “We will be testing their games across all platforms, including PS3 and Xbox 360, and we need to recruit talented and motivated people who are looking for a career in the games industry”.

It is unclear from the press releases whether or not Babel benefits from Quebec’s game industry tax incentives.

Earlier: The Other Bloke’s Blog Post on the Establishment of Babel’s Initial Facility in 2005

Sources: Gamasutra | Joystiq | Babel Press Release

Digg! Digg Del.icio.us 4 Comments 

Eidos Sets Up Shop In Montreal With Help of Quebec Government

Categories: Canadian DevelopersGame Industry Incentives

Publisher/Developer Eidos Interactive, Ltd. (a division of SCi Entertainment Group PLC), most famous for its Tomb Raider and Hitman franchises, has announced plans to take advantage of Quebec’s tax and other incentives and open up a new development studio in Montreal. Details include:

  • studio to be headed by former Babel/Ubisoft exec Stéphane D’Astous
  • 110 jobs (including 70 developer positions) will be created in 2007 with 350 jobs in total to be created over 3 years
  • Montreal to pay 40% of salaries and a three year tax holiday
  • new studio to develop next-gen titles
  • studio to consist of three next-gen development teams
  • first title will be based on existing IP

Dale’s Comment: With the previous employment pilfering spats between EA and Ubisoft Montreal, one can only anticipate this sudden increase in demand for developer talent will create even more pressures between these big three Montreal developers.

Related: Gamasutra Interview with Stéphane D’Astous on new studio (Feb 19, 2007)

Sources: Gamasutra I | Gamasutra II (background info) | GameSpot | Spong | CBC.ca

Digg! Digg Del.icio.us Comments Off 

Canadian Video Game Market Grows by 22% in 2006

Categories: Canadian Developers

According to the Canadian Press, Canadians spent $933 million on video games in 2006, growing the market by 22%. Revenue from console sales ($349M) were up 43 percent. The Nintendo DS Lite was the best selling hardware of the year – 374K units sold. And, surprise, surprise, EA’s NHL 07 was the highest selling game in Canada for the year. The next biggest sellers were, in order:

  •  New Super Mario Bros
  • Gears of War
  • Final Fantasy XII
  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
  • GTA: Liberty City Stories
  • Super Mario 64 DS
  • GTA:  San Andreas
  • Brain Age
  • Gran Turismo 4

Sources: Gamasutra | CTV.ca

Digg! Digg Del.icio.us Comments Off 

Canada to Provide Seed Money to Winner of Video Game Developer Competition

Categories: Canadian DevelopersGame Industry IncentivesStartup Game Developer Issues

Competition Rules

Today, the Canadian federal agency, Telefilm, invited new Canadian video game developers to compete for Cdn $2M (U.S. $1.8M) in financing. The ten projects voted most likely to succeed in the “Great Canadian Video Game” competition will receive $50,000 each to further explore their proposed game, seek venture capital etc.. Two months later the field will be winnowed to 4. Each of those will receive a further $250,000 to develop a prototype. At next year’s Vancouver VidFest, a finalist will be given a further $500,000 to launch their game.

Click here to apply! Applications are due by December 15, 2006.

Dale’s Comment: I am of mixed-emotions about this. I have no problem in principle with tax incentives to favor emerging industry. But I have always argued against Canada’s ubiquitous Canadian content rules and preferential treatment for Canadian-owned businesses over foreign-owned businesses. I’m also not so sure Canada actually needs these incentives because it is disproportionately represented on the global stage by its extremely successful video game development community – Montreal’s Ubisoft, Edmonton’s BioWare, Vancouver’s EA and Radical, London’s Digital Extremes, to name just a few.

All that said, if one of these new developers requires a place to spend this money on first rate legal services – look no further! Laughing

Sources: Reuters/Hollywood Reporter | City News | ZDNet | Washington Post

Digg! Digg Del.icio.us Comments Off 

Dice Canada Rises from the Ashes as Red Jade

Categories: Canadian Developers

Former employees of DICE Canada, an EA subsidiary until recently, have opened a new game development studio, Red Jade, in London Ontario. Red Jade has two deals in the works, one with former owner EA and another concerning the Battlefield series of games.

Sources: GameIndustry.biz 1 | GameIndustry.biz 2 | EuroGamer 1 | EuroGamer 2

Digg! Digg Del.icio.us Comments Off 

Ubisoft Wins Non-Compete Order Against Tremblay/Vivendi L.A.

