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Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment To Set Up New Montreal Studio
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment To Set Up New Montreal Studio
March 22, 2010 | By Kris Graft

March 22, 2010 | By Kris Graft
More: Console/PC

Burbank, CA-based Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment will establish a new studio in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, where the company can take advantage of a deep talent pool and tax incentives, the company announced Monday.

Quebec Premier Jean Charest, Montreal Mayor Gerald Tremblay and WBIE president Martin Tremblay made the announcement during a Monday briefing. A $7.5 million grant from the Quebec government through Investissement Quebec played a major role in the new studio's founding, according to a press statement. Clement Gignac, Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade, was also on hand at the announcement.

The studio will be home to departments including "high-end interactive gaming product development, digital and cinematographic animation, quality assurance of products developed by the Montreal studio, as well as the adaptation and translation of its products into various languages."

WBIE did not give a specific Montreal location for the new development house, but said the studio would "gradually grow" to 300 workers by the end of 2015.

Martin Tremblay said that local industry veteran Martin Carrier will "coordinate the studio's implementation" in the weeks to come. The final management structure for the studio is to be announced.

Aside from game-friendly universities and tax incentives, he also said that affordable operating costs played a factor in choosing Montreal for a new studio.

Minister Gignac said Montreal's workforce "will distribute all around the world multilingual products developed, translated, and adapted right here in Quebec." He added, "The establishment of this studio will certainly contribute to the consolidation and the integration of Quebec's video game industry."

Many game companies are based in or have operations in Montreal, including Ubisoft, BioWare, Electronic Arts and others.

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Alan Rimkeit
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If only it did not snow so much... :(

Tim Carter
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What's wrong with snow?

It's not like you're making the games outside... ;-)

Billy Stever
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@David Delisle

They speak "Quack" here. Quebec French is different then France French.

This is awesome for Montreal. So now we have EAM, Ubisoft, Eidos, A2M, Gameloft, soon THQ, Funcom, and Warner Bros.

And for QA support there is VMC, Bug Tracker, Babel etc..

I've been living in Montreal for the last 3 years and have worked at 4 of the places I listed (directly or on contract in QA) You don't need to know French in this city. It will be very helpful if you did. But I get by just fine with only knowing English.

Alan Botvinick
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@William Kyle G Roberts

Some already established companies in Montreal are *not* happy about more studios coming to montreal. Salary wars+poaching. The more choice and competition the higher the cost for companies to attract and retain talent. Companies in Montreal cannot be competitive by paying "crap" as you say.

I only wish the UK would give tax credits and government grants like Canada does. The Canadian government is smart and knows what it means to compete in the Global economy. You don't have to worry about your neighbors to the South. In the US it cost companies 30% in benefits and taxes per employee. As you know there is no single payer health care in the US. Health care is employer based. The US can never be competitive globally with no tax credits, no single payer health care and no grants. All the US can do is give tax credits which is not enough to compete.

Billy Stever
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@Alan Botvinick

I'm thinking Kyle might have been talking more about QA then anything else. Seeing as that's what we work in and the salary in QA is not competitive at all. It used to be 8 bucks an hour. maybe 10 if you worked for EA. But the government here has been increasing min wage over the years so its going up to 9.50 an hour in a month or two. Which is what most places already pay for QA. Places like EA and Ubisoft pay about 12 dollars an hour now. But they also don't have very big in house QA. Its all outsourced to places like VMC, Bug Tracker, Babel and others. Who have QA studios in India and China. Where most QA is now being sent to. There has been considerable down sizing in the last year at these 3rd party QA centers in Montreal due to the min wage increase. Places who used to employ 200 to 400 people have been cutting up to 80% of their testers and sending the work to India and china.

I welcome any company who sets up a studio here. Means more work for me in QA and possibly at higher wages.