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Quebecor buys into mobile video games with BlooBuzz stake

Robert J. Galbraith/robert. j. galbraith The Globe and Mail

Quebecor Inc. is pairing with a group of entrepreneurs to launch a video game company focused on developing titles for mobile devices.

The Montreal-based media conglomerate says it is taking a majority stake in newly formed BlooBuzz.

The agreement includes eight entrepreneurs who worked at Saguenay, Que.-based Wendigo Studios, the company behind the popular Timebuilders gaming series.

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Quebecor president and CEO Pierre Karl Peladeau said the company is making the investment in Quebec's video game industry, an arena that's mostly dominated by foreign studios that have set up operations in Canada.

The province has lured many international companies with refundable tax credits that subsidize 37.5 per cent of a video game developer's labour costs, while further credits can be achieved if the developer is making French-language versions of the games.

Mobile games have become a growing part of the video game industry as more users gravitate from traditional set-top systems like Xbox and PlayStation to portable games on their iPhones, iPads and BlackBerrys.

"At Wendigo Studios, we demonstrated that it was possible, in Saguenay, to create games that can achieve worldwide success," said BlooBuzz president Eric Trudel in a release.

"With the financial backing of Quebecor Media and the strength of its network, we are confident that BlooBuzz will be a great opportunity."

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