Ubisoft may be headquartered in France, but the publisher has made its name on the back of its Canadian studios. Easily the publisher's largest in-house studio, Ubisoft Montreal's recent credits include Prince of Persia, Far Cry 2, and Assassin's Creed II. (It is also working on Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Conviction, which was shown off at last month's Electronic Entertainment Expo.) Montreal is also the home of Hybride Technologies, the special effects studio behind such films as Legendary Pictures' 300 and Ubisoft's vehicle for becoming "a full media company."
Today, Ubisoft announced that its Canadian presence would expand even further, announcing in conjunction with the Ontario government the formation of a new development studio in Toronto. With the help of a C$263 million ($226 million) investment by the Canadian government, Ubisoft plans to staff up the Toronto studio with some 800 employees over the next 10 years. Ubisoft Toronto expects to begin operations by late 2009.
Yannis Mallat, current CEO of Ubisoft Montreal, has been appointed to also head up Ubisoft Toronto. Speaking during a press conference announcing the studio's formation, Mallat noted that the new Toronto studio will be modeled after Ubisoft Montreal, and the two teams will collaborate on unspecified upcoming titles. Ubisoft Toronto will also play a role in Ubisoft's expansion into other entertainment media, including books, comics, and short films.
Ubisoft Toronto marks the fourth Ubisoft-owned development studio in Canada. In addition to Ubisoft Montreal, the publisher has studios in Quebec City and Vancouver and employs more than 2,300 developers in the United States' northern neighbor.