Publisher Ubisoft has announced new plans to expand its Moroccan studio in Casablanca -- currently working on DS versions of popular franchises -- by nearly 150 developers, with the help of a government incentive program.
The publisher said it plans to bring in 150 new jobs to the studio by 2010, a plan supported by the Moroccan government which seeks to attract high quality technology jobs to the area. The government is providing incentives for new jobs and training in the field.
The studio has been producing games since 1998, most recently providing what Ubisoft calls unspecified "important contributions" to Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie and Prince of Persia The Two Thrones.
The studio also produced Nintendo DS versions of Star Wars: Lethal Alliance and Rayman Raving Rabbids, and is currently working on the DS sequel to the latter.
Ubisoft says it is the only video game developer in Morocco and Northern Africa, and recruits talent from local engineering and art schools. Many Moroccan artists and engineers, it says, have joined other worldwide Ubisoft studios.
Said Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot, "In 1998, Ubisoft chose to create a studio in Casablanca, with the knowledge that the local education system would provide talented people. It is an honor to work with the Moroccan government to significantly expand our presence in the region. Both the video game industry and the Moroccan economy are strong and growing, and we look forward to pioneering the industry in this exciting region."