Ubisoft has reorganized its North American studios around a singlecore location:Montreal, Canada.
By September 2024, the French developer aims to make the cityits central production hub for North America. Along with the titular Montreal studio responsible for the Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry games, it has subsidiaries in North Carolina, San Francisco, Halifax, Quebec, and Toronto.
In the past, those studios would operate largely of their own volition:Red Storm created Tom Clancy games, the San Francisco studio handled South Park, etc. A unified production location may have tangible effects on the studios’ autonomy, and the games each of them make going forward.
Overseeing all the North American studios will be Christophe Derennes, who currently manages the Montreal office. He first joined Ubisoft in 1990, and only recently became its studio manager in mid-2020.
The new location will “represent one of the largest video game production team in the world,”said Ubisoft. “This new hub reinforces the strong ties and existing alignment between the various North American studios, [and]strengthen the opportunities with the technological and research and development teams in the region.”
Derennes remarked that the shift will “allow our teams to support one another, learn from each other, and above all, inspire each other to create the best games for our players.We will be able to take advantage of each studio’s strengths, and unique capacities and expertise.”
Over the last several months, Ubisoft has made shifts to its operations structure. During the summer, it promoted veteran employees to oversee different departments ofkey franchises such as Far Cry and The Division.
At the same time, it also became embroiled in Microsoft’s recently successful acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Under a struck deal to appease regulators, Ubisoft holds the streaming rights for current and futureActivision Blizzard franchise releases (such as Call of Duty) for the next 15 years.
Ubisoft Montreal specifically is said to be in some form of disarray following its partial return-to-office rule. The mandate was revealed in mid-September, and many at the staff believed it flew in the face of the studio’s previous promises related to itsremote work policy established during the early days of the pandemic.