Following in the footsteps of Ubisoft, Electronic Arts, Eidos, Warner Bros. and A2M, THQ — the Los Angeles-based video game developer and publisher — has opened up shop in downtown Montreal. Yours truly was on hand for the unveiling.
Given the fact there’s more than 7,000 game developers in the Montreal area, perhaps it’s no wonder THQ has decided to open a studio in the downtown core — that, and Quebec’s generous incentive programs and a relatively low cost of living also make it an appealing place to set up shop.
Ubisoft and Electronic Arts will tell you this, as well as newcomers Eidos and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. Plus, there’s A2M (Artifical Mind and Movement) and many others, too.
THQ is occupying nearly 50,000 square feet of loft space over two floors of a funky new building (and a third floor planned for 2012) as it will accomodate roughly 400 employees over the next 5 years. Currently, THQ MOntreal employes about 30 people.
How cool are these swank studios? The boardroom has a giant ping-pong table for your meetings. Yes, really.
THQ says the studio will work on two (unannounced) projects to start, with one of them headed by Patrice Désilets, creative director on Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed franchise, a series that has sold more than 19 million copies since its debut. The recruited Désilets and will start at THQ in the summer of 2011.
While we toured the facilities and heard from the GM and other THQ execs, we also got some hands-on time with Homefront, to be published by THQ in March, 2011. The intense shooter was designed as “speculative fiction,” telling of a near future union between North and South Korea; the powerhouse then conquers much of Asia and then lands on the west coast of the U.S. to occupy the New World. You play as a civilian-turned freedom fighter, tasked with fighting back against the foreign regime.
If you haven’t caught the teaser trailer for the game, check it out here: