Amazon Opens Video Game Studio in Montreal

Six weeks after Google shut down its video game studio in Montreal, another American tech giant, Amazon, has moved there. The world number one in electronic commerce announced on Tuesday that the Quebec metropolis will welcome its fourth studio, after those in Seattle, Orange County and San Diego, which will be dedicated to “the creation of a whole new brand of AAA games“.

The logo of Amazon’s new Montreal studio.

No details have been revealed about this brand, which is described simply as “a multiplayer game based on new intellectual property”. No interviews have been granted for this launch.

The heart of this new team is made up of four Ubisoft Montreal alumni, Luc Bouchard, Xavier Marquis, Alexandre Remy and Romain Rimokh. They all worked on Rainbow Six Siege, a first-person multiplayer shooter in which two teams of five players compete against each other in multiple missions. Ubisoft relies heavily on this game which has 70 million players and for which an electronic sports league has been set up.

The four main managers of the new Montreal studio from Amazon worked on Rainbow Six Siege, a first-person multiplayer shooter produced by Ubisoft that has 70 million players.

“We are excited to start over on a blank page and take advantage of all the freedom that Amazon offers us to create a unique experience,” Xavier Marquis, Creative Director, said in a statement. From our first discussions, we were sensitive to their long-term strategic vision, as well as the extent of their technical expertise. ”

“Recruit the greatest talents”
Amazon announced its video game ambitions in September 2020 with the Luna cloud platform, available for invite-only access in the United States since October at a price of US $ 5.99 per month. It uses Amazon’s cloud service, AWS, is available on PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad and select Android mobile devices, and currently offers around 50 games.

In its statement released on Tuesday, Amazon said it wants to “develop games that deliver bold new gaming experiences and foster community inside and outside of games.” An example of an internally developed game is MMO New World, slated for release in August 2021, “and several other games that have not yet been announced and are in development.” The Amazon Games subsidiary will also be the publisher of games developed by other studios, it is said, “including an upcoming title developed by Smilegate RPG.”

MMO New World, slated for release in August 2021, is one of the games designed by the Amazon Games teams.

It should be noted that Ubisoft, from which Amazon has recruited four of its pillars for its Montreal studio, is presented on Luna’s site as a privileged partner. In particular, it offers a subscription to the Ubisoft + service.

“The richness of Montreal’s creativity will be a valuable asset to our development and publishing teams,” said Christoph Hartmann, vice president of Amazon Games, in a statement. Our highly skilled and experienced new studio team reflects our ambition to recruit the best talent to create the best games possible. ”

The size of the new Montreal studio has not been specified. In its job posting section, Amazon Games announces that it is looking for eight professionals for its Montreal studio.