CANADA SPECIAL: Frima

CANADA SPECIAL: Frima
Will Freeman

By Will Freeman

November 16th 2009 at 10:04AM

Québec City's high-end Flash specialist in focus

Number of staff: 250
Year founded: 2003
Location: Quebec City
Previous projects: Build-A-Bearville.com, galaxseeds.com, neoshifter.com
Current projects: lpso.com, Zombie Tycoon
www.frimastudio.com

Founded in 2003 and lead by its CEO and respected Canadian games industry figure Steve Couture, Frima made its name creating high-end Flash games tied in with Hollywood IP.

More recently Frima has enjoyed great success developing technology to support MMOs. Initially securing a contract with Canada’s own Corus Entertainment, Couture’s team has now established its own children’s MMOs, including Littlest Pet Shop.

Over its six-year lifespan, Frima has had plenty of opportunity to see Canada’s games industry evolve. “A few years ago, there was simply no video game industry at all,” reveals Couture. “Especially in the province of Quebec. In the last few years, we saw international companies establishing offices in several Canadian cities. Those offices really helped to create an actual industry here. Now, we need to be able to create and produce more 100 per cent Canadian games that will be distributed all around the world and would bring back revenues in our provinces.

Being positioned in Quebec of course means Frima can alsoenjoy the benefits of the region’s tax breaks.

Says Couture: “This program has had a significant impact on our company’s development and on the industry at large. Apart from Quebec’s expertise, creativity and technological expertise, this program explains why so many major video game companies that have decided to establish themselves here.”

Frima is a also a studio with a design philosophy typical of the creative mindset of its home province, and of course, it has a French motto.

“We would say ‘Garder la tête froide’ which literally refers to keep the head cold. It means to stay realistic and ‘cartesien’ (logical), even with success, and keep ideas fresh. We are a massively creative team that develops massively creative games.”

Frima is focusing on original games for the forseeable future: in 2010, the company also has plans to become more involved in 3D animation and special effects.