Console game veteran Alain Tascan (Ubisoft Montreal, EA Montreal) is debuting SAVA Transmedia, a Montreal-based social game company targeting Facebook and mobile gaming, and planning to grow to 50 people in its first year.
The company "is devoted to developing innovative, quality social games for new and fast-growing platforms, including Facebook, iOS, Android and Windows Mobile", according to an official announcement, and aims to add a total of 200 new jobs over the next five years.
Tascan was co-founder of Ubisoft Montreal (Assassin's Creed
franchise) and then went on to found the Montreal studio for Electronic Arts, where Gamasutra interviewed him
back in 2006.
The Electronic Arts studio worked on original retail game IP including the Army Of Two
franchise and Boogie
, as well as other digital games and licensed IP.
It's clear that Tascan's new company is intended to address a potential imbalance in power regarding the lack of digital-first game companies in Montreal, a city that has historically been a key console game hub.
The company's official website notes that the firm is privately held and "funded and supported by a group of prominent Canadian investors", including Vanedge Capital, the Vancouver-based fund set up by former EA executives Paul Lee, Glenn Entis, and Jason Chein.
Tascan commented of the new studio announcement: "The combination of social media and new mobile devices has led to the creation of a new market segment for the video game industry. The province of Quebec, and Montreal in particular, rank among the world's best in terms of video game production, and our goal at SAVA is to now make it the global hub for social gaming."