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Bright Future For Dark Water

January 22nd 2007

The UK's game development community has today gained another member, as Derry-based Dark Water Studios opens for business.

Although the studio is entirely new, it boasts a wealth of experience from the top down; the Head of Studio is Mike Brown, a game development veteran with 20 years' experience earned on both sides of the developer/publisher divide. Brown will be assisted by the studio's equally-experienced Technology Manager Paul Houbart (whose CV includes stints with US Gold, MicroProse and Acclaim) and Lead Animator Rory Fellowes (who brings to the studio more than 20 years of experience in digital animation). The team currently consists of 10 programmers, artists and support staff, with an ongoing recruitment drive aiming to deliver a headcount of 25 by the end of 2007.

"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 organisation which is perfectly placed to take advantage of new production tools, methodologies and working practices," offers Brown. "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."

Thanks to the studio's success in the Government's recent 'Broadband Content Initiative' competition, Dark Water's first project will be partially funded by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI). In addition to working on this as-yet unnamed PC multi-player title, the team is also in the early stages of prototyping an original title for PC and the next-gen console platforms, details of which will be announced at a later date.

This initial workload perfectly reflects the studio's ambition, which is to combine the creation of its own, original titles with work on complementary third-party projects.

"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."

Further information on Dark Water Studios and its début projects is available online at www.dark-water-studios.com.

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