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Award-winning Welsh language video game hits a million downloads

19 Mar 2021 2 minute read
Maid of Sker is a survival horror game inspired by Welsh folklore. By Wales Interactive.

An award-winning Welsh language video game has hit one million downloads.

Survival horror game Maid of Sker, which is produced by Pencoed-based Wales Interactive, is inspired by Welsh folklore, and set in a remote hotel.

The game’s atmosphere is enhanced by the re-imagining of famous Welsh songs Calon Lân (A Pure Heart), Suo-Gân (Welsh Lullaby) and Ar Hyd Y Nos (All Through the Night) from the spine-chilling voice of Welsh artist Tia Kalmaru.

The game picked up the Heritage award at last year’s prestigious TIGA games industry ‘Oscars’.

The title originates from a Welsh ballad, The Maid of Sker and a novel of the same name was written by Lorna Doone author R. D. Blackmore who was familiar with Sker House near Porthcawl.

Set in 1898, and inspired by the haunting Welsh tale of Elisabeth Williams, the video game follows a family empire driven by torture, slavery, piracy and a supernatural mystery that suffocates the grounds of the hotel.

‘Great commercial success’

Co-founder and Director Richard Pring said: “Maid of Sker was critically well received when it was launched last summer, and now it’s becoming a great commercial success with a million downloads to date.

“It’s a real ‘made in Wales’ story, with a strong Welsh narrative, and was produced in our studio in Pencoed – in fact some of our team even worked on it from home when lockdown was imposed.”

Last year, fan site Rely On Horror said: “Maid of Sker is easily one of my top horror games this year so far, even standing its own against the AAA horror giants like Resident Evil 3. 9/10”

Maid of Sker received significant Creative Europe video games development funding from the Creative Europe Programme, and were assisted with their application by Creative Europe Desk UK Wales, which is part of Creative Wales.

Gerwyn Evans, Deputy Director for Creative Wales said: “Wales Interactive is a terrific example of a commercially successful Welsh company with the talent and ambition to become one of the best games companies in the world.

“The Maid of Sker has taken the Welsh language and culture to a new global audience through the medium of video games, a community that has seen massive expansion during the pandemic”.

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