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Electric Playground’s Victor Lucas Talks CVA, Elias Toufexis, and Indie Games

victor lucas interview

The fourth annual Canadian Videogame Awards (CVA) took place on Saturday April 20th and showcased the great Canadian talent behind some of the biggest games of 2012. From Ubisoft’s Far Cry 3 to Klei Entertainment’s Mark of the Ninja, Canadians were able to meet and celebrate the people that collaborate to make these great games.

We recently had a chance to talk to Canadian Videogame Awards Co-founder and Electric Playground host Victor Lucas just before the awards ceremony where he discussed the CVA, choosing Elias Toufexis as the host, and the rise of Indie Games. Check out the full interview with Victor after the break.

victor lucas cva

Victor Lucas (with daughter Ruby) at the 4th annual Canadian Videogame Awards.

JTM Games: Hi Victor, thanks for taking the time to talk with us. How do you feel about the Canadian Videogame Awards becoming a lot bigger this year with more awards to give out and even tougher competition?

Victor Lucas: I think it’s justified; I think that Canadian developers are enormous and they make some of the best games in the world. I also think that more Canadians need to know, more Canadians need to be proud, and I think that’s exactly what’s happening. Every year we do this, it’s a little bit more of a surprise to a few more people.

Rogers has been an amazing partner this year; they gave us two hours of air time on April 27th on CityTV all accross the country, prime time on Saturday night. But I think that this is one of the biggest cultural exports that our country creates and Canadians en masse need to be really proud about that.

We touch and interact and play and get in the heads of more people around the world with our games than any other medium we create; any other media so it’s really important that they be proud of this stuff.

JTM Games: How did you go about choosing Elias Toufexis (Adam Jensen in Deus Ex: Human Revolution) to be the host of this year’s Canadian Videogame Awards?

Victor Lucas: Elias has a great fan base out there and he’s a super fun guy. I got to know him a little bit from him being a presenter last year; and I thought it would be a really cool thing that maybe it’s going to be a legacy where we have one of the guys behind a character that everybody loves one year end up hosting the next year.

So I’m really really impressed with Elias and it’s been really cool also to work with these actors you know? Because I work with a lot of hosts and TV presenters on our shows (Reviews on the Run and Electric Playground) but these actors have this other ability; it’s really fun to work with them and I think you’re going to see that at this year’s CVA’s – some really good stuff.

victor lucas canadian videogame awards

Vic and Ruby getting interviewed for EP Daily.

JTM Games: What are you most excited to see at tonight’s CVA’s?

Victor Lucas: I’m excited about the change being represented on stage. You know there’s a lot of transition happening in the video game industry right now and the nominees and the videos that are going to be playing tonight really show that off. I think that’s what we need to be celebrating.

It’s not so much that change and people are losing jobs and that’s it, it’s all just over; It’s not about that, it’s about the change of our industry and let’s be excited about that because new ideas are going to come out.

JTM Games: Last year Capybara Games surprised a lot of people with their wins at the CVA’s; this year’s competition has more indie games competing with big budget productions. Could these games and studios be another example of indie making that big leap forward?

Victor Lucas: Yeah absolutely, I think what’s happening right now is that a lot of the mystery on how games have been made has started to kind of chage; people are more in tune, they’re more aware, they’re sharing more information. In fact, there was a big indie game summit earlier today in Vancouver (Full Indie Summit) as a matter of fact.

I think what’s happening is the shared knowledge, the shared appreciation and the shared respect for games has become universal now. So people can get in at every single level; they don’t have to be just working on these massive studio games.

Now that’s not to say we don’t need those games, I think we do but I think innovation has to be pushed in two fronts: we need the indie guys going “let’s try this way” and we need the big guys to be inspired by these indie renegades to say “let’s try it this way” but with 200 people. That way we’re gonna get amazing work on both sides.

JTM Games: You’re huge supporter of innovation then?

Victor Lucas: Oh that’s what we need. This industry dies without that innovation; it also dies if we can’t capilatalize on amazing, familiar brands. We can’t have bad Star Wars games; we can’t have bad Indiana Jones games; and we can’t have bad superhero games. We need games to always knock it out of the park so more and more people are brought to this.

*END INTERVIEW*

Later that night, indie studios Klei Entertainment, Queasy Games took home awards for Mark of the Ninja and Sound Shapes. What Victor mentioned is true in that the industry is transitioning and you’ll see more and more independent developers creating incredibly creative games that will hopefully inspire the bigger studios towards innovation.

You’ll be able to watch the Canadian Videogame Awards two-hour special on CityTV on April 27th at 9:00 pm and on G4 Canada on April 28th.

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About janhutchings

Canadian Game Industry Blogger / Contributor for @Sonyrumors & @ShogunGamer / Communications and PR Professional. Voice of Canadian and Indie Gaming. http://jtmgames.com/

Posted on April 22, 2013, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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