Eidos -- the UK company that produced some lady named Lara Croft (never heard of her), as well as bad ass Agent 47 from the Hitman
series -- is opening a studio in Montreal, Quebec (that's in Canada
, for the geographically-challenged amongst us). They haven't struck gaming paydirt lately (Battlestations: Midway
and Just Cause
both earned lukewarm reviews) but this move to the land of mounties may signify good things to come. Hold your breath.
EIDOS OPENS A STUDIO IN QUÉBEC
Investissement Québec Attracts the United Kingdom’s Largest Game Producer
Montréal, February 15, 2007 – The Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade, Raymond Bachand, accompanied by Frank Zampino, President of the executive committee, City of Montréal, Julien Merceron, Chief Technology Officer of Eidos, Bill Ennis, Commercial Director of SCi Entertainment Group, Stéphane D’Astous, Managing Director of Eidos Montréal and Jacques Daoust, President and Chief Executive Officer of Investissement Québec, today announced that the British company will open a studio in Québec.
Montréal was the only Canadian city selected by the major video game producer. The new studio will develop four games for NextGen platforms. A testing unit will also be established in Montréal. The company expects to recruit 110 people by the end of 2007 and grow to 350 employees within three years.
Investissement Québec approached the company two years ago. Last July, while in London, Minister Bachand and the President and Chief Executive Officer of Investissement Québec, Jacques Daoust, met with senior executives of Eidos to make the case for investing in Québec.
“Montréal is the capital of video game production in Canada, with nearly 5 000 employees and boasts the industry’s highest growth rate in the world. The initiatives taken by our Government to set up training programs dedicated to this industry show that we are determined to train qualified workers and support the phenomenal growth of the video game sector,” Minister Bachand said.
More than anything else, the talent and imagination of creative people make Québec and Montréal a place where the arts, technology and new media converge. The interactive game industry in Québec covers more than 70 companies specializing in developing and publishing interactive games, supplying services and designing software.
“This is a really exciting time for Eidos. We are actively looking for opportunities to further our drive to become a major force in global videogames publishing. Montreal is the ideal location to open a new studio because of its thriving game development community and favourable economics,” continued Bill Ennis, Commercial Director, Eidos.
The factors that convinced Eidos to open a studio in Montréal include the availability of experienced workers and the number of new graduates annually. In addition, industry specialists are favourably impressed with the ability of the city’s companies to work in many languages and collaborate closely with Hollywood studios (more than 50 titles were produced over the last two years), as well as with tax incentives available nowhere else in the world, such as the tax credit for the production of multimedia titles.
“We are very happy to welcome Eidos to Québec. Our talented workers, competitive operating costs and the support of our government have enabled Québec to become the sector leader in Canada and attract the industry’s major players,” Mr. Bachand concluded.
Eidos Interactive is owned by SCi Entertainment Group, the largest publisher of video games in the United Kingdom and the second-largest in Europe. The group is enjoying tremendous success throughout the world with titles such as Lara Croft Tomb Raider and Hitman. SCi’s other facility in North America is in San Francisco, where it acquired Crystal Dynamics in 1998.