Canadian developers Silicon Knights and Digital Extremes have received a combined $1 million in funding from the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) to create prototypes for new games, with both companies planning new titles as a result.
The investment came through OMDC’s pilot Video Game Prototype Initiative, which provides local companies with funding to create prototypes for video game concepts – before seeking additional financing and contracts from interested publishers. OMDC Video Game Prototype Initiative decisions are made by a review panel of industry developers and publishers and OMDC staff.
Silicon Knights, best known for the games Eternal Darkness and the long delayed Too Human, is working on a prototype for a new game described as “a third-person action/psychological thriller”. The game is scheduled to be completed by 2010 for “all next generation systems”.
Digital Extremes meanwhile, best known for Pariah and the upcoming Dark Sector, are said to be prototyping a “third-person action game with an old school horror theme”. The game is targeted at the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC platforms.
“At $35 billion in global sales annually, the video game industry is one of the fastest-growing business sectors," said OMDC president and CEO Karen Thorne-Stone. "By providing critical support at the prototyping stage, OMDC is helping Ontario game developers to retain a greater share of the intellectual property and to demand higher royalty payments - which help to grow the industry and keep jobs in the province."
"Digital Extremes is honoured to have been chosen to participate in the Video Game Prototype Initiative," said Michael Schmalz, chief financial officer of Digital Extremes. "We feel that programs such as the VGPI will enable Ontario game developers to take more financial and creative control over major game development projects and help ensure the benefits of these projects stay in Ontario."