Ubisoft Is Investing In Canadian Talent

Global videogame giant Ubisoft has announced the opening of a new studio in Saguenay in early 2018. 125 employees will be hired within five years.

On Tuesday in downtown Chicoutimi, video game developer Ubisoft announced a $135 million investment by 2027.

The company’s CEO, Yves Guilllemot, traveled from France to share what he calls the most important development plan in Quebec in 20 years.

Jimmy Boulianne, who has been an employee of Ubisoft for a decade and a native of the North Shore, is confident of attracting young workers to the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region.

“We will offer about twenty different positions. In particular, we will need level designers, programmers and graphic designers,” he said.

Qualified staff

One of the biggest challenges of the video game company is finding qualified staff, which is becoming more scarce in major centers like Montreal or Quebec City.

Ubisoft wishes to get closer to the training centers in order to acquire the talents more quickly.

The University of Quebec in Chicoutimi (UQAC), which offers a bachelor’s degree in video game design, attracted the attention of Ubisoft after winning the university competition organized by the company.

Moreover, at least 13 million dollars will also be invested in order to develop the next generation in video games.

Financial aid

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard and Finance Minister Carlos Leitao were present at the announcement to confirm their support for Ubisoft.

The government is providing $160 million in financial assistance to the company over the next ten years.

“The tax credit for the creation of multimedia titles has greatly contributed to the development of the industry,” said Finance Minister of Quebec, Carlos Leitao.

In addition to the direct economic impact, Finance Minister Carlos Leitao believes that the video game industry consolidates Quebec’s place on the world stage as a modern player.

For its part, Promotion Saguenay invests $ 500,000 over 4 years, a sum contingent on the announced job creation in the region.

“It makes our region even more attractive,” said Mayor Tremblay.

It took 11 months of tight and confidential negotiations to convince Ubisoft to move to downtown Chicoutimi. The exact location is yet to be determined, but the company already knows that the studio will be built in existing premises for the first two years at least.

Development in Quebec

Investments in Saguenay are part of a vast Quebec development plan that could lead to the creation of 1,000 jobs in Quebec within a decade.

Ubisoft expects to invest a total of $780 million during this period to support this growth.

Advertisement in figures:

Jobs

125 in Saguenay (by 2022)
200 in Quebec City (by 2027)
675 in Montreal (by 2027)

investments

$ 135 Million in Saguenay
$ 140 million in Québec City
$ 505 million in Montréal and elsewhere in Québec

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About the Author: Sarah Tulowitzki

Sarah Tulowitzki is a financial reporter, focusing on technology, national security, and policing. Before joining Canadian Business Tribune she worked as a staff writer at Fast Company and spent two years as a foreign correspondent in Turkey. Her work has been published in Al Jazeera America, The Nation, Vice News, Motherboard, and many other outlets.

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