Ubisoft subsumes Microids Canada

French publisher acquires Syberia developer, intends to fold staff into its government-supported Montreal studio.

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When Ubisoft announced it had received a multimillion-dollar grant from the Canadian government to create a 1,000-person studio and development "university" in Montreal, some wondered where the publisher would get its new staff.

Today, Ubi made its first move, announcing that it has "entered into an agreement to acquire MC2-Microids' (Microids Canada) Canadian development operations." However, the deal is not yet completely done, as "the closing of this agreement is subject to requirements to be met by the two parties," according to a brief statement issued by Ubisoft. The statement made no mention of how the company's European operations, formerly the French Telecom-owned studio Wanadoo, would be affected by the deal.

While the exact terms of the agreement were not disclosed, the future of Microids Canada was. If the deal is finalized, "Microids Canada's 50 employees will be integrated into Ubisoft's Montreal studio operations," according to the announcement. No timetable has been announced for the finalization of the buyout or transfer of employees.

Microids Canada was the original Microids studio, creator of such adventure games as 2004's Syberia II and the forthcoming Still Life. The Ubisoft deal does not include the acquisition of "any of MC2-Microids' intellectual property or projects currently under development." Presumably, the aforementioned codicil would cover the titles Canada-based DreamCatcher Games acquired the North American distribution rights to, which includes Syberia II and Still Life.

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