British game makers saved by Sony

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Gaming

A team of British game makers, who lost their jobs just over six months ago, has landed a major deal with one of the biggest names in entertainment.

They have been hired by Sony to make an exclusive game for its next-generation console, the PlayStation 3.

It is a major turnaround in the fortunes of Tameem Antoniades and his team at Ninja Theory.

In October, their world was turned upside down with the collapse of top UK indie game developers, Argonaut Games.
By then, the team had been working on a prototype of the game, called Heavenly Sword, for 10 months at their Cambridge studios.

The game was highlighted by Sony during the launch of its PlayStation 3 at the E3 games expo in Los Angeles.

"The future is quite bright for us now, whereas a few months ago it was very, very grim," Mr Antoniades told the BBC News website.

Following the collapse of Argonaut, Mr Antoniades and his colleagues, Nina Kristensen and Mike Ball, set up their own operation, Ninja Theory.

But most publishers shied away from committing to funding an untested game for an unknown console.

To get to the deal with Sony Computer Entertainment Europe was "soul-destroyingly difficult".

"For a moment I started to lose hope that you can survive in this business," said Mr Antoniades.

Now, Mr Antoniades believes that Ninja Theory has shown that there is hope for small developers.

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