Silicon Knights awarded $4m by Canadian government
65 new jobs expected to be created by move; new game in development
Silicon Knights has been awarded a $4 million grant by the Canadian government, which the Too Human developer says will help it to create 65 new jobs at its studio.
The company, which is based in St Catherines, Ontario, said that the money would be used for the development of its next, as yet unannounced title.
"This is going to benefit Silicon Knights in ways that are profound and long-lasting," company president Denis Dyack told the Welland Tribune.
"We are blown away and we're happy with the support we're getting. It is something that couldn't have come at a better time."
He added that the studio's next project would take an estimated 2-5 years to create. However he couldn't confirm the name of the title, saying: "We can only say it's a next generation title and a high production value game."
Dyack said that his company competes in a $55 billion industry, and that growth in the sector was good for the community, Ontario and Canada.
Ontario MP Rick Dykstra added that the grant, which comes from the federal Community Adjustment Fund, would continue to ensure the city transitioned from traditional manufacturing to modern high tech businesses.
"[Silicon Knights'] growth and their success is very important to our community," he said. "Not only in terms of job creation but also in terms of attracting and retaining the types of highly skilled workers Niagara needs to prosper."
He added that the government is able to give money to a company provided it doesn't impact on a competing business and that Silicon Knights doesn't have competition in the province.
Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz at the end of last year, Dyack said that he was a "big believer" in Canada and Ontario, and that he wanted the industry to grow there.
"If you look at traditional industry, service-based industry, they are going to remain okay. Manufacturing is in decline. But knowledge based industries where we fit in are going to grow," he said.
"I'm a big believer in education and our universities are subsidised quite a bit by Ontario. What the problem is in Ontario is we educate all these people and they leave because there's no employment here. It's really depressing going to [University of] Waterloo to recruit and we see that Microsoft was there before us and took all the best people. The tax payer paid for that education. So we look at it as how can we help the economy?"
"I expect to see Silicon Knights grow, I expect to see Ontario to be a really good place to be over the next five years and you're going to see a massive change," he added.
Patrick Gedge, CEO of the Niagara Economic Development Corp, said that the Silicon Knights funding forms part of a strategy within the area's community.
That strategy includes Brock University and Niagara College offering multi-disciplinary education for graduates and a recent $3 million investment in Niagara Interactive Media Generator nGen.
"All of these announcements aren't investments in isolation," said Gedge. "You can actually see how they tie together in developing a new cluster in Niagara."