While it was a revelation when Canada shot past the UK to become one of the world’s top three hotspots for video game development in 2010, in 2013 the Ontario Technology Corridor remains among the leaders and has a new revelation for global game development studios considering Canada. The hard-charging province of Ontario is the country’s number one jurisdiction in terms of concentration of companies and overall industry momentum within Canada’s $1.7 billion, 16,000-employee video game sector.
Magitech Corporation (Toronto) takes a share of the real-time strategy games market
Magitech, an independent game studio from the Toronto region, was established in 1993 by Ming-Sheng Lee. Developing real-time strategy (RTS) games for PC, this small firm now competes with some of the largest intellectual properties (IP) in the world.
"We launched our first game, Takeda, in 2001,” explains Ming-Sheng Lee. “Although we sold units in Japan, China, Russia, Germany and the United States, unfortunately, our title was released six months after Total War Shogun and many consider Takeda to be in the shadow of this other game."
However, asserts Lee, both games are very different. "Our game features modes,” he explains. “The war mode allows you to rule over the city, call upon assistants for help, and propose alliances or marriages with enemies. In combat mode, you can lead a battle of up to 4,000 characters that fight individually. We have developed an artificial intelligence system for every unit to offer more realistic fighting. Our chain of command makes it so that communication of orders along the hierarchy cannot proceed in just any way. These two elements are our main strengths."
The Magitech Corporation mission is simple: to make good games. And the goal of its employees is equally simple: to earn a living making good games. At Magitech, a good game is defined as being innovative and original, having meaning and substance, and encouraging the player to think and feel something. Innovative and original games are those which involve new modes of game play, new settings, and new ideas. While substance, thought, and feeling can be achieved by creating a game setting which is dramatic, character-driven, and true to life. Characters should have virtues and vices in equal measure. Stories should have joys to mirror the tragedies. Battle and combat should be realistic, and should offer something for players who want to use their wits, as well as their chain guns.
So far Magitech has released six or seven varied titles, all developed with the game engine they’ve been working on for several years. Nonetheless, surviving in the competitive PC games environment is not easy for an independent studio. "It’s always a challenge to stay in the market,” explains Ming-Sheng Lee. “We have seen many successful studios disappear."
However, Magitech is not short on solutions. "Some of our partners want to import our online technology for MMO, for example,” says Lee. “We’re now waiting to see if they’re ready to invest. On our end, we’ve begun applying our expertise to the iPhone and we already have two strategy games available in the App Store."
As a small studio, Magitech has to remain flexible and open to opportunities. "If one of our partners makes a big offer on our PC products, we’re going to concentrate our efforts there. If that doesn’t come through, we will go more towards the iPhone. So far, I think that this last platform could be good for us."
In 2010, Magitech releases its first iPad App, Pet Tortoise, a simulator application in which the user cares for and interacts with pet tortoises that grow before their eyes! You can view our website for the game by clicking here and you can view the product page in the App Store by clicking here. If you enjoy the simple pleasures of watching cute animals frolic about or love the calming atmosphere of nature focused screensaver like applications, be sure to check out this iPad only application, which is now on sale!
The company also releases in 2010 an iPad app, Tap and Catch. In this exciting game, you have the power to catch criminals as they race around apartments in search of loot. Tap on windows to turn on lights and track the movements of the burglars and tap them when they’re in lit rooms to capture them. Catch all the burglars in a building before time runs out or it’s lights out for you!
Mobile Edge, a company specialized in innovative and stylish laptop computer carrying cases and accessories, has expanded their ScanFast Checkpoint Friendly Collection with full-featured Netbook carrying cases, the first TSA Compliant Netbook Case Collection on the market. Netbook computer owners are looking for a more substantial case for their smaller computers, something more than a simple sleeve. As a result of this demand, Mobile Edge created the Edge Netbook Briefcase, Messenger Bag and Backpack - all designed to be Checkpoint Friendly.