I'm currently recovering from four straight days of Casual Connect and the WIGI Leadership Development Forum in Seattle. The conference is focused primarily on sales and marketing in the (very broad) casual sector and because of this, it's entirely feasible to subsist on nothing but open bars and meat-on-a-stick.
As always, if you have any Vancouver game industry news you think should appear here, contact me via my website. And now, in no particular order, here's what's new in Vancouver's game industry this week:
Casual Connect Wrap-up
For a conference that has its roots in the trial-to-purchase casual games sector (i.e. the $20 downloadable games played by soccer moms the world over), this year sure felt like the spotlight has entirely shifted to Social Games (Zynga, Playfish, Playdom, etc) and online games (Kongregate, Gaia, GoPets, Neopets, Puzzle Pirates, etc). The latter two categories were the darlings of the show, their panels buzzed about throughout the conference, whereas trial-to-purchase was hardly mentioned by anyone with whom I spoke. There are many reasons for this, not the least of which being the better revenue models Social and Online games present.
For the best wrap-up of all the conference coverage, check out my colleague Jussi Laakkonen's "Casual Connect Seattle 2009 Coverage" posting. Also interesting is Tami Quiring's Village Gamer post on all the Canadian game-related companies that attended Casual Connect. Quite a massive list... many people I spoke to had no idea there were games companies in Moncton, NB.
Relic Producer and Lead Designer Defect
Mark Noseworthy and Jonny Ebbert, Lead Producer and Lead Designer, respectively, on the recently released Dawn of War II PC, tendered their resignations to Relic earlier this week. Both were at Relic for over 4 years. The news was announced to their team immediately thereafter, prompting a flurry of "Do you know where they're going?" emails. I haven't spoken to Jonny in ages (great, very talented guy), but I know Mark well and his new opportunity is truly one for the ages. Very happy for him.
Telefilm/CNMF Winners Announced
On Tuesday of this week, Telefilm Canada announced that 56 new media projects have been selected to receive financial support through the Product Assistance component of the Canada New Media Fund. According to Telefilm, the projects selected represent a wide range of platforms and genres – from console games and convergent projects, to independent websites and applications for mobile devices. In BC however, independent websites and mobile apps received the bulk of the funds.
Massive Bear of a Startup
Tim Lewinson and Mike Perzel, ex-Propaganda Games teammates, have started Massive Bear, a local game outsourcing studio. Both are listed as "Co-President" on the company's bio page. Tim's most recent LinkedIn status says he is, "actively looking for gaming companies who require an experienced outsource coding partner on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii."
Good luck, Tim and Mike!
Unity Mingle Still Has Room
Saturday's all day Unity 3D workshop event is already sold out, but tonight's Unity networking event still had space remaining, as of this morning. Here are the details for tonight:
- 5:30pm - 6:30pm Reception, drinks and appetizers.
- 6:30pm - 7:30pm Key Note followed by Q
Adrian Crook is a game consultant based in North Vancouver. With over 14 years experience, Adrian designs and produces social, casual and AAA games for a variety of clients. He has spoken on the subject of free-to-play games at GDC and SXSW and writes articles for trade publications.