IGN subsidiary GameSpy Technology today announced the first five independent development houses that have been selected to participate in the company's Indie Open House program.
Cryptic Sea, Team Ethereal, Evanatiks, Runt, Inc. and Interabang Entertainment will all receive six months free use of IGN's office space, peer support, and consultation as they work on projects ranging from a medieval combat game to a mullet-based action-adventure brawler.
The Open House developers will also be able to use GameSpy's online matchmaking and social networking technology through the GameSpy Open initiative
, and potentially have access to the company's Direct2Drive digital distribution network and coverage from IGN's editorial concerns.
Four of the selected developers hail from California, though Team Ethereal's group of students from Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon University will relocate all the way to IGN's San Francisco offices for the residency.
In an interview with Gamasutra last September
, IGN president Roy Bahat told Gamasutra the company was inspired by an "enormous respect for the power of new, nimble, small, free game development teams."
Though IGN doesn't receive any direct financial gain or interest in the resultant games that come out of its support, Bahat said he hoped the company would benefit from a close relationship to the indie community in other ways.
"Our view at GameSpy is that the future of video games and interactive entertainment is being shaped by independent developers working to create new and unique experiences," GameSpy VP of Technology Todd Northcutt said in a statement. "We see this program as a great way for all involved to do one thing -- make great games while helping further evolve video games as a whole."
The first games to come out of the program will be showcased at GameSpy's booth at the Game Developer's Conference this March.