Today Ubisoft announced that it will be shutting down its studio here in Vancouver Canada. The studio was started Febuary 2009 after Ubisoft acquired Action Pants Games and have primarily worked on sports titles for the publisher; most recently MotionSports Adrenaline: Urban Jungle and Pure Futbol for the Xbox 360 and PS3.
An Ubisoft spokesperson told Game Informer “Unfortunately, we haven’t found the right formula for success for the talented team there. We thank our Vancouver team for their hard work and the projects that they have delivered.”
While there is no indication that the reason for Ubisoft’s departure has anything to do with the market conditions, it’s no secret that the Vancouver is becoming a tougher sell. Especially when compared against the tax breaks offered in Montreal which is now home to a quarter of the companies operating in Canada.
Another large publisher’s decision to shut down it’s studio in Vancouver reflects a shift in the market. While larger companies are reducing staff there has been a surge in indie game development and the entrepreneurial spirit in Vancouver is alive an well. Vancouver’s vibrant digital media sector is a welcome home to smaller studios and developers who are creating for multiple platforms such as XBLA, Facebook, Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android.
The future still looks bright for Vancouver’s digital game sector and being one of the most livable cities in the world, I’d encourage anyone looking for a start in the industry to consider it as an option.