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City company gets $700K to develop game

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A Winnipeg video game company is getting about $710,000 in federal help to produce one of their newest projects.

ZenFri Inc, based in Winnipeg, is receiving the money as part of Canada Media Fund (CMF) to produce their augmented reality game Clandestine: Anomaly. Augmented reality games combine the real world with video game aspects, such as through location or cameras.

In Clandestine: Anomaly, players can wage battles by placing science-fiction turrets and fighting units on a map of the city, and then see those units in real size on the screen of their tablet or smart phone using the device's camera, according to a video on the game's YouTube page.

Chief executive artist Corey King said the game came from his wish to create his fantasies using an ordinary backdrop.

"When I'm thinking up a movie idea or anything else, I often go on walks, and sort of take the environment, I don't try to redraw everything and go into a fantasy world," King said.

Manitoba's Energy, Innovation and Mines Minister Dave Chomiak said in a press release that the company got the money for attracting high-skilled jobs to the province.

"This is another example of the tremendous advances we're seeing in Manitoba's technology and creative media industries," Chomiak said in the release.

Though the game is being produced all across the country, it is being led by local teams, which makes it a "Manitoba-focused project," according to the release.

The company already received $250,100 for the game through the fund, bringing the total amount to $960,100, close to the maximum amount of $1 million.

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