Weekly News Bits from Vancouver's Game Industry

Posted by Adrian Crook

Every week I cover brief news swept up from the dirty floors of Vancouver's game industry. If you have something you think should be passed along here - a rumour, a tip, a launch, a party, a new hire, a great job, a better name for this column - let me know. The legion of ways I can be reached are listed on my website.

EA VP McCarthy Moves On

EA Canada VP David McCarthy announced his resignation earlier this week, according to sources within the studio. After 12 years at EA's Burnaby location, McCarthy will leave at the end of June to assume an undisclosed role at Microsoft. Most recently, McCarthy shipped EA Active backed by a rumoured $24M marketing budget. Speculation is that McCarthy was part of the hostage exchange for John Schappert.

Something In The Water?

Coming out of E3 2009, it appears we like our driving games in Vancouver. Big Park and United Front Games both announced first party exclusive, casual-friendly racing games at this year's conference. Big Park's entry, Joyride, is a free-to-play Xbox Live Arcade title that uses a player's Xbox avatar and utilizes microtransactions as its revenue stream. ModNation Racers from UFG will debut in 2010 on the PS3 and has been described as LittleBigPlanet meets MarioKart.

Hellbent Launches Lego Battles DS

Via Margaret Livesey on Facebook comes news that Hellbent Games launched Lego Battles for the Nintendo DS last Tuesday. The game has sold out in several locations and looks like it will be a hit for the new studio. Hellbent, an unknown group to most, is so new that their website is merely a press release for LegoBattles. However, Hellbent's LinkedIn company profile indicates that most of their crew come from Barking Dog/Rockstar and Radical, with CEO/Creative Director Christopher Mair at the helm.

Events

Here are a couple local events that are good lateral learning for game industry types. Attend these and take some outside-the-box inspiration back to your studio.

Jobs

Relic is doing a lot of hiring for their upcoming Warhammer 40K console release, Space Marine. Contact Alison Scarlett via jobs@relic.com to apply as they're looking for programmers, designers, animators, tech artists and more. Complete job postings on Relic's site.

Vancouver Film School is branching out beyond core PC and Console games. For years the school taught traditional AAA retail game design skills, even as more diverse genres and platforms rose to prominence. In a nod to this evolution, VFS is looking for a Multiplayer/Online Teacher.

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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.

Company:
Electronic Arts
Website:
http://www.ea.com
Location:
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Want to be part of the Next Generation of games development? EA is the leading developer for next gen games and looking for passionate gamers who want to be a part of this exciting time. EA Canada currently has dozens of games in production and aside from some of the most profitable game titles like FIFA, NBA Street, NHL and Need for Speed, we are also developing some home-grown next gen New IP games as well for... more

Company:
BigPark
Website:
http://www.bigpark.com
Location:
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

BigPark is an interactive entertainment company founded in 2007 by a group of passionate gaming veterans who have worked together for over 20 years, and have led the creation and growth of two very successful software companies. more

Company:
United Front Games
Website:
http://www.unitedfrontgames.com
Location:
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, United Front Games was formed in 2007 by former employees of Electronic Arts, Radical Entertainment, Black Box Games, Rockstar, Action Pants, Propaganda Games and Next Level Games. more

Company:
Adrian Crook & Associates
Website:
http://www.adriancrook.com
Location:
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 to and learning from... 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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