Ubisoft acquires Halifax-based Longtail Studios, adds 10 jobs

Ubisoft, the company is responsible for games like Assasin’s Creed and Far Cry, has its sights set on Halifax.

Halifax’s ‘dynamic atmosphere’ attracts Ubisoft

Video game company Ubisoft, responsible for games like Assassin's Creed has opened a studio in Halifax. (@Ubisoft/Twitter)

If you play video games you know Ubisoft.

The France-based company is responsible for games like Assassin's Creed, Far Cry, Watch Dogs and the plethora of games based off of Tom Clancy's books.   

One of Ubisoft's upcoming games is Far Cry Primal, a continuation of the company's Far Cry series. (@Ubisoft/Twitter)

The company recently acquired Halifax-based gaming studio Longtail. Ubisoft offered jobs to all the company's employees and is looking at hiring more. 

"We are hiring various positions, around 10 positions, in order to reinforce the existing staff," said Gwenael Heliou, the studio manager for Ubisoft in Halifax.

"Those positions range from gaming economy designer, to programmer, to the artist, a brand manager, etcetera."         

That will bring the studio's staff up to about 44 people.

The Halifax studio will produce mobile games for smart phones and tablets. Two of those games are already in production. Heliou said Ubisoft has had a lot of success in the mobile market with games like Hungry Shark. 

"These games are very, very successful. Hungry Shark for instance reached more than 100 million downloads, so that means a lot."  

Heliou said it wasn't just the business climate that attracted Ubisoft to Halifax though. 

"Nova Scotia has a vibrant, creative and dynamic culture and we thought that by acquiring a studio here we would be able to embrace it. There is also a thriving community of video game developers in Nova Scotia."  

One of the most successful developers is HB studios in Lunenburg, which as of 2014, shipped 45 games selling more than 23 million units.    

Halifax to be a hub for mobile game development

In the long term Ubisoft hopes that it will be able to keep expanding in the province.

"Staff in Halifax will help to establish the first stepping stone for our new studio. We aim and plan to grow. Halifax will be a hub for mobile development for Ubisoft."

Rob Batherson is happy about the company moving in. He's chair of the board of directors of the Halifax Chamber of Commerce. 

"It's exciting news to have a major internationally known company invest in Halifax, expand in Halifax, create more employment for our young people," said Batherson. 

"One of the benefits of the gaming industry, the technology industry, reflected by companies like Ubisoft, is you're attracting young knowledge based workers."     


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