Categories: Canadian DevelopersEmployment Law CasesNon-Compete Cases

Former Ubisoft COO Martin Tremblay will have to wait until June 7, 2006 before joining Vivendi after a Quebec court extended a temporary injunction. Judge Helene Langlois dismissed Tremblay’s claims that he was constructively dismissed from Ubisoft.

Sources: Gamasutra | GameIndustry.biz | GameDaily.biz | Next Generation | Canada News Wire | Canoe Money(CP)

Related Posts:

Digg! Digg Del.icio.us Comments Off 

Ubisoft Montreal Enjoins its Former President, Martin Tremblay, from Joining Vivendi L.A.

Categories: Canadian DevelopersEmployment Law CasesNon-Compete Cases

In seeking to enforce a non-compete clause against its former President and COO, Martin Tremblay, Ubisoft Montreal obtained a provisional injunction from the Quebec Superior Court enjoining Tremblay from becoming President of Vivendi Universal Games’ Worldwide Studios in LA.. The interim interlocutory injunction is valid until 5:00 PM on Tuesday May 9, when Ubisoft will be seeking a safeguard order. The Court has ordered Tremblay to:

“abstain and cease immediately, directly or indirectly, competing with applicant Ubisoft…” and “…cease immediately working, directly or indirectly, within the territories of Canada, the United States and Mexico, for his own behalf or on behalf of any third party, in any business which manufactures or commercializes video products that may compete with products sold, manufactured or developed by applicant Ubisoft”.


Dale’s Comment: It is particularly ironic that Tremblay was the driving force behind Ubisoft’s and EA Canada’s recent non-compete scuffles. For example, in this open letter, EA Canada’s General Manager, Alain Tascan, urges Tremblay to cease requiring that Ubisoft staff sign non-compete agreements as condition of employment. It appears Tremblay is caught by the same type of non-compete agreement that, until recently, he was vigorously enforcing against others.

Sources: Gamasutra | GameDaily.biz | Next Generation | GameSpot

Related Posts:

Digg! Digg Del.icio.us Comments Off 

Electronic Arts, Ubisoft Clash in Canada On Ubi’s Standard Employment Agreement Non-Compete Clause

Categories: Canadian DevelopersEmployment Law CasesNon-Compete Cases

Text of Open Letter from EA to Ubisoft
A long-running conflict between the Montreal studios of major publishers Electronic Arts and Ubisoft over non-compete clauses for departing Ubisoft game development employees has again flared to life, following the hiring of an unnamed former Ubisoft employee to work at EA’s Montreal studio.

Sources: Gamasutra | Gamespot | Next Generation | GameDaily | GameIndustry.biz

Related Posts:

Digg! Digg Del.icio.us Comments Off 

Elevation takes Controlling Interest in BioWare

Categories: Canadian Developers

Elevation Partners, of whom the singer Bono is a partner, takes a controlling interest in Edmonton-based Bioware Corp. and Westwood California’s Pandemic Studios

Sources: Gamasutra  |  1Up.com  |  ign.com  |  Gamespot  |  joystiq

Digg! Digg Del.icio.us Comments Off 

Koei Expands Toronto Studio

Categories: Canadian Developers

Toronto gaming publisher looks to expand workforce by 150-200 people.

Sources: Gamespot |  1Up.com  |  Koei Canada  |  GamaSutra Nov. 7 Feature Article

Digg! Digg Del.icio.us Comments Off 

EA Gets Government Help To Train Quebec Employees

Categories: Canadian DevelopersGame Industry Incentives

EA is planning to spend $2.6 million to train current and future staff at its Montreal offices, with $660,000 worth of help coming directly from the Quebec government.
Source: Gamasutra

Digg! Digg Del.icio.us Comments Off 

Ontario’s Hip Interactive to Cease Operations

Categories: Canadian DevelopersStruggling Firms

Ubisoft Expands Operations With Help from Quebec Government

Categories: Canadian DevelopersGame Industry IncentivesPolice Actions

Among other incentives, Emploi-Québec is contributing $6.3 million (USD $5.3 million) in financial assistance for the first three years of Ubisoft’s expansion program, as part of Ubisoft’s accelerated job creation plan.

Sources: Gamasutra | GameIndustry.biz

Digg! Digg Del.icio.us Comments Off