Funcom breaks ground in Montreal

Norwegian dev taps Canadian incentives for new studio to work on Age of Conan expansion, new MMORPG The Secret World.

Thanks to its generous tax breaks and financial incentives, Canada has emerged as an attractive home for game developers and publishers of all shapes and sizes. Today, Norwegian developer Funcom announced that it, too, has its sights set on Canada, saying that it has set up a new development studio in Montreal. The move comes as part of an effort to strengthen the company's North American presence and tap into the Canadian game industry's burgeoning talent pool.

Concept art for Funcom's new Montreal offices, sort of.

"Montreal has established itself as one of the world's most important locations for video game production, and we are looking forward to taking part in that success," Funcom CEO Trond Arne Aas said in a statement. "The new studio will take advantage of the great incentive programs offered by the Quebec region, incentives that make Montreal one of the most cost-effective locations in the world for developing [massively multiplayer online] games."

Two weeks ago, Funcom announced that Rise of the Godslayer will be the first expansion pack for its massively multiplayer online role-playing game Age of Conan. Funcom noted today that its new Montreal studio will aid in the development of Godslayer, along with the company's all-new MMORPG The Secret World. The Oslo, Norway-based developer also said that it would "move a certain number of key personnel over to the new studio."

With more than 320 employees globally, Funcom also maintains offices in the US, China, and Switzerland. The company, which was established in 1993, has developed more than 20 games, including the adventure games The Longest Journey and Dreamfall and the sci-fi MMORPG Anarchy Online.

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41 comments
elwood499
elwood499

Westerners(Western Canadians)

weaponx789
weaponx789

when you all say "Westerners", do you mean "Americans"? last time i checked, most of the world consider the "French" to be "Westerners". Canada seems to be setting an example for the world to follow on how to recruit & hold good video game talent. i wish we could appreciate that for what it was, but alas we cannot because they are too "French".

L0stS0u1
L0stS0u1

Westerners hate Quebec because it reminds us too much of the worthless French.

elwood499
elwood499

i will never understand why some westerners hate Quebec, its sad really.

SilentChicken
SilentChicken

Is it just me or does this look like Guild Wars: Factions?

busterbunny_SAP
busterbunny_SAP

BC tried very hard to get Eidos 3 years ago. The Vancouver region had good fiscal incentives, and a pool of well-trained university-level graduates. But they chose Quebec. Apparently, they prefered the creative aspect of Montreal. But in general, with BC, Quebec, and now Toronto having studios, I think we can say Canada has, per capita, quite a good ratio of game makers.

n1rvana8706
n1rvana8706

Just starting playing AoC again this week. Stopped playing after release to let them fix things. The game is so much better and runs smoother than ever.

alixkid
alixkid

Hey should of put the company in BC insteal of Quebec region.

tabernache
tabernache

I think it's nice to have another company making game where I live, it opens the door to enter the video game business!

Rottenwood
Rottenwood

I'm glad Conan is making improvements to try and break the WOW-opoly; hopefully they can grab some new subscribers for their efforts. Anyone seeking a more mature MMORPG environment might like Lord of the Rings. Because it's more of a low-impact experience without much in the way of PVP or powergaming, the kids mostly stay away. Trading tips about investment or deck maintenance in an MMORPG is a bit surreal, but it sure beats ZOMGZ LEETZ talk 24/7.

GAMERGAMERGAMER
GAMERGAMERGAMER

Barighm : Jealous much ? There are @ssholes everywhere and based on your comment, you're probably one of them. Move to BC if you're so french-phobic. They have a great videogame industry as well and there's no french speaking citizen for miles. That way I'll be sure never to cross you on the street, eh ?

zomglolcats
zomglolcats

So, they haven't even entirely fixed Age of Conan and are already planning a new MMO? I'd be curious who would be crazy enough to lend them funding for that project after the AoC disaster.

