Ubisoft will invest $4 million of a previously announced $28 million investment in a new workspace at 585 Boulevard Charest Est in Quebec City for the development of the next Assassin’s Creed game. It’s also set to aggressively hire over the next three years.
The move, announced yesterday, comes somewhat as a surprise given that the government of Quebec cut tax credits for studios to as low as 24 percent on games produced in English. That move came a few weeks ago when the province said tax credits will fall to 30 percent if the title is produced in French, and lower for English. Previously, the roughly 130 Quebec-based studios could access a maximum 37.5 percent tax credit on salaries.
Still, those tax credits are much more favourable over many other regions in North America, and Ubisoft seems confident in its future. Previously the Assassin’s Creed games have been produced in Montreal in partnership with multiple Ubisoft studios, including Quebec.
“It’s all part of a major investment in the Quebec City studio, which includes a significant increase in the number of staff along with all-new facilities in Quebec’s St-Roch district,” wrote Ubisoft’s Gary Steinman. “This investment is bolstered by the city of Quebec, which will contribute $500,000 in financial support.”
Ubisoft announced in January that Quebec would expand its talent pool by around 100 new staff over the next three years. Quebec has hired more than half of their goal, bringing its total team up to 350 people.
“Since 2010, our understanding of the franchise has increased each year,” added Nicolas Rioux, the managing director of Ubisoft’s Quebec office. “We were involved in Brotherhood. We were involved in Revelations. We were involved in Assassin’s Creed III. With AC III we were working on the biggest DLC for the franchise – The Tyranny of King Washington. After that we were also involved with Freedom Cry. We have the confidence of the brand team and also from Ubisoft to take leadership of an upcoming Assassin’s Creed title. The team is ready for the next big step.”
Lucky for bilinguals, the studio is aggressively hiring too. The studio is committed to being in St-Roch for the next 14 years, after Ubisoft signed a dozen-year lease that begins when the new location is completed in 2016. They’re recruiting for positions that include level designers, game designers, character artists, audio designers, animators, technical directors, testers and more.
“We plan to be at 425 people before the end of 2017,” said Rioux. He called the St.Roch area one that’s “bursting with creativity.”