Ubisoft recently picked up THQ Montreal, extending the company’s reach into Canada even more. This has made the job of Ubisoft Montreal CEO and head of Ubisoft Canada Yannis Mallat a little bit more complicated, though in a good way.
“This acquisition means that we are welcoming 170 experienced and talented game makers who will join our creative forces at the Ubisoft family. This is absolutely great news and we are thrilled to welcome those guys,” said Mallat. “I think that over the past few years we have said over and over again we have said that our strategy was all about gathering the best talent, giving those guys the freedom and the environment to express what they have to what they want in order to make great games. We have ambitious plans in terms of growth for our Montreal studio and this is a very welcome addition, so it’s been a pretty tough couple of weeks and months for the THQ creative forces. That time is over. We are welcoming those guys and we are looking forward to working with those people to make the best games in the world for our players.”
“It’s all about talent,” he added. “I think that both good talent combined with the projects that are going on here at THQ are a perfect strategic fit with what we are doing. So again, we are very happy with this acquisition.”
There is, of course, no plans for what exactly many of these employees will be doing — some were involved with projects that are now owned by other publishers. It is planned for the studio to stay in the same location, however
“I think it is fair to say that as with any other industry this is an industry that is maturing and here and there in the development phase of this industry you have times of concentration,” Mallat noted. “Consolidation is happening. We’re probably entering into a phase where more resources, more means, are required to make the big games that the players demand and I think it is normal to say that more consolidation is going to happen. What is very important is that players need quality games and as long as we have talent together to make those games, everyone is going to be happy.”
There is also the matter of Patrice Desilets, who helped create the Assassin’s Creed franchise and relocated to THQ somewhat acrimoniously. When asked about the former creative director at THQ Montreal, Mallat said, “As a matter of fact, I’ve known Patrice for a while. He and I were involved in the making of some great Ubisoft games: Prince of Persia: Sands of Time back in the day in 2002 and 2003 and then together with some core teams we created the Assassin’s Creed franchise. I’ve known Patrice for 13 years and I know him very well, he’s a great talent and I respect him as a creator. We’re very happy to look forward to working with him again. As a matter of fact, he’s actually in France right now because he’s giving a speech at a University. He’s coming back tonight and I’m having dinner with him tonight.”