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Digital Extremes

is a Canadian computer and video game development studio founded in 1993 by James Schmalz, best known for its co-creation of Epic Games' highly successful Unreal series... read more

Games Sword Coast Legends...Warframe...
Founder
James Schmalz
Founding date
1993
Address
City: London, Ontario
ZIP: N6A5P2
Country: Canada
Number of Employees
101+
Other inquiries
Website
Social Media
Updated
11/14/2016 3:46:20 PM
Digital Extremes

is a Canadian computer and video game development studio founded in 1993 by James Schmalz, best known for its co-creation of Epic Games' highly successful Unreal series of games. Digital Extremes is headquartered in London, Ontario. In 2014, 61% of the company was sold to Chinese holding company Multi Dynamic, now Leyou, for $73 million. President Michael Schmalz and two partners retained 39% of Digital Extremes, and will continue to manage it.

Description

History

Founder James Schmalz began developing games at the age of 12, creating an Ultima clone called Sorcery on an Apple IIe computer. From there, he continued dabbling with game development through his University years at University of Waterloo. Upon graduation, left with a choice between a full-time paid engineering position and the option of self-employed game developer, Schmalz chose the latter and created Epic Pinball, published by then shareware publisher, Epic Megagames. Bolstered from the success of Epic Pinball and the rising technology movement in the mid-90's toward realistic 3D graphics, Schmalz officially founded Digital Extremes in 1993 and the company began co-development with Epic Games on what would become Epic Games' Unreal franchise.

Unreal was a first-person shooter released in 1998, and was followed up with Unreal Tournament in 1999. Both received many editorial and industry awards including Game of the Year. Subsequent sequels in the Unreal franchise, included Unreal Championship, Unreal Tournament 2003, and Unreal Tournament 2004. To date, the Unreal series has sold more than 15 million units worldwide across a multitude of gaming platforms including PlayStation 2, Dreamcast, Xbox, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Mac and PC. Several of the game's iterations are currently available for download on Steam (software).

After years of working in the same universe with Unreal, Digital Extremes broadened its library and technology with development of its original IP, Dark Sector. A third-person shooter, released in 2008 for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC, Dark Sector used Digital Extremes' proprietary game engine, Evolution.

Following Dark Sector, Digital Extremes continued expansion in response to the growth in the industry and the need to stay competitive through the next-generation console transition. In recent years, Digital Extremes has assisted 2K with the PS3 version of blockbuster hit, BioShock, as well as developed the multiplayercomponent of the sequel, BioShock 2 while simultaneously developing the multiplayer portion of THQ's first-person shooter, Homefront. Digital Extremes developed the game for the Star Trek Into Darkness movie, working with Bandai Namco and Paramount to develop Star Trek.

On October 14, 2014, Sumpo Food Holdings Ltd. acquired majority share of Digital Extremes, with Perfect World Co. acquiring minority.

Projects

Digital Extremes has recently developed Warframe, a Free-to-play title. It is the spiritual successor to Dark Sector, as mentioned by the developers, since Dark Sector was officially disregarded as canon during an early Dev Stream.

Warframe is a free-to-play third-person shooter, placing the players in a position to play solo or co-op against multiple enemy AIs. They must take back the Solar System from the Grineer Empire, the Corpus, and other various enemies. It is currently in update "The Vacuum Within"  and is available for download via Steam, their official website, via PS4 and now Xbox One.

Digital Extremes is currently working with n-Space-(as the title confirms) to develop a fantasy role-playing game, Sword Coast Legends, which is set within the Dungeon and Dragons franchise.

Technology

Evolution is Digital Extremes' proprietary game engine. The engine made its debut with Dark Sector; and was again utilized in The Darkness II. 2013's Star Trek featured use of the Evolution engine; and the engine was also used for the 2013 free-to-play online title Warframe.

Awards and recognition

Digital Extremes employment environment has been recognized as one of Canada's Top Employers for 2010, 2011 and 2012. Additionally, the company has been recognized as one of Canada's top employers for Young People. In 2010 and 2011, the Financial Post named Digital Extremes one of the ten best companies to work for in Canada. On the provincial level, Digital Extremes received the Ontario Small Business Award in 2010. Digital Extremes was also presented with the Large Business of the Year award in 2011 from the London Chamber of Commerce. Digital Extremes was also awarded the Excellence in Human Resources award from The London Chamber of Commerce in early 2012. In 2011, a Quality Assurance tester filed a claim with the Ontario Ministry of Labour for alleged working hour violations and unpaid overtime, on the basis that the Quality Assurance tester position did not fall under an "Information Technology Professional" exemption from working hour and overtime pay regulations. The Ministry upheld the claim and Digital Extremes complied with its judgment without contest.

Games developed

Year
Title
Platform(s)
DC
DOS
Lin
Mac
PS
PS2
PS3
PS4
Win
Xbox
X360
XOne
1993
Solar Winds
No
Yes
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
1993
Epic Pinball
No
Yes
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
1993
Silverball
No
Yes
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
1995
Extreme Pinball
No
Yes
No
No
Yes
No
Yes
No
No
No
No
No
1998
Unreal
No
No
No
Yes
No
No
No
No
Yes
No
No
No
1999
Unreal Tournament
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
No
No
Yes
No
No
No
2001
Adventure Pinball: Forgotten Island
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
Yes
No
No
No
2002
Unreal Championship
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
Yes
No
No
2002
Unreal Tournament 2003
No
No
Yes
Yes
No
No
No
No
Yes
No
No
No
2004
Unreal Tournament 2004
No
No
Yes
Yes
No
No
No
No
Yes
No
No
No
2005
Pariah
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
Yes
Yes
No
No
2006
Warpath
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
Yes
Yes
No
No
2008
Dark Sector
No
No
No
No
No
No
Yes
No
Yes
No
Yes
No
2008
BioShock(PS3 port)
No
No
No
No
No
No
Yes
No
No
No
No
No
2010
BioShock 2(multiplayer)
No
No
No
Yes
No
No
Yes
No
Yes
No
Yes
No
2011
Homefront (multiplayer)
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
Yes
No
No
No
2012
The Darkness II
No
No
No
Yes
No
No
Yes
No
Yes
No
Yes
No
2013
Warframe
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
Yes
Yes
No
No
Yes
2013
Star Trek
No
No
No
No
No
No
Yes
No
Yes
No
Yes
No
2015
Sword Coast Legends
No
No
Yes
Yes
No
No
No
Yes
Yes
No
No
Yes

This article uses materialfrom the Wikipedia article Digital Extremes, which is released under the CreativeCommons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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Awards & Recognition

  • Canada's Top 100 Employers - 2016, 2015, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009
  • Canada's Top Employers for Young People - 2013, 2012
  • Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers - 2016, 2015


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