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Canada to invest in local video game business

Grabbing a piece of the $20 billion video game industry, the Canadian government on Wednesday said it would invest 2 million Canadian dollars ($1.8 million) to develop homegrown video games.

Montreal-based Telefilm, Ottawa's film financier, invited Canadian video game makers to compete for the financing through a process entitled the Great Canadian Video Game Competition.

"With the input and support of industry, this competition will give independent firms the leverage to attract required financing and distribution opportunities for its intellectual property," Telefilm executive director Wayne Clarkson said.

An initial 10 companies will be chosen early in the new year to vie for public financing to get their product to the market.

Video game producers Sherpa Games, Union Entertainment, Radical Entertainment, Ubisoft Montreal and Electronic Arts Montreal will be among existing industry players either sponsoring or mentoring emerging video game developers looking for Telefilm seed financing.

The domestic video game competition comes as Canadian producers increasingly move away from developing product strictly for cinemas or the TV screen, and instead create video for emerging digital platforms, including video game consoles.

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