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.
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.
- Canucks Fan Zone - Engaging Fans and Building Online Communities in the Social Media Space. June 25th, from 3pm onward @ The Lamplighter. Prizes from EA Sports and the Canucks, along with a networking event afterward.
- DemoCamp Vancouver 07 - Social Platforms Edition. July 7th, from 6pm onward @ Workspace. Be a presenter, or if you don't have the cojones for that, try attending first. Great way to hone your pitching skills or hear new ideas.
Relic is doing a lot of hiring for their upcoming Warhammer 40K console release, Space Marine. Contact Alison Scarlett via email@example.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.
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.