Far Cry 2 Creative Director Returns to Ubisoft
After spending time with Valve, LucasArts, and Amazon, Clint Hocking is headed to Ubisoft Toronto.
Clint Hocking, the creative director of Far Cry 2 and a lead designer on Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, is returning to Ubisoft. This time around, however, he'll be working at a different studio than during his previous 10-year run with the company.
Hocking is joining Ubisoft Toronto, the studio established in 2009, the publisher announced today. In 2010, he left Ubisoft Montreal, where he worked on Splinter Cell and Far Cry, before going on to work at LucasArts, Valve, and Amazon Game Studios for varying amounts of time. On his personal blog, he noted that it's now been seven years since he last shipped a game, something which caused him "to become anxious and depressed."
After working in both Seattle and San Francisco, Hocking began contemplating a return to Canada, which ultimately has led him to Toronto.
In a post on the Ubisoft blog, Hocking explained, "Coming here and talking to the people who work here and seeing how familiar everything is, I mean, seeing familiar faces is one thing, but having familiar conversations, encountering familiar thinking, it got me excited about what we could achieve.
"And being interviewed by other designers and being asked about how I work as a designer… it made me realize how much my time here shaped my thinking and my design sensibilities, and maybe a little bit how the contributions I had made years ago shaped some small part of the culture here. That was really interesting. It felt like a really good fit. It felt like family and it made a lot of sense."
While Hocking wouldn't discuss what he's working on next, he would say it isn't Splinter Cell--something he's unlikely to work on anytime soon, if he ever does again.
"When I stopped working on Splinter Cell after Chaos Theory… the honest truth is I didn't think I could make a better one," he said. "I feel like I had made the very best Splinter Cell I could ever make and the best thing for me to do for Ubisoft and for Splinter Cell fans was to hand it off and let someone else try to figure out how to make that game differently or better and bring a new vision and a new flavor to it. Maybe one day, 5 or even 10 years from now, it will be the right time and the right place for me to make another Splinter Cell game, but that time is not now."
As for what he is making, he'd only say he's "working with a great team on some things that I think are interesting, challenging, and innovative. They are going in the direction that I think games need to go in, for both players and for Ubisoft in the future. It's great that Ubisoft is so forward-looking and so interested in developing the medium and the industry and the community of players."
Hocking was one of several high-profile departures from Amazon Game Studios recently. He had a major hire for the company last year, when he was brought on-board alongside Portal designer Kim Swift.