Ubisoft opened the first AAA video game studio in the region on February 9, 2018, with twenty-some employees ready to take on any challenge head-on. They’ve come a long way since then!
Today, Ubisoft Saguenay relies on a multidisciplinary team from 10 different nationalities. It has built a solid reputation by collaborating with studios across the globe on Ubisoft’s biggest AAA brands including Assassin’s Creed and Rainbow Six, by creating connected experiences and through the exploration of various cutting-edge technologies. They’ve also had a meaningful impact in their region through numerous initiatives in the educational, cultural, economic and social sectors.
With Ubisoft Saguenay celebrating their 5th anniversary, find out everything you need to know about the Saguenay studio in the company of their General Manager, Jimmy Boulianne. Take heed that you may have a sudden desire to join the adventure. 😉
The Beginning of a Beckoning Adventure
Ubisoft’s Quebec roots were firmly planted in 1997 with the strong desire to open new studios in the regions. Its objective was to find talent in the same location as they were, to offer a diverse environment to its teams and to allow local talent to continue to thrive at home, with their families and friends close by.
In 2016, when the organization shared their interest to invest in locations outside of the large urban centres, Jimmy Boulianne, then manager of Ubisoft Technology Group Online, presented his project of creating a regional team dedicated to the evolution of online gaming aspects to the management of Ubisoft. This coalescence enabled the future vision to be defined.
Jimmy remarks, “Since I left my home in Côte-Nord to study and then work in the domain of technologies, I wanted to return to the region and offer high-quality employment within an exceptional living environment. After about fifteen years of working in various roles at Ubisoft Montreal, I was ready to get the ball rolling and Ubisoft was the gateway to achieving this dream.”
A delegation then explored numerous regions across the province, in search of an area offering a qualified workforce, the availability of compelling technological and artistic training, dedicated socio-economic stakeholders, an affordable cost of living, all within a captivating living environment. It was in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean where they discovered everything they were looking for and more.
Jimmy states, “The Ubisoft Saguenay studio is nestled in the heart of a dynamic downtown area, located just minutes away from the Saguenay River and its fjord. For us, it’s the best of both worlds.”
A Multifaceted and Passionate Team
For 5 years now, Ubisoft Saguenay has woven a diverse and multifaceted team of professionals from a plethora of expertise, including everything from production management to programming, graphic design, modelling, in addition to animation and game level design.
The Ubisoft Saguenay team contributes to unite gamers and push the boundaries of the industry on a daily basis. Whether it’s at the studio or at home, they shine every day by collaborating with the Ubisoft Studios, across the globe, in addition to their involvement in community projects.
The general manager notes, “Building a studio, from A to Z, is not a small endeavour! We have a small team of talented individuals who succeed in overcoming challenges with brio. I am so very impressed with their ability to adapt and their level of commitment towards our projects is inspiring. Every member of our team has made a difference in their own way. What we’ve been able to accomplish over the past few years is truly phenomenal! It’s beyond what I could have ever hoped for.”
The Saguenay team has been collaborating in a dozen or so Ubisoft games, all the way from Annecy and San Francisco, to the studio in Quebec and Montreal. It’s primarily involved in social experiences such as the Hyper Scape Twitch extension and multiplayer games such as Rainbow Six Extraction.
They also carry out activities in technological development in addition to the games they create. Part of the team explores a variety of advanced technologies, such as Cloud Computing, while others work on the Anvil game engine or create connected experiences with Ubisoft Connect.
Mr. Boulianne maintains, “As a new studio, we must be ambitious to stand out and continue to up our game. We’ve achieved this by focusing on specific mandates, which have enabled us to further hone our skills and our aptitudes in innovation. Our team has built a solid reputation.”
Making a Difference, Together!
Since 2018, Ubisoft Saguenay developed several initiatives to be well established in their environment. Today, over $300,000 has been directly invested via Ubisoft Education, Ubisoft Contractors, Ubisoft La Forge and projects related to Vie de Quartier, in addition to the various economic benefits. This represents about sixty dedicated employees, both near and far.
Jimmy comments, “Our establishment has been a success! It’s of the utmost importance for us to emphasize that this collaboration with the ensemble of the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region and our teams is the core of our success. No matter if it’s in the educational, cultural, economic or social sectors, we all have a very important role to play.”
The opening of a studio in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region has also enabled some fifty persons to work in their native region in addition to attracting more than twenty talents from the international.
And We’re Just Getting Started!
“It’s just phenomenal to have so many accomplishments after only 5 years. We could not be prouder of what we’ve accomplished and it’s just the beginning.” Concludes Jimmy Boulianne.
Do you dream of making an impact on the future of video games developed by Ubisoft, in a dynamic environment brimming with creativity? Accept the challenge and join the adventure!