"The interactive games industry is growing rapidly and we expect it to double within seven years," said Yves Guillemot, Ubisoft"s CEO and co-founder. "Ubisoft is home to the second-largest creative team in the industry and it has a world-leading studio in Montreal. These are two critical elements for the future, especially considering that the next generation of game consoles will offer unparalleled potential in terms of content and technology.
"This investment strengthens Ubisoft's leadership in the industry and allows it to develop the blockbuster games of the next five years. This maximizes the unique potential of the Montreal studio, which has already developed some of the most successful interactive games in the world, including Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell, Tom Clancy"s Rainbow Six, and Prince of Persia."
Mr. Jean Charest, Quebec Premier, Mr. Michel Audet, Quebec's Minister of Economic and Regional Development and Research, and Honourable Jacques Saada, Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada and Minister responsible for the Francophonie, were present at the announcement.
As part of this North American expansion, Ubisoft's investment could total $700 million CAD over five years. The company will also benefit from significant support from the Government of Quebec and the Government of Canada (see Annex 1).
Martin Tremblay, Ubisoft Montreal's CEO since 2000, believes that this project could lead to the creation of 1,000 jobs in his studio.
"We've grown by 50 per cent in the last 14 months alone, we already have over 1,000 members in our team, and I expect we"ll double that number by 2010," Mr. Tremblay said. "Montreal was competing with cities in Asia, the US and Western Canada for this investment.
"Government support, especially in the form of reimbursable tax credits from the province for the production of multimedia projects, were important factors," Mr. Tremblay added, "and I must say that the talent and resources here in Montreal were deciding factors in Ubisoft's decision."
Montreal"s Ubisoft Divertissements inc. was launched as a development studio in 1997, expecting to create 800 jobs in five to 10 years. Ubisoft currently employs over 1000 staff in the Montreal headquarters.
"Our Montreal studio stands out because of the creativity of our team and the sophisticated products we deliver," said Mr. Guillemot. "Our talented and expert creative team is known to millions of interactive game players around the world, players who recognize how products are developed here in Montreal. Government support expected between 2005-2010 was a key factor in our choice of Montreal for our next phase of development. "
Games recently developed in Ubisoft's Montreal studios include Tom Clancy"s Splinter Cell Chaos Theory (the next edition will be launched this March following the success of the first two Splinter Cell titles that have sold over 9.6 million copies world-wide), Prince of Persia Warrior Within (which sold 1.8 million copies in the first two weeks of its release in December 2004 to double its predecessor), as well as Myst IV Revelation (the fourth edition of one of the most successful video game titles in history).