New division to build Hitman title; Publisher also outlines plan to bolster its Deus Ex studio Eidos Montreal

Square Enix opens second Montreal studio

Japanese publishing giant Square Enix is to open an entirely new studio in Montreal, as well as expand its Eidos Montreal base 100 new jobs.

The new outfit, called Square Enix Montreal, will hire about 150 staff and work on what is believed will be a new Hitman game for the next generation of consoles.

Square Enix Europe CEO Phil Rogers announced the new company at a Montreal press conference, along with Eidos Montreal boss general manager Stéphane D’Astous.

D’Astous said Eidos Montreal will expand with about 100 new development roles created. The expansion means Eidos Montreal will employ about 430 staff – enough resources for three concurrent projects in full production.

Eidos Montreal, which is owned by Square Enix, this year completed development on Deus Ex to critical and commercial success.

The initiatives would make Square Enix the third biggest games company in Montreal by workforce. Ubisoft Montreal hires about 2,000 workers, while Electronic Arts houses about 800.

It was previously believed that Square Enix was negotiating a £1.2 million grant from state officials to facilitate the rapid increase in staff. The details of the final agreement are unknown.

Spokespersons for Square Enix Europe and its US division were unavailable when contacted by Develop.

"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 Square Enix," said Yoichi Wada, president and CEO of Square Enix Holdings.

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