Money will be split between independents Silicon Knights and Digital Extremes

Canadian studios get $1m prototype funding

Canada’s Ontario Media Development Corporation has announced it will invest $1m in two new video game prototypes.

Split into two funds, the beneficiaries are Digital Extremes and Silicon Knights.

"At $35 billion in global sales annually, the video game industry is one of the fastest-growing business sectors," said OMDC’s 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’ prototype is a "third-person action game with an old school horror theme" for 360, PS3, and PC.

"Digital Extremes is honoured to have been chosen to participate in the Video Game Prototype Initiative," said Michael Schmalz, Chief Financial Officer, 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. We look forward to collaborating with the OMDC on this and hopefully other projects in the future."

Silicon Knights’ game, meanwhile, is described as "a third-person action/psychological
thriller" (which many have already speculated is a sequel to its first party Nintendo game Eternal Darkness), due for release in 2010 and aimed at all next-gen systems.

"We believe that Ontario, and Niagara in particular, is an excellent place for a company to thrive, and, with the OMDC’s funding through the Video Game Prototype Initiative, it clearly shows that the Ontario government is on the same page," said Denis Dyack, president and founder of Silicon Knights.

"Ontario’s best natural resource is our people, and with all the great universities and colleges in Ontario, there’s an abundance of bright and creative talent. Most of Silicon Knights’ team are graduates of Ontario colleges and universities, and our team members are the best and brightest in their fields. This grant will encourage this great talent to stay within Ontario."

He added: "We hope that this new program will flourish and help expand the Ontario video game industry."

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