Ubisoft Toronto

Today, with the Premier of Ontario, Ubisoft announced the formation of a new AAA development studio in Toronto, Ontario. For those of you who do not know much about Ubisoft, they currently have several development studios in Canada – Montreal, Québec City, and Vancouver.

Ontario is the second province in Canada (after Québec) to provide incentives to Ubisoft to open up a new studio in Canada. While the video game industry is not 100% recession proof, the industry as a whole has done quite well during the recession. Making a move to stimulate industry growth in Ontario is such a great move, bringing more video game development jobs to Canada, and adding to Ubisoft’s size is awesome and will just mean more great games.

Recently there has been some backlash in editorials and I think these people are uninformed. Twelve years ago, the government of Québec provided incentives for Ubisoft to open up a video game studio there, and it has now grown to 1800 people. There aren’t many large development studios in Toronto, which means that many aspiring game development professionals cannot find work in Toronto, and thus have to move to Montreal or out to Vancouver. In Toronto, there are three schools with Video Game studies (IADT, George Brown, and Humber). With all of the students attending these schools, it is not always easy to find work  because of the locations of the video game studios. Because of the current economic times, it was an especially intelligent move on the government’s part because the video game industry whethered the recession well. While there were layoffs throughout the industry, Ubisoft is one of the companies that did not lay people off – but rather has been expanding its operations. Yes, Ubisoft is a profitable organization. But this move will profit Ontario and the some 800 new employees as well.

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