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  Telefilm Canada Funds Domestic Game Devs  
Posted 2006-11-16 by Tony Walsh
Tonight I attended a PR event held by Telefilm Canada. The funding agency added more detail about its recently announced video game development competition. The event was held in downtown Toronto for an audience primarily of film, TV and web developers--Canada's game industry lives primarily in Montreal and Vancouver. Telefilm and its Canadian New Media Fund (CNMF) arm discussed the plan to allow domestic developers to vie for financial assistance and in-kind funding in 3 rounds. One developer will make it to the final round, spending about $550k to receive about $750k. In order to lower the barrier to competition, a Telefilm rep said, the agency requires only a 5-page proposal and "elevator pitch" on DVD featuring the core team members. By contrast, a typical funding application runs about 40 pages and may contain supplementary visuals. Proposals will be evaluated by industry jurors and must adhere to the same sorts of principles found in CNMF applications.

While I applaud Telefilm for providing a boost to the national game development scene, I can't think of a single, truly Canadian game publisher off the top of my head. So I guess any game developed through "The Great Canadian Video Game Competition" will either have be to self-published, or seek a publisher outside the country (or the Canadian arm of a foreign publisher). I'm also a teensy bit disappointed at the amount of money on the table. $1.3 is a big budget for most web sites, but isn't so hot for a video game (add self-publishing costs to that if the developer goes that route). Regardless, I hope the winner of this competition is a small development company with brilliant ideas that could use a leg up (and has over half a million dollars to risk).
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