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Digital Extremes

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Digital Extremes is a game development company based in London, Ontario, Canada. Digital Extremes is the co-creator of several games in the Unreal series, such as the original Unreal, Unreal Tournament, Unreal Tournament 2003/2004 and Unreal Championship

Digital Extremes


In the late 80's and early 90's (during the shareware craze) the Canadian game developer James Schmalz developed a series of shareware games, which were published by several different companies. After a venture with Big Blue Disc, James went to then Epic MegaGames to release 2 of his games: Solar Winds and a game called Epic Pinball. The latter became a huge hit, and gave James the opportunity (and the money) to start his own company: Digital Extremes. The first games developed by DE were pinball games (including the sequel to Epic Pinball) and a revolutionary new 3d-shooter that later became known as Unreal. 4 years after James Schmalz developed the first Unreal demo, the game was released, bringing in another success for DE.

In 2001, Digital Extremes formed a second studio in Toronto, Ontario to focus on developing console games. The new studio was named Brain Box Games, but this later became the name of a small division of the Toronto studio that focused on budget games. Since then, the Toronto studio was renamed to Digital Extremes Toronto, and the primary studio in London was renamed to Digital Extremes London.

The partnership with Epic proved to be fruitful, and they continued to work together on Unreal Tournament and Unreal Tournament 2 (which was later renamed to UT2003 / Unreal Championship.) Halfway through the development it became clear that both games would be finished faster if each team was dedicated to one specific game. DE then took over UC, while Epic finished UT2003.

After these games, DE started to focus on it's own franchises: The Toronto studio worked on their first-person shooter Pariah while the London studio was still working on Dark Sector. After Pariah finished development, the Toronto studio began working on Pariah: Shroud Wars. Unfortunately, since Pariah was a commercial flop, Shroud Wars was renamed WarPath and took on a new life as a whole new game. In 2005, the London and Toronto studios merged so that they could both work together on WarPath and Dark Sector. Warpath was released a year later, while Dark Sector was released in 2008. During the final years of Dark Sector's development, Epic started to work on the 3rd generation UT title: Unreal Tournament 3. This ended up being the first title in the UT series that wasn't co-developed by DE.

On July 3, 2008, 2K Games announced a partnership with Digital Extremes to optimize the UE3 game BioShock for the PlayStation 3.

Past titles

PC games

Console games

  • Unreal Tournament - (2000) PlayStation 2/Dreamcast
  • Unreal Championship - (2002) Xbox
  • Pariah - (2005) Xbox
  • Warpath - (2006) Xbox
  • Dark Sector - (2008) Xbox 360/PS3
  • BioShock 2 (multiplayer) - (Fall 2009) PS3/Xbox 360/PC

Current Projects