Québec, February 14, 2008 - The Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade and Minister of Tourism, Raymond Bachand, today announced a financial contribution consisting of a $1-million loan guarantee from Investissement Québec as part of the acquisition of Humagade by Frima Studio of Québec City. As a result, 135 jobs will be consolidated and another 150 created within three years.
"This transaction will generate significant synergy between the two companies. It will result in the creation of the second-largest independent studio in Québec. It will also bring together a number of large clients. Frima Studio will be able to focus its R&D efforts on diversifying platforms and adding distribution media for products like Harry Potter, Boréal Express, Caillou and Star Wars," Minister Bachand pointed out.
Frima Studio, founded in 2003, is a new media company that develops a broad range of animated, interactive and traditional entertainment products that have a reputation on international markets for their attractive pricing and innovative features. The products target the video game, in particular massively multi-player online games (MMOG), mobile phone entertainment, e-commerce and television fields, in addition to turnkey services in product design, 2D and 3D animation and information systems development. The company has 90 employees.
Humagade, created in 2002, is a major independent developer of games for mobile platforms such as mobile phones and Nintendo DS products. Its growth strategy is to increase its intellectual property by developing 3D tools for games on notebooks, mobile phones and Wii consoles, in addition to original and multiplatform content. Hamagade has extensive technological expertise and an international contact network. The company has 45 employees.
The financial contribution is provided through the Strategic Alliance component of the SMB Financial program, administered by Investissement Québec. This component is intended for companies that want to improve their competitive position on the market through an acquisition, consolidation or amalgamation of companies.
The transaction announced today is consistent with one of the orientations of Québec research and innovation strategy: support industrial research and in-house innovation. The strategy, launched on September 4, 2006, was designed to make Québec a more modern economy creating more jobs and meeting the challenge of international competition.
"The video game industry in Québec represents roughly 3 500 jobs and some 75 companies. Québec hosts development studios of five of the largest international publishers. There is a major software, middleware and production services sector that alone represents almost 1 000 jobs. The government continues to take concrete steps to consolidate Québec's reputation as a global centre of excellence in the development of video games and digital creation," Minister Bachand concluded.
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