MONTRÉAL, February 9, 2007 - Premier of Québec Jean Charest, along with Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade Raymond Bachand and Minister of Employment and Social Solidarity Michelle Courchesne, is pleased with Ubisoft Entertainment Inc.'s decision to establish a major digital design studio and expand its video game studio in Montréal.
Ubisoft's objective is to transform its facilities in Québec into one of the largest digital entertainment centres in the world. This project, which is the third phase in the company's expansion, is as strategic as Ubisoft's initial establishment in Québec in 1997. Through Ubisoft's presence, Montréal has become one of the five axes of interactive digital media development in the world in just a few short years.
"Our government is especially proud that Ubisoft chose Montréal as a place to expand its activities and innovate. This confirms Montréal's ability to compete with other large cities around the world and will mean the creation of more than 1,000 jobs in a high technology sector by 2013. Ubisoft decided on Montréal not only because of our government's offer, but more so due to the creative potential of our work force. We can be proud of this!" declared the premier.
This project will require a total investment of $454.1M. The Government of Québec has earmarked funds of up to $19M. The government's contribution is based on the interim financing from tax credits, training related to new jobs, conducting studies and collaboration in training of qualified labour in the video game and digital design sectors. Depending on its activities, Ubisoft could also benefit from a tax credit for the production of multimedia titles and film production services.
The project includes two phases. The development of a digital design studio will bring together film and video games, while the expansion of the video game studio will make it possible to increase the number of video games produced in Québec. These two phases will create 1,000 jobs in all by 2013.
This translates into attractive career choices for Québec youth in a future sector of our economy.
"As part of this extremely promising project, Ubisoft will hire, over the next few years, hundreds of graduates namely with a background in computer graphics, multimedia and programming. For our government, it is essential to support companies' training plans. By focussing on qualified labour, Québec will be able to continue to create wealth and to come out on top in international competition," continued Ms. Courchesne.
"Carrying out this project will consolidate Montréal's mission to be an international centre of excellence for video game development and digital design. The presence of a leader such as Ubisoft creates a catalyst effect on the launch and expansion of businesses. It constitutes a powerful force of attraction for other players in the industry," added Mr. Bachand.
Several departments worked together to convince Ubisoft to choose Québec. Thus, the Ministère du Développement économique, de l'Innovation et de l'Exportation; de l'Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale; des Affaires municipales et des Régions; and des Finances, de l'Education, du Loisir et du Sport, as well as Investissement Québec and SODEC, contributed to bring together this outstanding offer in line with their respective programs.
These investments are part of the Québec Research and Innovation Strategy, launched on December 4, 2006. This strategy makes research and innovation the foundation for competition and the driving force behind economic development and job creation. Investment in research and innovation aims to develop new technologies and products, which can then be mastered by businesses and organizations in Québec in all sectors.