SEGA has announced an agreement "to acquire and publish next-generation game content" from Silicon Knights - perhaps putting to bed persistent rumours surrounding the Canadian developer's future work.
The companies will collaborate on a new franchise for next-generation consoles, they said this afternoon, although details have not been discussed. "Next-generation consoles" could include any of Xbox 2, PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Revolution.
"The partnership brings SEGA more Western-developed content in preparation for high-growth opportunities presented by next-generation hardware platforms," SEGA said in a statement.
It's certainly another example of SEGA's increased emphasis on the Western market - after partnerships with Warner Bros. on Matrix Online, which launched in the States this week, and the recent acquisition of Total War developer The Creative Assembly.
"We intend to establish SEGA as a leading publisher on the next generation of game hardware and only the highest possible quality of Western-developed content will get us there," said Simon Jeffery, President and COO, SEGA of America.
"Silicon Knights has a rich history of developing great games that push hardware technology, so we expect this relationship will result in a powerful, new, and highly commercial franchise," he added.
Silicon Knights is a developer of undeniable pedigree, whose recent GameCube projects have been massively popular with critics and fans. Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem is widely regarded as one of the most progressive and inventive "survival horror" titles of our time, while Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes - a remake of the PlayStation classic Metal Gear Solid - is a benchmark for remakes and considered by many fans of the series to be the definitive version of the work.
SEGA will be hoping for similar things from Silicon Knights, which has been linked to various possible projects on various platforms over past months, when it comes to the next-generation of console hardware.
The publisher is taking a very active interest in the next-generation of formats, and recently announced that it would publish Monolith Productions' Condemned (preview), with an Xbox 2 version expected first.