Video game producer Eidos — known for its Tomb Raider, Hitman and Deus Ex franchises— will add 250 more jobs to its Montreal operations by 2015 with a $2-million investment from the Quebec government.
Eidos Montreal says 100 of the jobs will be to create a new video game as well as research and development on next-generation gaming platforms.
The other 150 jobs will be part of a new Eidos studio in Montreal.
The company earlier announced its expansion plans will “up the ante in Montreal's video game industry.”
Eidos Montreal opened its development studio in November 2007 and has more than 300 employees. Earlier reports this fall said the company could double its workforce in Montreal by 2015.
The technology company is now part of Japan's Square Enix video game publisher.
“Montreal is a vibrant centre of game creators with industry-leading talent, and one of the most important bases of our global network of game development within the Square Enix Group,” said Yoichi Wada, president and CEO of the Japanese parent company.
As Quebec's forestry, manufacturing and other traditional industries get squeezed by a high dollar and the slumping North American economy, jobs are being created in software and other technology sectors.
“Our support will allow one of the world's leaders in interactive entertainment Square Enix Holdings Co. Ltd to choose Quebec to invest and develop high quality games for the next generation of consoles,” Economic Development Minister Sam Hamad said in a new release.
The Quebec government has been instrumental with tax breaks and subsidies to develop the province's video game industry, now Canada's largest.
French-based Ubisoft first arrived in Montreal in 1997 with the help of tax incentives from the Quebec government and now has 2,300 employees in Canada.
Ubisoft Montreal is known for developing the action-adventure games Assassin's Creed and Splinter Cell, among others.
“Scrabble” for Apple's iPhone and iPad were developed by Electronic Arts Canada's Montreal studio, which has an expertise in games for mobile devices.
The Entertainment Software Association of Canada says Quebec has grown to be the dominant player in the Canadian video game industry, with about 70 per cent of large video game companies.
Quebec's video game industry has more than 8,200 employees, more than half of the industry's jobs, the software association says.
Canada is ranked as the world’s third-largest video game developer behind Japan and the United States, the association says.
Eidos' Deus Ex sci-fi shooter franchise has sold millions of copies.
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