Virtuos expands into North America with Counterpunch acquisition and new Montreal studio

Virtuos, one of the biggest providers of external development services to the industry, yesterday announced that it was making a two-pronged expansion into the US – acquiring CounterPunch Studios in Los Angeles, as well as setting up Virtuos Montreal.

The dual move will provide key services to US developers within their region, making close collaboration easier.

CounterPunch is already a well-known name, and will be keeping its identity as a result. The animation specialists have provided work on both The Last Of Us Part II and Mortal Kombat XI of late. Kay Arutyunyan, GM of CounterPunch, will continue to lead the operation.

“From our first meetings, we knew that we’d found a home with Virtuos. Both in terms of our skills, and our company culture and values, the team at CounterPunch quickly saw how we could complement and grow within Virtuos, while stepping up our ambitions to work on the most exciting projects with the biggest players in the industry,” said Arutyunyan. “We’re proud to be industry leaders in our field of character modeling, rigging and animation, and can’t wait to bring our unique approach and tools to Virtuos’ partners around the world. We’re excited to begin our next chapter as a part of the Virtuos family.”

Further to this, Virtuos will be expanding its presence in Montreal (where it already had biz-dev office since last year) with Virtuos Montreal. The studio will concentrate on illustration and concept art services and will initially consist of ten artists, led by David Cheung, studio manager:

“I’m very proud to introduce our new team of skilled and passionate artists to the world, a fantastic new addition to the global Virtuos team. Montreal has a truly unique ability to inspire, so it’s no surprise it’s home to a vibrant and thriving art development community. Virtuos Montreal Studio taps the best talent in the city and connects it with the biggest names in games thanks to Virtuos’ global reach, end-to-end services, and prestigious legacy of working around the world with the biggest names in the industry.”

The move provides Virtuos with a bigger footprint in the US, where around 50 per cent of the company’s work is commissioned from.

Gilles Langourieux, CEO at Virtuos (who answered our Final Boss questions last year), said, “We’re so happy to welcome CounterPunch Studios and our new team in Montreal to the Virtuos family. Expanding our presence in North America is an important step in our mission to provide the best talent and the best technology to our partners around the world. Kay and her team provide a level of expertise and energy which we can’t wait to bring to our partners.”

About Seth Barton

Seth Barton is the editor of MCV – which covers every aspect of the industry: development, publishing, marketing and much more. Before that Seth toiled in games retail at Electronics Boutique, studied film at university, published console and PC games for the BBC, and spent many years working in tech journalism. Living in South East London, he divides his little free time between board games, video games, beer and family. You can find him tweeting @sethbarton1.

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