LOCAL COMPANY ZENFRI INC. RECEIVING FUNDING, WORLDWIDE RECOGNITION FOR INNOVATIVE AUGMENTED REALITY GAME
– – – Manitoba's Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit Helping Attract Investment, Create High-skilled Jobs: Chomiak
Innovation, Energy and Mines Minister Dave Chomiak today congratulated Winnipeg-based ZenFri Inc. on receipt of $710,000 from the Canada Media Fund (CMF) for full production of Clandestine: Anomaly, an innovative augmented reality game that is receiving worldwide attention.
“This is another example of the tremendous advances we’re seeing in Manitoba’s technology and creative media industries, and we congratulate ZenFri Inc. on their achievement,” said Chomiak. “It also demonstrates the positive impacts of enhancements made to the Manitoba Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit (MIDMTC) in Budget 2013, which are helping to attract new investment and create new high-skill jobs in the province.”
Chomiak also cited Winnipeg video-game developer Complex Games’ recent decision to continue to grow its Winnipeg workforce from a staff of 30 to an expected head count of 80 over the next two years as another example of the benefit of the Digital Media Tax Credit.
Clandestine: Anomalyis a sci-fi adventure game that uses leading-edge, augmented reality technology to enable players to interact with game content in the real world, using their mobile device. The project is already gaining international recognition and was recently one of five finalists for the Auggie global augmented reality awards. While the project’s core team comprises more than 45 talented people from across Canada, many of the leads are local firms and individuals, making Clandestine: Anomaly a Manitoba-focused project.
“The enhancements to the MIDMTC in Budget 2013 played a key role in helping ZenFri secure new CMF investment and being the only company outside of B.C. and Quebec to secure production funding from CMF this round,” said Corey King, CEO and creative director of ZenFri Inc. “Among the enhancements, financial support from the Canada Media Fund that is recoupable or repayable will no longer be treated as government assistance. This has allowed our company to create an extremely innovative world-leading project, while keeping ownership of the IP and jobs here in Manitoba.”
“Our freelancers and companies choose to live and work in Manitoba thanks to a culture of collaboration and exchange that is unique amongst other provinces,” said Kevin Hnatiuk, executive director, New Media Manitoba. “It began seven years ago when the province first began supporting our New Media Association to deliver timely industry training to new media professionals, and continues today through the expansion of the Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit. ZenFri’s successful Canada Media Fund application is due in part to the supportive culture and environment the province and New Media Manitoba have helped build here in one of Manitoba’s most exciting and fastest growing knowledge-based industries.”
In addition to $710,000 for production, ZenFri previously received $250,100 from the CMF for development of the Clandestine: Anomaly prototype. The $960,100 in total CMF funding is the largest CMF award that any Manitoba project has ever received and ZenFri is the only company outside of British Columbia and Quebec to receive support in the current round of CMF production funding. Maximum CMF funding is $1 million per project.
The MIDMTC was launched in 2008 and is a refundable corporate income tax credit for companies that develop and produce interactive digital media projects in Manitoba. Enhancements made to the MIDMTC in Budget 2013 are more effectively serving the needs of local industry and helping keep Manitoba in line with other Canadian provinces that have competitive tax credit and rebate programs for interactive digital media development, Chomiak said. Additional information on the MIDMTC and enhancements made in Budget 2013 are available at www.manitoba.ca/iem/business/idm_taxcredit.html.