Digital Extremes

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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 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. 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-90s 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 games iterations are currently available for download on Steam (software).