For those of you who haven't left work early for the long weekend - or merely to avoid Critical Mass - here is my slanted perspective on the local Vancouver game scene. If you feel I've missed out a critically important bit of gossip, or its less interesting cousin, news, please contact me via my website.
And now, in no particular order, here's what's new in Vancouver's game industry this week:
Fit Brains Set to Launch 20th game in under 2 Years
Via Shawn Woods, Creative Director at local brain fitness game developer Fit Brains, comes word that the company will soon be reaching their 20th game milestone in mid-August. Founded by Michael Cole and Mark Baxter, Fit Brains has developed a brain training game platform backed by serious science. Shawn says Fit Brains hopes to reach 25 games by the end of this year as it also works to expand their offerings into related lifestyle improvement areas outside of brain fitness.
Adknowledge Pays up to $50M for Vancouver's Super Rewards
Super Rewards, a local startup that monetizes social games using a target CPA (cost per action) model, has been purchased for a reported $50M by Adknowledge, a Kansas City-based company. From an earlier Techvibes piece about the purchase: "Super Rewards provides a white-label virtual currency system to more than 1,000 apps and games (such as Mob Wars) on Facebook, Hi5, Bebo, Tagged, and other social networks."
Startup Alert: Greener Grass Games
A former colleague of mine from Relic and all 'round great guy, John Warner, has started up his own free-to-play, browser-based game development studio, dubbed Greener Grass Games. Their debut game will apparently be a first person adventure, for which they are looking for potential advertising partners now.
Game Dev BBQ
That other GDC, the Graphic Designers of Canada, is hosting an all-inclusive, pan-industry GDC Association BBQ on Thursday, August 27th at 6pm in Trout Lake. From the event listing: "Co-organized by GDC/BC, CAPIC, BCID, NMBC and CWILL, this is an opportunity to meet fun people, enjoy great food, and play in the sun. Even better, admission is free for members of participating organizations."
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.