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.
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.