Publisher Ubisoft has announced plans to invest $28 million in its Quebec City studio, adding 100 new jobs in the next three years.
Ubisoft Quebec, one of three Ubisoft studios in North America, previously worked with other Ubisoft branches on a host of triple-A titles for previous generation systems, including Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood and Assassin's Creed: Revelations for PlayStation 3, alongside. Ubisoft Quebec also developed the PSP port of Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, though its most recent efforts include the Wii U versions of Assassin's Creed III and Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag.
Yves Guillemot, Ubisoft's co-founder and CEO, expressed confidence in the Quebec studio's future in today's announcement, stating, "Our Quebec City studio has demonstrated its ability to manage large-scale projects and it is a natural progression to entrust the team with the production of AAA next-gen games."
Indeed, the announcement specifically cites a desire for the Quebec City studio to "take the lead" on next-gen projects, which go unnamed. A $510,000 contribution from the Quebec government will aid talent acquisition and studio expansion beyond its current 320 employees. Quebec prime minister Pauline Marois said, "We are proud to accompany Ubisoft in its growth in Quebec. Interactive entertainment is an important vector for the economy in the Quebec City region, and helps to promote Quebec’s savoir-faire on an international level."
This governmental investment calls to mind the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation loaning $75 million to 38 Studios, the brainchild of MLB slugger Curt Schilling, in 2010 to aid development of fantasy titles like Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning and Project Copernicus, a planned MMO. While 38 Studios' ultimate bankruptcy and default on the Rhode Island loan casts wariness over governmental aid to video game developers, there's stark contrast here: $75 million and $510,000 are incomparable amounts of money, and the language of Ubisoft's announcement suggests a Quebec City contribution without terms, unlike Rhode Island's loan. At the time, Curt Schilling had promised the creation of 450 jobs for the state by the end of 2012.
Coming up on Ubisoft's release docket are Watch Dogs (developed for PS4 and PS3 by Ubisoft Montreal), South Park: Stick of Truth (PS3, by Obsidian Entertainment), Child of Light (PS4 and PS3, by Ubisoft Montreal), The Crew (PS4, by Ivory Tower and Ubisoft Reflections), and Tom Clancy's The Division (PS4, by Ubisoft Massive). The next-gen titles that Ubisoft Quebec will take charge of seem unannounced at this time.