Square Enix will open a new AAA studio in Montreal in 2012 and plans to hire 150 staff members. It's first title will be a brand new Hitman game.
"Montreal is a vibrant centre of game creators with industry-leading talent, and one of the most important bases of our global network of game development within the Square Enix Group," said CEO Yoichi Wada.
The operation will be headed up by Lee Singleton, who will remain GM of Square Enix London Studios, and will be joined by three developers from IO Interactive at launch.
"I've worked in games all of my life, it's what I know and what I love and to be able to bring that passion and experience to Square Enix Montreal is very exciting," said Singleton.
"I want to create a studio that attracts passionate people, encourages innovation and gets the best out of the studio talent by empowering teams to make a difference."
The Hitman title that will act as the studio's first project shouldn't be confused with Hitman: Absolution, currently in development with IO Interactive. This will be entirely new game, and the development schedule is suggestive of a next-gen release.
"We believe in creating studios where passion for our games and gaming runs throughout and Eidos-Montreal is testament to this vision. The start up of a second studio brings a huge advantage to our business; we will nurture two separate studios with their own strengths, culture and appeal," added Phil Rogers, CEO of Square Enix Europe.
"All of this has been made possible by our fantastic partners in Invest Quebec and Montreal International and we look forward to continuing our excellent working relationship with them."
Square Enix has also announced Eidos Montreal, its existing development studio responsible for Deus Ex: Human Revolution, will see an extra 100 jobs. General manager Stephane Astous told Gamasutra that the expansion would happen carefully.
"The last thing I want is to create a factory-like setting. I've been part of a much bigger studio in the past, and our priority is to make sure we retain a 'human approach' on management, where we're close to our people and transparent with them."