Speuj
Speuj

@Barighm Is it cuz you're anti-french that you had those experiences? Dude, I've been in MTL almost 30 years (born and raised Anglo) and hardly, if ever, have any problems with the french! Putting the effort to learn the language goes a long way! ;)

albertafox
albertafox

So, Montreal a city located in the province of Quebec which receives billions in "equalization payments" from other provinces every year, is now the place to be for low taxation ? Yeah right! Come to Alberta. Flat 10% tax rate, actually I believe it is now 9%. Sounds more like they have given special taxation benefits to this company. Oh, would you look at that the word "incentive" is used. So for a company to develop something to make themselves a profit, then needs incentives from a place that cannot even support itself within its own budget ? Maybe I missed government education program that explains this, but how does this equate to anything resembling equality or fairness in the use of law, business practice or just plain common sense ?

eric_neo3
eric_neo3

illmatic87 I just hope that the next dreamfall isnt an mmo.

illmatic87
illmatic87

Put these MMO's aside, they cant just leave us hanging like that with Dreamfall

protoroc
protoroc

I loved AO, but Funcom is total fail.

gros__bill
gros__bill

It's not anti-english experience... it's anti-ontarian experience... loll kidding

Barighm
Barighm

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Brunte81
Brunte81

Lol stupid trailer! Just show how empty that game is!!! Haha!

wardon
wardon

Montreal is really the new Video Game city. Im proud to be from Montreal because its really taking its place in the industry. Go Montreal !

ThePedoBear
ThePedoBear

To all the haters that used to play this game.. This game has changed ALOT. There is a criminal system in effect from people ganking. Guards in EVERY town and city. a PvP mini game system. Almost every aspect of this game has changed or become better than it was. If your going to bash this game based on your experience of post-release, than please give this game another chance and you'll see the difference. I'm very excited for Rise of the Godslayer, everything sounds so great, and Funcom is truly using it's strong points to develop this expansion. On a side note.. Go Canada Eh? :D

DevilBorg
DevilBorg

So where's Anarchy Online 2?

0Aragorn0
0Aragorn0

Yay! Secret World is still being worked on. With no word on it at or post E3 I almost was beginning to think they were getting ready to cut the title. But very glad to hear this game is still being planned.

Mathum
Mathum

There is no Clockwork Society...

Zloth2
Zloth2

"Ganking happens on every pvp server in every mmo." Not every MMO has PvP servers. Some use other ways to do it. Asheron's Call let players turn their PvP flag off and on. Dark Age of Camelot had a special zone for PvP (and Realm vs Realm). City of Heroes has a few zones for PvP and automatically adjusts character levels to fit the zone so, if you take your level 50 character into the lower level Bloody Bay zone, you'll find yourself at level 25 the same as everybody else. But anyway.... I hope we get some more news about this Secret World MMO.

QuickDEATHS
QuickDEATHS

Aoc is a great game I think its sad that wow fanboys keep bashing it... Wow is a good game but I just like AOC more because the gameplay is way better and the community is more mature. I didn meet eny 12 year olds that annoyed every one. -You should give it a chance before kiking it...

SWIFFT
SWIFFT

Go Canada! Go Tax Breaks!

halosniper52
halosniper52

I really like AOC but, My computer can't run it. If they just made the game easy to run like wow the game would have done great I think. Also if all those problems did not happen at the games release. Even tho I never had any problems with the game just the fact that could not run well with my computer.

Foggel
Foggel

@brianpoetzel pve servers are boring. atleast when I played wow I could pass horde without getting ganked and camped every single time (especially by characters in a higher lvl...)

gabico27
gabico27

good luck age of ganking!

Gen-Gawl
Gen-Gawl

@foggel: why didn't you switch to a pve server. Ganking happens on every pvp server in every mmo.

Inconnux
Inconnux

People still play this game?

CptAsbjoern
CptAsbjoern

Looks pretty cool, might get back to my account when this is released.

retroguy02
retroguy02

First news of the day is that a major Ubisoft studio is opening in my city (Toronto) led by a talented and very attractive young woman, and now this. Am I proud to be a Canadian gamer.

Foggel
Foggel

I remember getting ganked wherever I went in AOC. I asked them politely to leave me a lone, and they replied "it's a part of the game." I cancelled my subscription.

spag007
spag007

Awesome. My home city just gets more and more videogamey! almost every year there's a new company building a studio here. I hope Montreal will become the next video game city of the world! (btw which one is the videogame city?)

Name10101
Name10101

age of conan wasnt a bad game, its just that there was no endgame and people went back to playing wow so population died... this expansion pack prolly wont do that well