Ubisoft's New Toronto Studio Takes on Splinter Cell

Ubisoft's New Toronto Studio Takes on Splinter Cell

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Ubisoft has taken the wraps off its new studio in Toronto, where it will be developing the next entry in the long-running Splinter Cell series.

Despite being a new studio, Ubisoft's Toronto facility has been handed responsibility for the creating the next Splinter Cell game and according to general manager Jade Raymond, it will work exclusively on triple-A titles and not pursue smaller projects at all. "Instead of starting a studio and working on small projects, Nintendo DS or portables, we're starting out of the gate with triple-A only," she told Gamasutra. "The reason that I think that's the right strategy is that it allows us to attract the best talent right off the bat."

Along with Raymond, management at the studio will include Ubisoft Montreal veterans Maxime Beland, Rima Brek and Alex Parizeau, and Lesley Phord-Toy, who came over from Montreal studio A2M, the developer of Wet. "Toronto is a very diverse city and it's a great place to make sure we have a culture where we can tap into people's different backgrounds," Raymond said. "I think the challenge is more just in not going too quickly, instead making sure that even though we have these grand ambitions we make sure to choose the right people."

Beland added that the goal of staffing Ubisoft Toronto isn't just to fill seats but to bring in people from outside Ubisoft who can bring a new perspective to the process. "Something I'm looking forward to on working on a big game like the next Splinter Cell is that we'll be able to get really experienced people from outside Ubisoft," he said. "It's going to allow us to learn from different mentalities. Having been at Ubisoft for eleven years, I know exactly how Ubisoft makes games, but I want to surround myself with new people that bring in new ways of making games. I think that's going to be very interesting: As much to teach and mentor new people, but also for us to mature and grow as developers."

Ubisoft Toronto will also be working on another major project alongside Splinter Cell; no indication was given as to what it will be but Phord-Toy said having two teams presents the studio with unique opportunities for hiring and moving people between projects as they're needed. "As we've been doing the recruiting, the kinds of people that we're looking for on Alex's team don't necessarily match up to the kind of people I'm looking for," she said. "We're not competing for the same resources, and from a strategy point of view it forms an interesting opportunity to bring another group of people into the studio."

The studio hopes to build up to a staff of 800 over the next decade and currently has 2000 resumes to sift through. There's not much to see right now but if you're interested in learning more or maybe throwing your name into the hat, take a look at toronto.ubisoft.com.

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800? Waw, a preety impressive figure. No joke for a brand new studio.

Is it just me or is Toronto increasingly becoming an important center for game development? Or is this just unique to Ubisoft?

Well, with Bioware and Blizzard having their own ice fortresses up thar in Canada eh, and Ubisoft building there too, the Canuckian Tundra Wilderness is swiftly becoming the Gaming Capital of North America.

Eh.

TsunamiWombat:
Well, with Bioware and Blizzard having their own ice fortresses up thar in Canada eh, and Ubisoft building there too, the Canuckian Tundra Wilderness is swiftly becoming the Gaming Capital of North America.

Eh.

We will take over the gaming lands!
Let loose the Moose of War!

More on topic: This is awesome! I live a stone's throw from Toronto!
Hey Escapist...if you guys can arrange a studio tour...that'd be sweet.
I'd be your pal! Your super pal!
And I'll tape it and everything!

Just think about it.
Sleep on it.
(Don't forget that 'pals' part).

TsunamiWombat:
Well, with Bioware and Blizzard having their own ice fortresses up thar in Canada eh, and Ubisoft building there too, the Canuckian Tundra Wilderness is swiftly becoming the Gaming Capital of North America.

Eh.

Blizzard's down in California. They just THINK Canadian.

Good for Toronto but that might be bad news for Montreal,I would hate to see Assassin's creed follow in splinter cell's steps and move to Toronto.

Now from a Canadian point of view it's great to see a Canadian studio getting the chance to work on some triple A titles.

TsunamiWombat:
Well, with Bioware and Blizzard having their own ice fortresses up thar in Canada eh, and Ubisoft building there too, the Canuckian Tundra Wilderness is swiftly becoming the Gaming Capital of North America.
Eh.

All of your game studio are belong to us.

Already planning another one? Not wasting any time I see! Well, at least been putvto good work

Now they just have to do the same for Australia...or at least stop shutting down good studios

RIP Pandemic

Awesome! This is one of the few studios I know of in Toronto (the other is Rockstar North).

Too bad I moved away from wanting to go into game design.

Canadian joke: Ubisoft Toronto and Ubisoft Montreal...I detect some drama in the nearby futur.

In all seriousness, more canadian studios are always a good thing... for us.

