Amazon is opening a new game studio in Montreal led by former Rainbow Six Siege developers to work on a new multiplayer game, the company announced today.
The new studio, which joins the company’s existing ones across Seattle, Orange County, and San Diego, will be led by Ubisoft veterans Luc Bouchard, Xavier Marquis, Alexandre Remy, and Romain Rimokh, who were involved in the development of tactical shooter and microtransaction power-house Rainbow Six Siege.
“The highly skilled and experienced team at our new Montreal studio shares our commitment to creating best-in-class online games, and brings with them a wealth of knowledge and passion for building deep, community-focused multiplayer experiences,” Amazon Games VP Christoph Hartmann said in a press release. Hartmann, a veteran of Grand Theft Auto and NBA2K publisher Take-Two, was himself hired only a few years ago to try to help turn Amazon’s game development woes around.
Reports this year and last by Bloomberg and Wired exposed a number of problems at the tech giant when it came to making games, including superficial attempts to cash in on whatever the latest trend was and a “bro culture” that held women at the company back. Last year, Amazon released its team-based shooter Crucible, which flopped so badly it was un-released months later and eventually shut down altogether. Amazon’s other big game, an MMO called New World, was originally supposed to come out last May, but was delayed for a third time earlier this year and is now set to come out in August.
While Google recently announced it was getting out of game development entirely, shutting down its first-party studios for Stadia less than two years after they had gotten off the ground, Amazon appears to be staying the course despite its recent track record — at least for now. Today’s announcement is in part a recruitment pitch to try to attract other talent to help get the new studio and project off the ground. Whether it will ever actually see the light of day, however, remains unclear.