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BioWare Forms New Montreal Group To Work On  Mass Effect 2
BioWare Forms New Montreal Group To Work On Mass Effect 2 Exclusive
March 2, 2009 | By Leigh Alexander

BioWare is forming a new studio group within Electronic Arts Montreal, hiring 30 new staffers to support the team developing Mass Effect 2 in Edmonton.

"Our new presence... will be located within the existing EA Montreal facilities," BioWare co-founder Ray Muzyka tells Gamasutra today. "It's great that we have a strong foundation to build out of."

The company will be hiring artists, animators, designers and other positions to join the team working on Mass Effect 2.

"We'll be working together with our friends at EA Montreal," says Muzyka. "There's a great studio here continuing full-force with a whole bunch of really cool, exciting things as well."

The new studio and project won't affect existing projects at EA Montreal. Neither will BioWare's existing work on Dragon Age and Star Wars: The Old Republic in Austin be affected -- nor any of what Muzyka calls "a couple unannounced projects... really cool future stuff."

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Joel Bennett
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I wonder why the decision to do it in Montreal instead of Edmonton (where Mass Effect 1 was done). Closer to other resources or a larger pool of artistic talent perhaps?

Christopher Broom
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I would imagine a larger pool of talent to work with / hire in. Mass Effect was a good game in it's own right though some of the outlying content was severely lacking. Example are the various planets you could explore.

Michel McBride-Charpentier
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Joel, this does not say Mass Effect 2 is being primarily developed in Montreal. Only 30 people are going to be working on it in the EA offices, in support of the main Edmonton team.

Logan Foster
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Its the same dammed reason why anyone sets up a studio in Quebec... the insane tax credits that the province offers (thanks to the crappy Federal transfer payment system where we gift this place billions a year in tax dollars). You only end up paying something rediculous like 1/4 to 1/8th of an employees sallery out of your own pocket.

As for why specificly Montreal. Like the article says, EA has a studio there that they are setting up shop in, so the costs are even lower. Its not like the talent or availability thereof in Montreal is any better than anywhere else in the world.

From a business standpoint its a smart move, every other game developer and publisher on the planet is doing it.

Frank Lenk
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Foz, I agree that the Canadian Federal transfer system truly is out of wack... But there's no denying that Quebec's tax credits have paid off in ways no one could have predicted. Montreal is now one of the key global development centers not just for games, but for 3D software as well.

Shows that the old 'bread cast upon the waters' principle still works... Too bad it takes an accident of politics to get this kind of investment in high-tech infrastructure.