It’s time to get your game on, Quebec.
Video game powerhouse Ubisoft has announced plans to invest $780 million into the province by 2027, open two new studios and hire more than 1,000 people. One of those new studio locations will be in Saguenay, about 250 kilometres north of Quebec City and cost $135 million, according to Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot. Roughly 125 people will be hired within five years to work in Saguenay.
“Today, video games are the most dynamic segment of the entertainment industry, and are at the heart of technological revolution,” said Guillemot. “As a result, we have a unique opportunity to build tomorrow’s Quebec, together.”
The Montreal location will see 675 jobs added while Quebec City’s spot will see 200 new positions. A fourth office will be opened eventually, but Ubisoft has not disclosed where.
“The expertise of Ubisoft’s Quebec studios is one of the motors of the company’s growth,” said Guillemot.
Ubisoft is revered in the industry for creating games like Far Cry and The Division. Currently, the company employs around 3,600 people in their Montreal and Quebec City offices. The company is a large proponent of the province’s multimedia subsidy programs, as up to 37.5 per cent of their paid salary expenses are eligible for reimbursement with tax dollars.
Tax credits on the new 1,000 jobs for the province will end up costing around $160 million, but it’s a “choice we have made,” according to Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard.
Other media companies such as Warner Bros. also receive the multimedia subsidy.
Ubisoft is still in the throes of a hostile takeover battle, as French media conglomerate Vivendi is persevering with their plans to purchase the company. While Vivendi owns over 20 per cent of Ubisoft stock, the Montreal company is trying to derail a takeover by buying up as much of their stock as possible to prevent a buy out.