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Square Enix is considering a handful of Canadian cities for the location of a new studio dedicated to developing games for the next generation of home consoles. The publisher told Quebec newspaper La Presse it would be choosing between Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto by the end of May, with plans to set up shop in the Great White North in 2012.
The new digs will house at least 100 staff and be Square Enix's second office in Canada. In 2007, it opened Eidos Montreal in Quebec, a studio which has since served as the publisher's quality assurance headquarters and is currently developing Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Its director, Stéphane D'Astous, has been tasked with picking the location for the new studio, and says that, "the negotiating process has begun."
With D'Astous taking selection lead, odds are Eidos Montreal will be getting some close company. Establishing another studio within the same province makes sense for a few reasons. On a purely operational level, the studios would benefit from the close working relationship. From a financial angle, it would also give Square Enix access to a larger share of Quebec's lucrative video game subsidies and incentives. More important than both these factors combined, however, is the fact poutine in Montreal far outstrips anything Vancouver or Toronto can produce, and that is the key for employee retention.
No decision has been made, but D'Astous noted no matter where the studio ends up, it will be vital to Square Enix's future strategy, saying, "The new consoles from Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo will require more attention and more staff … We want to prepare ourselves."
Mar 17, 2011
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