Flashpoint gets its game on

Games and mobile properties pass go - and collect from Telefilm new media fund. Aux.tv uses some of the coin to tout its eventual TV channel launch.

Telefilm Canada has handed out much-needed cash to digital media producers to make and market 56 next-generation products.

As it unveiled its 2009/10 product assistance funding from the $15 million Canada New Media Fund, the federal funder said it has offered repayable advances to local producers to help develop and produce a range of digital projects, including console games, mobile apps and websites.

Many are seamless TV extensions, including Xenophile Media’s cross-platform Flashpoint Interactive game that enables players, as police recruits, to learn negotiating skills, rifle marksmanship and other techniques employed by the fictional Toronto SRU unit on the popular drama.

Patrick Crowe, co-president of Toronto-based Xenophile (Fallen Alternate Reality Game), says the training module game, with five missions as part of its role-playing scenarios, aims to help engage Flashpoint fans during and between TV season runs, and return a profit to investors, including the Bell Fund, CTV and Telefilm Canada, when eventually sold internationally.

‘It’s more than a piece of promotional material. It’s designed to attract viewer eyeballs, which by extension is a way to generate ratings and series sponsorship and be sold internationally,’ Crowe says.

Telefilm also gave GlassBOX Media second-round funding to market the website for Aux.tv before the online broadcaster morphs into a digital TV channel in October. ‘You might build an incredible site, but if Canadians don’t know about it, what have you achieved?’ GlassBOX’s Simon Foster says.

The webcaster aims eventually to monetize the Aux.tv property with revenue from advertisers and sponsors targeting Canadian music fans and social communities gathering round Aux.tv online and its eventual TV channel.

Geographically, Western Canadian producers secured financing mostly to produce indie websites and wireless phone apps. These include Quickmobile’s Mobile Film Festival wireless app and Foulplay Entertainment’s Foulplay website.

Console or handheld games and indie websites figure largely among projects by Ontario and Quebec producers – including Dark Matter Entertainment’s Trinketz website and Capybara Games’ Heartbeat console product. Atlantic region producers received seed money to mostly make console games and mobile apps, including Bight Interactive’s Llama Country mobile device.

From Playback Daily