In Gamasutra's latest feature, Building On Conviction, Ubisoft takes the wraps off of its newest major studio and its Splinter Cell sequel development, via interviews with key staff, including general manager Jade Raymond.
"All of the core team has relocated with me from Montreal," said Raymond, speaking to Gamasutra as part of a series of interviews at the new studio. However, she said, "Where you develop a game does have an impact on who it appeals to... When you think of it like that, I think the Splinter Cell franchise fits Toronto," alluding the the local flavor you'll find in different Ubisoft games developed around the world.
The new studio is working on the latest Splinter Cell game using the technology base developed at the Montreal studio, alongside another triple-A project. In fact, said Raymond, the studio won't pursue smaller projects.
"Instead of starting a studio and working on small projects, Nintendo DS or portables, we're starting out of the gate with triple-A only. The reason that I think that's the right strategy is that it allows us to attract the best talent right off the bat," said Raymond.
She also said that the studio hopes to grow its staff to 800 over 10 years, and that it has already recieved over 2000 resumes -- but finds that hiring the right people is more essential than filling vacancies. "It's more a question of making sure we choose the right people... the difference between the successful studios and not are those that hire when there is a good person available, not just to fill specific roles," she said.
The core staff beyond the previously-announced Raymond, who serves as general manager, includes Maxime Beland (Splinter Cell: Conviction) as creative director, Ubisoft Montreal veteran Rima Brek as the head of tech, Splinter Cell: Conviction producer Alex Parizeau as head of production, and producer Lesley Phord-Toy, who came to the company from Montreal-based A2M (Wet).
"We have a great opportunity to build a culture of our own; something that reflects me, Max, Rima, Leslie, and Jade, and that's an opportunity that you don't often get in your career and that's what I'm excited about," said Parizeau of the new studio, which is in converted factory space in Toronto's Bloor-Lansdowne neighborhood.