Weekly Vancouver Game Industry News, July 24

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.

Some notable BC winners include Smoking Gun's "Codename Exoriare" PC project, Pug Pharm's "SNOGET" web property, Hothead's ongoing "Swarm" project and Bardel's "TokiWorld" kids virtual world.


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:

Friday, July 24th, District 319
The Unity Networking Event

  • 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.

Telefilm Canada
Montréal, Québec, Canada

Telefilm Canada is a Crown corporation reporting to Parliament through the Department of Canadian Heritage. Headquartered in Montréal, Telefilm provides services to the Canadian audiovisual industry by means of four regional offices located in Vancouver, Toronto, Montréal and Halifax. Our mandate: Telefilm Canada is a federal cultural agency dedicated to the development and promotion of the... more

Adrian Crook & Associates
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

In January 2008, freemium game design expert Adrian Crook founded Adrian Crook & Associates. AC+A has since worked with over two dozen clients, including many of the leading mobile & social game companies. Our focus is on delivering design that is inspirational yet do-able, given each client’s unique requirements. We’ve been fortunate to work with many of the market leaders, providing insight... more

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

MASSIVE BEAR Studios is a Vancouver-based development company founded in 2009 by a veteran management team with a successful track record of producing hit products for EA, Disney, Activision and THQ. We are a senior group of experienced developers ready to supply their skills to teams that want to expand their ability to deliver on projects without additional overhead. We help your game gain... more

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Adrian Crook

Adrian Crook

Adrian Crook is founder of AC+A, a mobile social game design and development consultancy based in Vancouver. Adrian has been a producer & designer in the games industry for nearly 20 years and is also CEO of PlayRank, a mobile community for sports fans. more

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