Ubisoft is announcing today that it will hire 500 employees over the next seven years to work at its Montreal headquarters, as it seeks to consolidate its American operations for online games and of infrastructures into its global Quebec-based hub.
The good news should boost Ubisoft’s stock among Montrealers, especially after the other big gaming company, Electronic Arts, dropped a huge bomb in April when it laid off at least 170 employees, including its entire mobile operations unit.
On top of the consolidation (which likely spells out a few less jobs in the US), the company will be investing in the expansion of its “motion capture technologies expertise”. That will translate to $373 million over seven years, and the 500 new jobs in Montreal over the same period. By 2020, Ubisoft should provide employment for more than 3,500 professionals within its Montreal studios.
“The imminent arrival of the next generation of consoles, the expansion of mobile platforms, the multiplication of connected, immersive, and social environments, and the strategic importance of the relationship between developers and players are profoundly transforming the video game industry,” said CEO Yves Guillemot. “Today’s announcement allows us to anticipate the growth of our future needs with the main objective of strengthening proximity with our players and creating value for them.”
The 500 new jobs cover a wide range of new skills essential to the development, the production, and the operations of a new generation of video games. Positions will include community and network management specialists, business intelligence analysts, mathematicians, telemetry experts, systems operators, and monetization and interactive marketing specialists.
“The expertise found at Ubisoft’s Quebec studios is at the heart of the group’s growth and success for over 16 years. To this established and recognized know-how, we add new needs in terms of infrastructures and online operations, in anticipation of the new experiences players expect,” said Ubisoft’s Yannis Mallat. “Today, we are demonstrating once more our commitment to creativity, to technological expertise in Quebec, as well as our promise to pursue wealth creation here.”
It’s been no secret that big gaming companies like Ubisoft and EA have flocked to Quebec over the past decade in order to leverage the province’s generous gaming tax credit, the “Tax Credit for Multimedia Titles”. It comes as no surprise then that the project was made possible after the Quebec Government announced a non-refundable $9.9 million financial contribution (and adjustments) to the Tax Credit.
“We firmly believe in the importance of creative industries for our economy and are pleased to have been supporting Ubisoft since their arrival in Quebec, in 1997,” said Quebec’s Premier, Pauline Marois. “Their growth and concrete economic benefits for the Quebec nation are true sources of pride. The project announced today, bringing about important job creation, allows us to foresee success in the future.”