THQ is to open a new studio in Montreal, taking advantage of the tax benefits in the region to create a hub for subsidiary activities that will see its headcount start at 60 in the first year and grow to 500 over the course of five years.
Principally the studio will take responsibility for product development, R&D, art and content development, as well as QA and localisation, detailed a statement from the office of the Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade, Clement Gignac.
"THQ chose Quebec as the location for this major expansion," explained the minister. "By setting up its biggest studio here, THQ is joining and bolstering a booming local multimedia industry that's ready to take on new challenges. Many multinationals in this industry are electing to open new facilities here because Quebec has all the ingredients they need to succeed, including a talented workforce, competitive operating costs and the government’s active support.
"The company that we are welcoming today will be able to capitalise on Quebec's many advantages, including its creative and highly skilled workforce. In addition, THQ will be able to benefit from Montreal's cultural diversity to translate and adapt titles into several languages for worldwide distribution."
And Steve DaCosta, VP for finance and administration at THQ, added: "Thanks to its outstanding pool of creative digital media talent and its highly regarded university system, Montreal is the ideal location to support our future product and technology development needs.
"Moreover, government support in the form of refundable tax credits and other incentives enabled Montreal to stand out as the best combination of creative talent and favourable economics of the cities we evaluated for our new studio."
This THQ studio is the latest in a long line of expansions by international videogames companies in Canada, with Ubisoft announcing a new 800-person facility in Toronto a few months ago.
Meanwhile, Silicon Knights boss Denis Dyack has told GamesIndustry.biz he believes that Ontario can become the "world centre of excellence for videogames".