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THQ Montreal Studio will create 400 Jobs

THQ is the latest publisher to set up shop in Montreal, Quebec, as the company said Thursday that is establishing a new studio that's expected to create 400 new jobs over the next five years.

THQ joins other major game publishers including Electronic Arts and Ubisoft, who have key studios in the Canadian city. THQ SVP Steve DeCosta said, "Montreal’s outstanding pool of creative digital media talent and its highly regarded university system makes this the ideal location to support our future product and technology development needs."

DeCosta also cited "government support, in the form of reimbursable tax credits and other incentives," which attracted THQ to the new locale. The publisher has yet to finalize a specific location for THQ Montreal, but expects to open the new studio by mid-2010.

Leading the new THQ Montreal studio as general manager is Dave Gatchel, former general manager of THQ's wholly-owned Paradigm Entertainment studio. The studio will concentrate on core video games, and will support other THQ studios.

New jobs will be "sustainable," THQ said, and will span across an array of disciplines including design, engineering, art, content and technology development, quality assurance, and localization.

THQ Montreal is the publisher's second full development studio in Canada. Relic Entertainment, developers of the real-time strategy games Company of Heroes and Dawn of War II, is located in Vancouver.

The expansion announcement comes in a year during which THQ eliminated 24 percent of its workforce and reported fiscal year losses of $431 million. But the publisher saw the successful release of UFC 2009: Undisputed, and has hopes of returning to profitability in fiscal 2010. THQ currently employs 1,200 people worldwide.

"We are focused on building hit franchises and achieving efficiencies within our studio organization and THQ Montreal will play an integral role in achieving both of these objectives," said THQ Core Games EVP Danny Bilson. "We expect to ramp up the studio over the next several years, with our first titles targeted for release in fiscal 2013."

Quebec Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade Clement Gignac said that the new studio will help the province raise its profile within the games industry. "THQ’s new studio represents a key investment by a premier video game developer and will create more than 400 highly-skilled jobs in Montreal’s technology sector, further enhancing our position as a leading center of creative talent and game design," he said.

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