Ubisoft to expand Casablanca studio

Ubisoft to expand Casablanca studio
Michael French

By Michael French

June 14th 2007 at 7:00PM

Studio in North Africa to add 150 jobs by 2010 after government backing

Is there no stopping Ubisoft's aggresive game development plans? Seems not, as the games company that already boasts the second-biggest in-house talent base in the world has announced plan to grow its Casablanca studio in Morocco, North Africa.

Ubisoft plans to add 150 new jobs to the studio based in the city in west Morocco and, much like in the way the company has grown its Montreal studio thanks to generous Quebec tax breaks, the new move comes with a seal of approval form the Moroccan government. An incentive scheme there has recently been put in place to encourage new jobs be opened in the technology sector.

The Casablanca team was founded in 1998 and currently employs 50 people. It has worked on a number of high-profile Ubi games including King Kong, Prince of Perisia The Two Thrones and also developed the recently released DS games of Star Wars Lethal Alliance and Rayman Racing Rabbids. It is currently working on Rayman Raving Rabbids 2 for the Nintendo DS.

It's also the only games developer in Morocco and all of Northern Africa - although that might change thanks to the Moroccan government's scheme - recruiting younger talet from local engineering and art schools. Ubisoft says it presents a good path for employees to then work across its entire network of global studios, which are based in Canada, UK and continental Europe and Shanghai.

"In 1998, Ubisoft chose to create a studio in Casablanca, with the knowledge that the local education system would provide talented people," explained Yves Guillemot, chief executive officer of Ubisoft.

"It is an honor to work with the Moroccan government to significantly expand our presence in the region. Both the video game industry and the Moroccan economy are strong and growing, and we look forward to pioneering the industry in this exciting region."

"There are many young people in Morocco who are passionate about video games," added Cyril Vermeil, managing director of Ubisoft's Casablanca studio. "Our task will be to recruit people who want to grow with Ubisoft to become leading specialists in an industry offering an increasing number of career opportunities for local talent."