Our application for the Ontario Media Development Corporation’s Screen-Based Content Initiative has been rejected.

We announced that we were throwing our hat into the public funding ring back in June (Ontario Government Backs Up the Money Truck), and hinted a little at what we’d submitted a few months later (Untold Entertainment Goes for the Gold).

Soup Line

Untold Entertainment joins swarms of other screen-based businesses in the soup line at the onset of the Second Great Depression

It was our very first application. We were a long shot. It was still a worthwhile exercise. We don’t really have oodles of experience planning and preparing budgets, so it was nice to get a little more financing and administration experience under our belts. An industry friend tells me that we made it to the final round, because most of the applicants he knew received their rejection letters weeks ago.

Needs More Zazz

It would be helpful to have a little more feedback explaining how we fell short. Otherwise, we’ll just keep making the same mistake with every application. My gut instinct is this: our app centred around XBox Live Community Games as a distribution platform. The platform was a big unknown while i wrote the application, and the app was reviewed as the platform launched and fizzled. The industry friend i mentioned was approved, but his distribution platform was the iPhone, which is sexy sexy sexy.

iPhone! Convergent media! Interactive TV! Two-box initiatives! Flying cars! i think you have to play a bit of buzzword bingo to get these funding types excited about your project. From what i’ve seen, the focus tends to be much more toward the type of content and the innovation in delivering that content, rather than the quality of the content itself … which is why, in my opinion, we see a lot of terrible content coming out of Canada. There seems to be no pressure to make good content – it’s more about who the content appeals to, and how the content is experienced.

i limit my criticism to the age 4+ crowd. There’s a lot of great preschool stuff coming out of Halifax that i watch with my daughters. The rest is Anne of Green Gables: Beating a Dead Horse and The Comedy Network Presents: A Brutally Unfunny Comedian Laugh-Tracked Within an Inch of His Life.

Man, these sour grapes are delicious!!


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3 thoughts on “Unfun(ded)

  1. Jim McStillLovingTheBlog

    If it’s any consolation, I didn’t get funding either.
    My approach was to not apply.

    The current crap on XBOX Community Games
    (caused by the refusal of “real” developers to support it)
    opens a huge opportunity for someone willing to make good games for it.
    Look no further than the Wii for proof:
    The good games sell bucketloads, the crap games help bolster them.
    Aside from the prestige, why bother with XBLA?
    Have I shown my 2009 hand?

  2. Ryan

    The difference between the Wii and XBox Live Community Games (aside a much more reasonable name length) is that Nintendo always leads with the cream of the crop. They launched the Wii with a Zelda title, and followed up with Super Mario Galaxy. The flood of crap came soon after, but not before the Wii established that it was capable of hosting great content.

    XBLCG started with crap. i think it will be much more difficult for the service to dig itself out than if it started with one or two fantastic titles. i fear that XBLCG is now entirely dismissable by consumers, while folks like me still hold out slim hope for the Wii.

  3. Kaolin Fire

    iPhone iPhone iPhone! ;)

    HandBrewed is trying to jump on that bandwagon. It does seem to be hot, and I’m loving the chance to do some real coding with C (though Objective-C still feels “weird”).


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