After three years of relentless pursuit, the government of Ontario has pledged $US260 million in order to help Ubisoft create a new studio in Toronto, creating more than 800 new jobs in the process.
The announcement comes today by way of a live press conference with the Premier of Ontario, Dalton McGuinty, held against a backdrop declaring "New Jobs for Ontario". Minister of International Trade and Investment Sandra Pupatello took the stage first, explaining to the audience how large the video game business is, citing the example of Spider-Man, the video game adaptation of the movie that grossed more than the film itself. "This has been a labour of love... over two years in the making." Apparently they've wanted Ubisoft for quite some time.
Next came the Premiere himself, talking about gaming stats. 75% of Ontario residents play video games. "Video games. This isn't kid's stuff; and this isn't child's play. This is serious business." The government has been trying to land a partnership with Ubisoft, and now Ontario will be investing $US260 million dollars as part of a partnership with Ubisoft to develop a major game studio in Toronto, creating more than 800 jobs in the process. "This is a truly exciting opportunity for Ontario."
Ubisoft Montreal CEO Yannis Mallat took the podium next, after it was revealed that he will become the CEO of Ubisoft Toronto. He explains that the new studio will focus on creating and developing triple-A video games, creating more than 800 jobs over the course of the next 10 years.
He detailed the four main pillars of the new Toronto Studio: the support of the government; Toronto's growing pool of gaming and film industry talent; the groundwork laid down by all of Ubisoft's other studios around the world allowing the new studio to make an immediate impact; and Toronto's thriving cultural scene. It's the same strategy they used to establish Ubisoft Montreal.
The new studio joins Ubisoft's 2 previous Canadian studios on Quebec City and Montreal Quebec, which boast a staff of more than 2,000 employees between them.