Officials have announced the foundation of a new development studio based in Northern Ireland, named Dark Water Studios.
The studios is headed by Mike Brown, a games industry veteran with twenty years experience, with Paul Houbart (who has experience at companies including U.S. Gold, MicroProse and Acclaim) announced as technology manager and Rory Fellowes (who also boasts more than twenty years of industry experience) as lead animator. The team currently consists of ten programmers, artists and support staff with an ongoing recruitment drive to maintain a staff of twenty-five by the end of 2007.
Following the studio’s success in the government’s “Broadband Content Initiative” competition, the studio’s first project will be partially funded by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI).
The company’s first title will be a PC multiplayer game, with the team also working on prototypes of another original title for the PC and next generation consoles. The studio’s stated aim is to combine the creation of original intellectual properties with work on “complementary” third party projects.
"Starting, as we have done, with what was effectively a 'blank piece of paper' has allowed us to build a thoroughly modern, 21st century game development organization which is perfectly placed to take advantage of new production tools, methodologies and working practices," said Brown in a statement. "Our aim is to bring together the cream of available game-creation talent; by drawing from Northern Ireland's existing talent pool, by using the quality of life offered by this unique location to attract the cream of overseas talent and by making good use of the opportunities for outsourcing and remote working which modern technology allows."
"Our unique location - and the economies of scale which it offers - allows us to provide all of the benefits of off-shore development, without the complications which arise when business is conducted across borders," adds Brown. "I'm confident that Dark Water is looking at a very bright future."