Manitoba News Release
January 24, 2007
PROVINCE WELCOMES CANADA'S FIRST INTERACTIVE DIGITAL GAMING BUSINESS INCUBATOR
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Funding Announced at Opening Of New Fortune Cat Games Studio
The Manitoba government today recognized Canada's first gaming business incubator and outlined support for seven Manitoba companies developing new digital media projects, Science, Technology, Energy and Mines (STEM) Minister Jim Rondeau announced today.
"We know a big part of Manitoba's economic future will be the development of cutting-edge technology," said Rondeau. "The digital media industry in Manitoba has already established its importance to our economy with more than 230 digital media companies in operation in the province, a growth rate of 1,850 per cent during the past three years."
Digital media companies receiving $138,612 in assistance under the Manitoba Interactive Digital Media Fund include:
- White Magic Robotics Inc. - $20,000 for market research and development of a robotic game prototype.
- Nihilonaut Productions Inc. - $40,000 for market research and development of an alternative reality game prototype and six-episode Internet protocol television (IPTV) series.
- Les Production Rivard - $20,000 for market research and development of a prototype for an interactive website for preschool children, daycares and their educators.
- Project Whitecard - $20,000 for market research and development of a prototype for an in classroom lunar simulation of the Apollo mission and a colonization learning module.
- Tomkorp Computer Solutions - $11,000 in financial assistance for market research and development of a real-time puzzle game prototype.
- Animiki See Productions and Distribution Inc. - $19,312 for market research and development of a multi-platform initiative.
- Lateral Thinking Inc. - $8,300 for product development and market funding for a 3D platform game for PCs.
Rondeau made the announcement at the official opening of Winnipeg's Fortune Cat Games Studio, Canada's first interactive digital gaming business incubator.
An incubator is a facility designed to encourage entrepreneurship and minimize obstacles to new business formation and development, particularly for high-technology firms, by housing a number of budding enterprises that share an array of services such as rent and business counselling. The companies involved with Fortune Cat will also have national and international gaming experts to mentor them in the development of their products.
"Fortune Cat Games Studio provides successful applicants with training opportunities that will enhance their knowledge base and skill set," said Rondeau. "The studio works closely with game developers to help them prepare their project for production and game publication. I congratulate them on the opening of their studio."
"These are exciting times for the new media and emerging interactive gaming industry," said Michael Boyd, executive director of Fortune Cat Games Studio. "We are thrilled to be an important part of the provincial strategy for growth in the sector and very thankful for the funding and support we receive from STEM. The three young gaming companies presently in the studio - Complex Games, Project Whitecard and Tomkorp - will be the first wave of new and successful organizations as a result of the province's vision and faith in Fortune Cat."
Manitoba's $300,000 Interactive Digital Media Fund provides assistance with production, professional development and marketing. It also provides non-repayable advances to support activities and initiatives that contribute to the development of interactive digital media in Manitoba.
Video game and new media developers may also apply for the Manitoba New Media Production grant which provides eligible companies with grant assistance equal to 45 per cent of the eligible Manitoba labour costs directly attributable to the development of an eligible new media product.
"Manitoba is working hard to help develop and support an active industry," said Rondeau. "Investing in the digital media sector translates into keeping highly-skilled labour in Manitoba."
More information about the new media digital industry in Manitoba is available at:
More information on Fortune Cat is available at http://www.fortunecatgames.ca/objectives.shtml