Amazon sets up new game development studio in Montreal

Amazon Games joins the growing list of game studios set up in Montreal with the creation of its fourth development studio.

Amazon Games has opened up its fourth game development studio, this time expanding beyond the United States to set up shop in Montreal.

The new offshoot keeps Amazon's ongoing focus on breaking into the triple-A game space, something it has tried to do with little success for the better part of a decade now.

Under the leadership of founders and former Rainbow Six Siege devs Luc Bouchard, Xavier Marquis, Alexandre Remy, and Romain Rimokh, Amazon Games Montreal aims to focus on creating original triple-A video games. 

“The highly skilled and experienced team at our new Montreal studio shares our commitment to creating best-in-class online games, and brings with them a wealth of knowledge and passion for building deep, community-focused multiplayer experiences," reads a statement from Amazon Games VP Christoph Hartmann. "I look forward to watching them invent on behalf of customers as they grow their team and develop their first project.”

That first project has yet to be detailed, though a statement from creative director Marquis names it as a "completely unique experience in the multiplayer space."

With this latest expansion, Amazon now has game studios set up in Seattle, Orange County, and San Diego working on a variety of different online games. However despite its penchant for setting up new studios, Amazon Games has yet to successfully launch any of the ambitious multiplayer games its teams have been plugging away at for years.

The closest to a game debut along those lines was Crucible, which launched in May of 2020 and was pulled back into a closed beta one month later before being canceled altogether that October. Another of its ambitious projects, the multiplayer brawler Breakaway, was canceled back in 2018. New World, Amazon Games' take on an MMO sandbox, is still in development at its Orange County studio and was recently delayed from May to August 2021.

Amazon's track record with ambitious announcements, cancellations, and delays has attracted the attention of publications like Bloomberg, curious how a company with Amazon's resources could consistently struggle to finally break into the game industry in a major way. A report from the publication earlier this year tied much of that difficulty to mismatches between Amazon's typical leadership style and the structure typically needed to ship a game.

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