CANADA SPECIAL: Ubisoft Québec City

CANADA SPECIAL: Ubisoft Québec City
Will Freeman

By Will Freeman

November 11th 2009 at 11:00AM

Next on our tour of Canada, we stop at the Rainbow Six studio...

Number of staff: 240
Year founded: 2005
Location: Quebec City, Canada
Previous projects: Combat of Giants: Dragons (DS), Combat of Giants: Dinosaurs (DS), Rainbow Six Vegas (PSP), Surf’s Up (DS, PSP, GBA), Open Season (DS, PSP, GBA), Cranium Kabookii (Wii), TMNT (DS, PSP), My Stop Smoking Coach with Allen Carr (DS), Wordfish (DS), Rainbow Six: Critical Hour (Xbox)
www.ubi.com


Ubisoft Québec celebrates its fifth birthday in 2010. When founded its objective was to grow to 200 in five years – something it managed in just 18 months.

“Over the recent years, we have seen the industry evolving a lot, especially in the greater Quebec City area,” explains general manager Nicolas Rioux. “Since 2005, we noticed an important growth of 350 per cent of people working in the video game industry. IT companies, schools, universities and the governments have all the same will to create a world renowned strong and dynamic hub for digital arts and entertainment.

“Canada is a great place to work wherever you come from. It has a high quality of life and a lot of talented people working in art and science. Video game is the perfect combination of both fields. We have a lot of schools and universities, especially in Quebec, teaching video game programming, animation, digital arts, etc.”

At first, the studio cut its teeth of licensed and franchise games, such as Surf’s Up, Cranium and Rainbow Six Vegas PSP – still one of the best-sellers on the handheld and rereleased earlier this year for PSPgo. But it expanded to new IP last year with Combat of Giants: Dinosaurs. That title has been a huge success to its target audience of boys aged six to 12.

Rioux adds: “We have multiple teams working on different projects at different stages of development. At the moment, we have around five teams working on the same amount of titles. We also have a team of 30 people developing and supporting a whole game production pipeline used in more than 30 Ubisoft projects all around the world.”

Going forward, the studio plans to drive forward Ubisoft’s work in new fields as well as established platforms – and says the relatively smaller scale of the studio will help that happen: “We develop all types of games on multiple platforms, not to forget strong Ubisoft brands. We want to go out of traditional paths and explore new avenues.