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Amazon Games opens Montreal studio

The outfit will focus on a new online multiplayer IP, under the direction of veterans from Ubisoft Montreal's Rainbow Six Siege team

Amazon Games has announced the opening of its new Canadian studio, based in Montreal.

The studio will be focusing on a new online multiplayer IP under the direction of a team of games industry veterans, all coming from Ubisoft Montreal where they shaped Rainbow Six Siege.

Former development director for technology group Luc Bouchard joins Amazon as head of production, creative director Xavier Marquis joins as creative director, brand and esports director Alexandre Remy will be head of product, and creative director Romain Rimokh joins as content director.

Marquis commented: "Building upon 8 years of experience with Siege, we are excited to start with a blank page and the creative freedom to create a completely unique experience in the multiplayer space. From our first discussion, we felt a true connection with the people at Amazon Games, their approach to gaming and the sheer amount of knowledge, expertise and technology available there. It is quite humbling and we couldn't be more excited to start a studio with them."

Amazon Games Montreal will be the company's fourth games development studio -- and the first one outside the US -- after Seattle, Orange County and San Diego.

The retail giant's foray into games has been rocky in recent years. Its first major project, Breakaway, was put on an indefinite hiatus at the end of 2017, before being cancelled in April 2018.

Dozens of employees were made redundant in June 2019, with game engine Lumberyard seemingly the cause of the issues at the company.

Amazon released free-to-play hero shooter Crucible in May last year, but it retreated into closed beta a month after launch. The title was shut down for good in October.

The company is also working on MMORPG New World, which was delayed to spring 2021 last year. Amazon pushed it back again earlier this year, and it is now due to release on August 31.

In an email to Amazon staff made public in February, future CEO Andy Jassy said he believed the firm can succeed in games "if we hang in there."

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