Random Argument Man:
Canadian joke: Ubisoft Toronto and Ubisoft Montreal...I detect some drama in the nearby futur.

In all seriousness, more canadian studios are always a good thing... for us.

....you know, it would be more funny if it weren't so likely to happen. I don't know what it is with those cities.
(if it does come to fisticuffs though, I'm backing Montreal)

more OT: Woot! More studio's are always a good thing! Now, we just need some here in Alberta.

Lullabye:

Random Argument Man:
Canadian joke: Ubisoft Toronto and Ubisoft Montreal...I detect some drama in the nearby futur.

In all seriousness, more canadian studios are always a good thing... for us.

....you know, it would be more funny if it weren't so likely to happen. I don't know what it is with those cities.
(if it does come to fisticuffs though, I'm backing Montreal)

more OT: Woot! More studio's are always a good thing! Now, we just need some here in Alberta.

There's a good one in Edmundton http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bioware

Random Argument Man:

Lullabye:

Random Argument Man:
Canadian joke: Ubisoft Toronto and Ubisoft Montreal...I detect some drama in the nearby futur.

In all seriousness, more canadian studios are always a good thing... for us.

....you know, it would be more funny if it weren't so likely to happen. I don't know what it is with those cities.
(if it does come to fisticuffs though, I'm backing Montreal)

more OT: Woot! More studio's are always a good thing! Now, we just need some here in Alberta.

There's a good one in Edmundton http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bioware

Yeah. I saw it the other day when I went up to Edmonton(I live in Calgary). THis Province is just so damn big though, you'd think there'd be a whole hell of alot more.

Tom Phoenix:
800? Waw, a preety impressive figure. No joke for a brand new studio.

Is it just me or is Toronto increasingly becoming an important center for game development? Or is this just unique to Ubisoft?

Toronto's becoming major in most fields right now, after Canada got out of the recession with little to no bruising a lot of business people wanted to sell Toronto as a second Hong Kong or London, where business for multinational corporations can settle down. I don't know what their game plan for that is, but I've seen a lot of businesses with Toronto offices now.

Random Argument Man:
Canadian joke: Ubisoft Toronto and Ubisoft Montreal...I detect some drama in the nearby futur.

In all seriousness, more canadian studios are always a good thing... for us.

if they were brothers each one would be

Toronto: an uptight accountant
Montreal: a womanizing alcoholic

there is going to be some shenanigans and rage
and it will be hilarious

also that is close to my house

Interesting. I had no idea it would be this big, let alone start producing triple A titles right off the bat. It's also interesting that for once a studio is pretty darn close by to where I live. This seems like a ripe opportunity for talented game designers around here.

And hey, Raymond also works there...Neat stuff... Not that it matters but of course, we males will always be idiots.

Yes, we attract the world's best talent in Toronto and soley make Triple A titles. I have no quarrel with that.

But all that good news is negated by the fact you are infecting my PC with intentional MALWARE known as your idiotic DRM. So no, fuck you. I am glad I bought my last Ubisoft game, AC2 for the 360.

Rockstar North is actually in Scotland (maybe you're thinking of Rockstar Toronto), but Canada probably has more development studios operating than most people realize, even Canadians. Earlier this year, in fact, Canada surpassed the UK to become the third-largest game developing nation in the world, behind only the US and Japan. On a per capita basis, that's absolutely amazing.

dex-dex:
[quote="Random Argument Man" post="7.197211.6383912"]

Toronto: an uptight accountant
Montreal: a womanizing alcoholic

You should probably credit John Wing (the comedian) for reciting his joke.

Kthnxbai!

Ohhh. Don't inflate Toronto's head anymore than it already is. How about "Ubisoft Ottawa," hanh, Hanh? We could take all the sad old Nortel employees and get em making video games.

Javex:

dex-dex:
[quote="Random Argument Man" post="7.197211.6383912"]

Toronto: an uptight accountant
Montreal: a womanizing alcoholic

You should probably credit John Wing (the comedian) for reciting his joke.

Kthnxbai!

i believe it is Mike Wilmot not John Wing

TsunamiWombat:
Well, with Bioware and Blizzard having their own ice fortresses up thar in Canada eh, and Ubisoft building there too, the Canuckian Tundra Wilderness is swiftly becoming the Gaming Capital of North America.

Eh.

Some of the more well-known game devs we have up here:

Adventure Company
Bioware
DreamCatcher Interactive
EA Canada
EA Montreal
Relic
Rockstar Toronto
Rockstar Vancouver
Ubisoft Montreal
Ubisoft Quebec

and now Ubisoft Toronto

As well as a myriad of smaller developers.

 

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