OMDC Invests $1 Million in Video Game Prototype Initiative

    TORONTO, Feb. 12 /CNW/ - Ontario Media Development Corporation's
President and CEO Karen Thorne-Stone today announced OMDC's investment of
$1 million in the development of two video game prototypes.
    The investment, through OMDC's pilot Video Game Prototype Initiative,
will provide Ontario game developers Digital Extremes of London and Silicon
Knights of St. Catharines with funding to create prototypes for their video
game concepts enabling them to showcase their ideas and attract financing from
publishers to create final, market-ready video games.
    "At $35 billion in global sales annually, the video game industry is one
of the fastest-growing business sectors," said 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. Target platforms include Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony
PlayStation 3 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."
    The Silicon Knights game, which is a third-person action/psychological
thriller, will be completed in 2010 and is targeted for all next-generation
    "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
    Dyack added, "We hope that this new program will flourish and help expand
the Ontario video game industry."
    OMDC Video Game Prototype Initiative decisions are made by a review panel
of established industry developers and publishers and OMDC staff. The OMDC
wishes to thank the industry jurors for their significant contribution of time
and expertise: Andrew Ayre, Other Ocean Interactive, Jay Cohen, UbiSoft
Entertainment and Dan Winters, Activision.

    About OMDC Video Game Prototype Initiative:

    The OMDC Video Game Prototype Initiative is a one time offering that will
provide Ontario video game developers with funding of up to $500,000 for the
creation of a prototype in order to secure a publisher or attract financing
for a market-ready, commercial video game product. For information on this
program go to

    About Ontario Media Development Corporation:

    Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) is an agency of the Ontario
Ministry of Culture that facilitates economic development opportunities for
Ontario's cultural media industries including book publishing, film and
television, interactive digital media, magazine publishing, and music



    Disponible en français

For further information:

For further information: George McNeillie, OMDC, (416) 314-6858

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