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Frima develops intellectual property and is interested in MMORPGs

Founded in Québec City in 2003 by Steve Couture, Philippe Bégin, and Christian Daigle, Frima Studio has quickly become a major player in the video game industry in Québec.

The company began producing Flash games for Hollywood brands such as Harry Potter and Looney Tunes. The popularity of virtual worlds has enabled Frima to develop new expertise. Steve Couture, Chairman and CEO of the firm, has always asserted that game developers in Québec should create their own intellectual property. In June 2010, Frima also launched the game Young Thor, a new original property developed in partnership with Sony Computer Entertainment and Telefilm Canada.

Beginning with a studio housed in a small apartment in 2003, Frima expanded, finishing in 2010, at the forefront of Quebec firms with the fastest growth, for a second consecutive year. According to the growth charts published in June 2010, Frima was at the top with a growth of 3002% from 2004 to 2009. The list ranks the 20 companies that scored the highest for increase in sales. "For the first time since the creation of this list, a company gets the title of growth leader for two consecutive years! We are extremely proud of this success which we share with all of our employees," said the delighted Steve Couture. In Canada, Frima ranked 14th in the Profit 100 ranking, which appeared simultaneously in Profit Magazine, and this makes the Quebec company the Canadian video game studio that has grown the most.

Enter virtual and social worlds

In November 2009, Frima lifted the veil on Littlest Pet Shop Online (LPSO). Developed on behalf of Electronic Arts and Hasbro, this virtual community for children is based on the popular wide-eyed toys commonly known as "Pet Shop." The production of the game cost several million dollars and took 18 months to produce. In May 2010, Frima announced Rock Paper Sumo wrestling, the first Facebook game developed and conceived completely by a team of Quebecois creators. In August 2010, the Québec company presented its most recent intellectual property developed in collaboration with Sony: Widgets Odyssey II.

"The market for games on social networks is booming, and we will not miss the boat! We already have several Facebook game projects in development," said Steve Couture. "The idea of seeing our first game on Facebook, a concept that is 100% Québécois, being played by tens of thousands of people, motivates us to be more creative to attract this new customer base of players."

"The gaming industry has developed in Québec thanks to the arrival of international companies which have created many jobs. It is now necessary to develop our own intellectual property if we want to see real economic benefits," Steve Couture acknowledged. "Québec must not be merely a pool of labour for video game multinationals, it must create a real industry of its own." The development of intellectual properties in Québec is the best way to maximize economic benefits here. It’s a real leitmotiv for the President of Frima. "A game like Zombie tycoon may sell 300,000 or 400,000 copies, which represents millions of dollars, while it is a product that does not cost much to produce. It can be recreated on other platforms, and why not on television. That’s how to build intellectual property. Afterwards, we can imagine figurines, t-shirts, a whole range of products which in turn generate economic benefits for Québec. Just think of the Simpsons or Star Wars. The development of intellectual property will become increasingly important to Frima."

In June 2010, Frima won an Octas award in the "commercial success" category at the official Octas gala. A few days later, the government of Québec announced an investment of nearly $2 million to train the entire staff of the company. Of this amount, half will come from the Government of Québec through Emploi-Québec and its budget intended for major economic projects.

 [May 30, 2011]


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