Toronto studio 'helps Ubisoft grow beyond games'

Toronto studio 'helps Ubisoft grow beyond games'
Michael French

By Michael French

July 6th 2009 at 9:11PM

Publisher plans to tap into local film and TV talents with new Canada base

The opening of the new Ubisoft Toronto studio will help the publisher widen its talent base 'beyond the world of video games', the firm says.

Speaking this evening in an official confirmation of our earlier story, Ubisoft said the new studio in the bustling Canadian city will create 800 net new jobs within the province over the next 10 years; the government of Ontario is investing CA$263m in the business, while Ubisoft will invest over CAD$0.5bn in the outfit which opens towards the end of the year.

Ubisoft Toronto 'will bring its own flavour to the global Ubisoft brand, which will benefit from the deep pool of dynamic and quality talent trained in video game design and production in the province of Ontario', the firm said in a statement.

Most importantly, however, it will underline the firm's commitment to working in other mediums. At E3 Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said that the firm was committed to 'confluence' - the crossover of ideas between movies and film.

"The Toronto studio will also build on the city’s existing experience with the film production industry," Ubisoft's statement added.

"Collaborating with local film industry veterans to enhance video game production and extend Ubisoft’s convergence strategy, Ubisoft Toronto will contribute to Ubisoft’s global plan of extending its brands to complementary platforms and mediums, including books, comics, short films and other products."

Guillemot himself added: "Today’s announcement marks a strategic move for Ubisoft as we continue to expand our internal development force. We are in an excellent position to grow and after extensive analysis we are thrilled to have reached an agreement with the government of Ontario to found our new studio in Toronto. The city is one of North America’s economic and cultural epicenters and our expectations are high. We’re excited to be able to count on the exceptional local talent, who will contribute to our accelerated growth and will have a profound impact on the video game industry with the excellence of their creativity.”

“We are incredibly excited to finally tap into the remarkable talent Ontario has been developing over the years,” added Yannis Mallat, who will oversee the studio and who also oversees its other Canadian teams - it has studios in Montreal, Quebec City and Vancouver.

“Toronto’s unique pool of experience video game industry and film industry talent will allow us to develop a team with exceptional ability to help us realize our goals for creating brands with universal appeal that extend beyond the world of video games.”