$8.1 million for seven Greater Victoria companies

Plus, discover which airline is now serving YYJ, and have your say on the region's most prominent tech vertical.

Welcome to this week’s Sunday Briefing. In this issue, take a deep dive into Victoria’s gaming scene, learn which seven local companies are getting a piece of the government’s $8.1 million, and discover which airline is now serving YYJ.

Now onto today’s briefing. It’s 756 words: a three-minute read.

-Kate Wilson, @KateWilsonSays

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Victoria’s gaming scene doesn’t play by the rules

Panel discussion on an inside look into Victoria’s gaming scene. Photo: Hololabs / Twitter

Baseball video games peaked in 2005. Sure, some of the earliest games like RBI Baseball were groundbreaking. The versions that one of the sport’s best-ever players, Ken Griffey Jr., put his name on in the late 1990s have their place. The behemoth franchise that Twitch streamers play now in MLB The Show is all the rage. But, I’m going with EA Sports’ MVP Baseball 2005 all the way. I still play it regularly.

Part of the reason for the game’s lasting legacy is that it was the last MLB-licensed game EA Sports released. EA dabbled in NCAA baseball for a few years before shelving its baseball product entirely in the late 2000s. That was until the company acquired the Victoria-based studio, Metalhead Software.

Metalhead’s flagship offering is Super Mega Baseball. The pair of gaming companies linked up in 2021 and got to work on the game’s next iteration. Super Mega Baseball 4 was released earlier this June.

Victoria gaming has thus taken up some mental real estate for me lately. It feels like Metalhead resurrected my childhood. I can’t thank it enough for that. But, unbeknownst to me as recently as three weeks ago, Super Mega Baseball 4 is the mere tip of the colossal Victoria gaming iceberg. I had a trio of conversations that helped me to contextualize the space.

Read staff writer James Matthews's full feature in our Scaleup Story Series, supported by VIATEC.

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🏙️ Community catchup, powered by VIATEC

Did you know you can apply to the Venture Acceleration Program (VAP)? The initiative helps technology companies accelerate their business model with the goal of sustaining profits, and to help them effectively grow their organization.

VAP is supported by PacifiCan and InnovateBC, and offers a low-cost venture development service that guides, coaches, and helps grow ambitious early-stage technology entrepreneurs. Check out Anna Gunn’s discussion with SureSwift’s COO John Austin about the program.

📰 More Victoria business news

📈 Moving forward: The Government of Canada announced an investment of over $8.1 million in PacifiCan funding to help seven Greater Victoria organizations boost innovation networks, drive business growth, and create new jobs and training opportunities. Among the recipients were the Association of British Columbia Marine Industries, UVic, South Island Prosperity Partnership, Aluula Composites, Peloton Technologies, and Origen Air.

✈️ Taking off: Porter Airlines is adding Victoria to its network, with flights between Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) and Victoria International Airport (YYJ). Service begins on September 20, 2023, with one daily roundtrip flight. Connecting flights with Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax and St. John's will also be available.

🏢 Staying put: The tech sector might be one of the largest employers in Victoria, but tourism is up there too. This week, Destination Greater Victoria won an international award for global impact on sustainable tourism. “Our sector’s impressive recovery from the pandemic demonstrates that sustainability and commercial success can be achieved concurrently,” said the company’s CEO, Paul Nursey.

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