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Silicon Knights gets $3-million from Ontario government

Someone at St. Catherine's, Ontario-based Silicon Knights seems to know how to grease government wheels.

After receiving a $4-million investment from the federal government in 2010 that was put toward hiring 65 new people for the development of an unnamed triple-A title (it now looks as though that game is X-Men Destiny, which could arrive as early as this fall) the Canadian game developer has managed to procure an additional $3-million from Ontario's McGuinty government. The fresh cash will be used to add 80 new positions within the company as well as protect 97 existing jobs, according to a statement issued by the Ontario government.

It's also meant to help with the development of a new proprietary game engine apparently intended for use on next-generation game systems. Game engine development is an area in which the studio already has some expertise, having put together its own in order to complete a game five years ago after falling into a legal battle concerning the use of Epic Games' Unreal Engine 3.

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Best known for critical hit Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem, a psychological horror game released for Nintendo GameCube in 2002, Silicon Knights has also developed such notable titles as Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, and 2008's much hyped but ultimately disappointing cooperative action role-playing game Too Human .

Additional Silicon Knights games believed to be in development include a Too Human sequel and a project dubbed Siren of the Maelstrom about which little is currently known.

Denis Dyack, the company's occasionally controversial president, is quoted in the government release as saying the investment will also help the company become a self-sustaining, independent publisher.

With Silicon Knights soon to become an employer of more than 170 highly skilled workers, the now sizable studio further cements Southern Ontario's position as a budding hotbed for game development.

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About the Author
Game and Gadget Reporter

Chad Sapieha has been writing about video games and consumer gadgets for the Globe and Mail since 2003. His work has been published in magazines, newspapers, and Web sites across North America, and he has appeared as an expert on television and radio newscasts. More

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