The Square Enix Group, an integrated entertainment group, has today announced plans for further expansion in Montréal with the growth of its Eidos-Montréal studio and the creation of a new second studio, Square Enix Montréal, to open in 2012.
Eidos-Montréal, a studio which was established in 2007, released its first game, Deus Ex: Human Revolution™; to critical acclaim (Metacritic score of 90% for PC and 89% for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 as of November 20, 2011) earlier this year. Deus Ex: Human Revolution, which has to date shipped over 2 million units worldwide, firmly cemented the studio’s credentials in global development and delivered on its promise to produce AAA games. Eidos-Montréal will now create an additional 100 new jobs, driving work on a third AAA project at the studio, alongside the Deus Ex® and Thief® franchises. The studio will also expand its state-of-the-art facilities, including in-house audio recording and motion tracking studios and a mini-theatre.
Plans unveiled today also confirmed the creation of Square Enix Montréal, a new second studio for the Square Enix Group in Montréal, which will open in 2012 and create 150 jobs. Tasked with building AAA games for tomorrow’s audiences, the studio will be led by Lee Singleton, currently general manager of Square Enix London Studios. Singleton brings over 20 years studio management as well as direct development experience to this role.
Stéphane D’Astous, General Manager of development studio, Eidos-Montréal, Jacques Daoust, President and Chief Executive Officer of Investissement Québec, Phil Rogers, President and CEO of video game publisher Square Enix Europe, Sam Hamad, Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Exportation and the Minister responsible for the Quebec region, Lee Singleton, General Manager, Square Enix Montréal, Jacques St Laurent, President and Chief Executive Officer of Montréal International pose with Hitman’s Agent 47 at the Eidos-Montréal and Square Enix Montréal at yesterday’s press conference.
The first project at Square Enix Montréal will be to work on a new premium quality game in the award-winning Hitman® franchise. This further investment will expand the vision for the Hitman franchise and mean that two studios will now be working on future Hitman games: IO Interactive, a Square Enix studio based in Copenhagen, creator of the Hitman franchise is currently developing Hitman Absolution™ and now Square Enix Montréal also.
“Montréal is a vibrant centre of game creators with industry-leading talent, and one of the most important bases of our global network of game development within the Square Enix Group,” said Yoichi Wada, president and chief executive officer, Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd.
“We believe in creating studios where passion for our games and gaming runs throughout and Eidos-Montréal is testament to this vision. The start up of a second studio brings a huge advantage to our business; we will nurture two separate studios with their own strengths, culture and appeal,” said Phil Rogers, president and chief executive officer of Square Enix Europe. “All of this has been made possible by our fantastic partners in Invest Quebec and Montréal International and we look forward to continuing our excellent working relationship with them.”
Montréal International, whose mission includes attracting foreign investment to the Greater Montréal region, assisted the company at every key project step. “We will continue to support the development of both Square Enix studios and contribute to their success and growth in Greater Montréal, particularly by helping them recruit the talent they need,” noted President and CEO of Montréal International, Jacques St-Laurent.
“In just four years Eidos-Montréal has achieved great success in delivering a top-selling and highly acclaimed first game, a feat only few other development studios share,” said Stéphane D’Astous, general manager, Eidos-Montréal. “We look to continue this high level of quality with future studio titles by providing our employees with a dynamic working environment, compelling projects and cutting edge resources and facilities, with the support of strong governmental partners.”
“I’ve worked in games all of my life, it’s what I know and what I love and to be able to bring that passion and experience to Square Enix Montréal is very exciting,” added Lee Singleton, general manager of Square Enix Montréal. “I want to create a studio that attracts passionate people, encourages innovation and gets the best out of the studio talent by empowering teams to make a difference.”