Winnipeg company goes for gold with video game

ZenFri Industries is one of the leading companies at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this week, and it has been picked as the Canadian company to watch by Telefilm.
Corey King went from flipping burgers to creating a cutting-edge video game with his company, ZenFri Industries. (C. King)
I was trying to turn the normality of everyday life into something a little more interesting.- Corey King

Corey King has a baby named Clandestine: Anomaly. Only Clandestine is not a baby. She's a game. A video game.

In the game, Earth is being invaded by aliens and you are the resistance. The game takes place anywhere in the real world in real time.

So if you are in Paris today, you can play in Paris in real time. And if you are in your neighbourhood's park, you can play there.

How did it come about? King spent a lot of his time in high school wishing he was somewhere else.

"I wanted to put the school into a fortress," he recalled. "I was trying to turn the normality of everyday life into something a little more interesting. And I created many epics that way."

King's epics come at an epic price as well. His company, ZenFri Industries, has an office with seven employees who are developing and scripting the game. It didn't all happen overnight, though.

"My wife and I paid our way through school, working at minimum-wage jobs," he said. "I worked at a fast food joint and she worked at Value Village. From there we put everything into our company."

That company, ZenFri Industries, is now a multimillion-dollar project. Cory and his wife, Danielle, have travelled the world, presenting their game at different conferences.

Now the stakes are really high. When the game comes out, they could be millionaires. If not, they could be looking at four years of lost work.

Hear more of Corey King's story on Information Radio with Marcy Markusa and Jorge Requena on Tuesday, March 18.