Ontario is once again showing how the province supports digital media development and the impact the industry has on the economy. St. Catharines game development studio Silicon Knights has received significant assistance from Ontario’s government, which will allow Silicon Knights to expand its production capabilities and create 80 new jobs as well as protect 97 existing positions.
With the province’s support, the company is developing a 3D Game Development Engine that will include new advanced camera systems, improved audio and video and better computing technology. The new 3D tools will help the company develop the next generation of gaming systems and become a self-sustainable, self-publishing company. Silicon Knights is also working on the latest X-Men game title, Destiny, which is scheduled for release in early Fall 2011.
“With Ontario government support, we are better-positioned to further develop the 8th Art of video games,” said Silicon Knights President Denis Dyack. “This will enhance our competitive edge within the highly-competitive video game market, help us become a self-sustainable, self-publishing entity, and allow us to enter lucrative global markets.”
Last summer Silicon Knights had also announced its exciting collaboration with McMaster University, the Art Gallery of Hamilton (AGH) and Mohawk College. The partners will work to create a new research institute around interactive digital media that will pioneer and shape cutting-edge advances in the interactive entertainment arena. The initiative, called “Eight: The Hamilton Institute for Interactive Digital Media,” will be located at McMaster Innovation Park in Hamilton and will debut in 2011.
The partnership brings together several prominent groups whose talents and synergies will result in a groundbreaking initiative. Silicon Knights brings its development and creative expertise, which complements the talented faculty at McMaster, a leading research-intensive university with a track record of world-class research and education capabilities. AGH, a leading public art gallery that positions digital art as one of its key artistic activities through research exhibition and education, has a solid track record of engaging, stimulating and enriching the community through art, and this expertise will be compounded by talented faculty and staff at Mohawk College, with its keen focus on and responsiveness to industry and market trends.
Investing in local business is a key component of the McGuinty Government’s plan to create and support jobs for Ontario families and strengthen local economies. Ontario is home to about 1,000 interactive digital media companies that contribute almost $1.5 billion annually to Ontario’s economy and employ around 16,000 people, and the province’s Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit was valued at close to $20 million in 2009-10.