Ubisoft's Yannis Mallat Says He's Aiming High With New Toronto Studio


Posted July 7, 2009 - By Jake Gaskill

Ubisoft Aiming High With New Toronto Studio

I just finished telling you that Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed 2 will be a much more robust and lengthier experience than the first game. Well, if you’re looking for someone to thank for that, look no further than the game's developer, Ubisoft Montreal, and its head, Yannis Mallat. If that name sounds familiar it’s probably because you saw the news yesterday about Ubisoft announcing that it plans to open a new studio in Toronto later this year.

While the Toronto studio is still its preliminary stages, Mallat, who will also be heading up the new studio in addition to the one in Montreal, told Gamasutra that he has a very clear vision concerning what he expects from the new division, especially with regards to Ubisoft's other studios.

"Toronto is definitely going to be a stand-alone studio. When we talk about working closely with other studios, what we mean is that the best way to get the operational capacity of a studio up and running is to leverage the strong work that's been done in Montreal in other studios."
Additionally, Ubisoft’s corporate communications manager Lisa Revelli told me that while the new studio will be working on current Montreal properties for the short term, “In the long term they will be developing new IPs,” as well.
In terms of the kinds of projects the new studio hopes to pursue, Mallat says that he and his team have big goals that will start to be realized as soon as the door’s open.
“We've developed a model for Ubisoft internal studios and it works really well on a variety of levels, from small to large, but the ambitions are high. We don't want to shoot low…So we want to make triple-A games. It doesn't exclude the possibility we might make other kinds of games, but we'd want them to be the best and the most successful.”
Considering Ubisoft Montreal is behind two of the year’s most anticipated titles of the year (Assassin’s Creed 2 and Splinter Cell: Conviction), it’s easy to understand Mallat’s enthusiasm concerning the future of his new studio. And it’s easy to see that Ubisoft Toronto will be in prime position to stake its claim as one of the most exciting new studios on the block when it opens in a few months.
Ubisoft's Yannis Mallat Says He's Aiming High With New Toronto Studio


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