Officials from French publisher and developer Ubisoft have announced that the company is to open a second games production studio in China, with plans to hire 200 workers within a year.
Ubisoft already employs 500 staff at its Shanghai studio, which was established in 1996 and has been responsible for various format versions of games in the Ghost Recon
series and Splinter Cell
series and is currently working on real-time strategy game Tom Clancy’s EndWar
The new studio will be headquartered in Chengdu, capital of the Sichuan province in central China. The studio will focus on developing online titles and will seek to make local partnerships for games aimed more at the Chinese market itself, rather than the Western orientated games of the Shanghai studio.
Speaking to the Reuters news agency
new studio head Richard Tsao commented that, “China has proven to be able to develop world-class games.” He also suggested that China could one day surpass the size of Ubisoft’s expansive Montreal studio, noting that 80 percent of the company’s new employees in recent years have come from Canada, Romania or China.
Commenting on the difficulty of publishing existing Western style games in China, where none of the next generation consoles are yet officially on sale, Tsao offered: “We make games in China for global consumption... It's not that we don't want to sell games in China. It's very hard to get into the market.”