Blogs

  • 27 Aug 2020 by DigiBC

    Canada Games Online 2020 Conference (September 9-10 & 17-18)

    When COVID-19 hit, a Nordicity study showed that while many video game studios experienced a positive market bump, there were others that were negatively affected by not having access to market. Notably, smaller or newer studios with prototypes ready to show were in trouble. Conferences that were typically relied on for business development and connecting with publishers and investors ended up being cancelled. Many have come back as online events, but how does a small to medium-sized game studio get noticed?

    The Canadian video game sector responded and industry associations from Ontario, Quebec, BC, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia and PEI worked together to revitalize the CIAIC and organize the Canada Games Online Conference. This has been designed to help Canadian video game developers grow their businesses, and it promises to be a high-quality event with 50+ international publishers and investors already signed up to attend. We'd like to thank to the Canada Media Fund and Canadian Heritage for funding this endeavour.

    Learn more: www.canadagamesonline.com
     

     

    • Market Pulse Training (September 9-10) is a free two-day event that includes five online workshops presented by international industry experts. They will provide insight into international game markets and introduce you to proven strategies for crafting persuasive sales pitches. FREE REGISTRATION

     

    • B2B Connect (September 17-18) is a 48-hour online networking event that matches you with compatible game publishers and investors from around the world. Participating companies include Electronic Arts, Nintendo, Konami, NetEase, Square Enix and 505 Games. GET YOUR TICKET



    Canada Media Fund COVID-19 Emergency Relief Funds (IDM)

    DigiBC and our partner trade associations across the country wrote to request that the Canada Media Fund create a second fund to help studios that were not served by the first fund. The CMF announced Phase 2 of the fund which is $10M going to Canada’s interactive digital media companies. This is part of the $27.8M in funding that was designated for Canada’s audiovisual sector as part of Phase 2 of the COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations by the Government of Canada. DigiBC appreciated the opportunity to consult with the CMF on the structure of this funding.
     

    Click here for further details & to apply
     

    • This funding is being made available to applicants who have not previously received CMF COVID-19 Emergency Relief Funds and who meet the eligibility criteria.
       
    • Eligible applicants will receive between $5,000 and $100,000, to be determined through a formula-based approach.
       
    • Application window is open from August 31 until September 25.
       
    • This is considered emergency non-repayable operations funding (not program funding).

     

  • 27 Aug 2020 by DigiBC


    We are all hearing about kids and community groups not having access to technology during the COVID-19 pandemic. Do you have old tech in your home or office and would like to get it to someone in need?


    Click here to donate

     

    The BC Technology for Learning Society is a registered charity that trains and hires youth to refurbish donated computers and then distributes them to schools, non-profits, libraries, Indigenous communities and students. Data security is a top priority and they follow strict procedures to ensure that all information is wiped from hard drives received. They are also an official Microsoft Refurbisher and EPRA verified, meaning they are held to high standards in every step of the refurbishment process. By donating your tech to a registered charity, you may be eligible for a tax receipt for the fair market value of the equipment.

     
     

     

    Since 1994, we have delivered the Computers for Schools Plus program across British Columbia, distributing over 170,000 computers! BC Technology for Learning Society is authorized by Innovation Science & Economic Development Canada (ISED) to deliver the Computers for Schools (CFS+) program in BC. We are part of 14 other organizations across Canada delivering CFS+. Thank you to the Government of Canada for funding this important work. Computer for Schools Plus (CFS+) is a national partnership-based program that refurbishes digital devices donated from government, private business and individuals for use by schools, libraries, not-for-profit organizations, Indigenous communities and eligible low-income individuals. This program is funded by the Government of Canada.

     

  • 25 Aug 2020 by DigiBC

    Kano was originally founded in 2008 by three University of Victoria computer science and engineering students and at the time, they had no prior game development experience. However, they were able to build on the nascent Facebook Gaming platform to release their first title and then eventually shifted their focus to primarily the App Store and Google Play. The studio has since gone on to establish a reputation for creating and running free-to-play games as a service and having gaming communities worldwide that encompass millions of players. Kano is now in its 12th year of being a self-funded independent game studio with Eric Haight (President) and Tim Teh (CEO) continuing to still lead the company today. We recently caught up with Kano to see what’s been happening at the studio, what’s on the horizon and how they have been adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic.

     


    How would you describe your company culture?
    We are diverse by design, but aligned through our core values and unified purpose to build meaningful connections through lasting social games.
    Our diversity makes us stronger because each individual brings different perspectives to each problem we are faced with. Our core values focus us around what is most important to our success. In the case of Player Obsession, for example, is that we create experiences to cater to our communities rather than to what we individually think is best.

    What would you say sets Kano apart from other studios? 

    We don’t know if this really sets us apart, but as a studio we believe in ownership. As such, we are transparent with how the company is doing and strive to keep the team informed of that status often, through company all hands meetings, access to revenue dashboards, etc. We also share success with our team through an uncapped profit share program, meaning that if Kano doubles or triples revenue in a given year, our profit share pool as a percentage of overall earnings is not capped by a ceiling but open to growth with our added success.

     


    What projects are you currently working on?
     

    We are focused on creating long lasting gaming experiences. A fair percentage of our team is focused on the live operations of our RPGs including Mob Wars, Viking Clan,  Pirate Clan and Zombie Slayer. More recently, we have been focused on the idle genre with our new game Fubar: Just Give’r and are just starting development on a new unannounced title we hope to release next year.

     

     

     

     

    Has the studio won any awards or received any accolades?
     

    • 2020 Great Place to Work - Best Workplaces in Canada - Less than 100 Employees
    • 2019 Great Place to Work - British Columbia
    • 2019 VIATEC Employer of the Year - Finalist
    • 2018 VIATEC Company of the Year (11-49 Employees) - Winner
    • 2018 VIATEC Employer of the Year - Finalist
    • 2017 VIATEC Company of the Year (11-49 employees) - Finalist
    • 2014 VIATEC Employer of the Year - Winner



    Are there any other exciting facts about Kano we may not know about?

    When we were coming up with a name for our company, we made a list of characters from the games we played as kids. The name Kano is an ode to, not the character, but one of the games we all played a lot of growing up which was Mortal Kombat. I guess we are also very Canadian in that our name is actually pronounced K-Eh-No and not (Pop) Can-Oh, which a lot of people think.

     

     

     

    Are you currently hiring? If so, what are the open positions?
    Yes, we are! Please check out our
    Careers page. While we are based in Victoria, BC, with the full team now all working at home, we have opened up our hiring to include remote candidates!

     


    Are there any updates you want to mention and share about how the studio has been adapting to WFH and working through the COVID-19 pandemic?

    Our move to WFH itself was a pretty seamless shift with business not really skipping a beat. That said, like most things we do at Kano, we are constantly iterating on our systems and procedures to ensure our team feels supported and is running at full steam.

     

    On the social side, we have tried to replace our beer Friday syncs with virtual Happy Hours and actually just had our first socially distanced hang a few weeks ago.

     

    We don’t know what the new norm will look like next year, but having a physical HQ is something we think we will always want. We are a social bunch and do miss seeing our teammates in person.

     

     

     

    Kano Canine Companions: Newman & Opie