For years now, retail video game sales have been in decline. With consoles aging and established console-exclusive franchises such as Gears of War and God of War showing their age, gamers have been less likely to throw down their money for games that aren’t Call of Duty or GTA V. Now that Sony and Microsoft’s next-generation consoles are less than two months away, however, a bit of optimism is creeping back into the games industry.
Publisher Ubisoft today announced that it will be expanding its Montreal studio by adding 500 new employees. This is on top of the new employees Ubisoft’s Montreal operations earlier this year after the publisher bought THQ’s Montreal studio. The new hires will come in a variety of areas, including non-traditional gaming professions such as mathematicians and “interactive marketing” in addition to programmers and development team members.
The hiring process will take place over the next seven years and is expected to cost $373 million. By 2020 Ubisoft should be employing around 3,500 people in the whole of Qubec.
“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 Yves Guillemot, Ubisoft CEO . “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 Montreal studio has been the source of some of Ubisoft’s most popular recent titles, including the Prince of Persia series, the Assassin’s Creed series, and last year’s Far Cry 3. The upcoming Watch Dogs was also created at the studio.