Studio staff reportedly unhappy with mega-studioâ??s new social focus

Warner dev â??angerâ?? at AAA-to-social switch

Development staff at Warner Bros’ new Montreal outfit are said to be angered at management’s decision to shift the studio’s focus to social and mobile games.

Warner Bros needs to grow its Montreal workforce to 300 employees by 2015 – a strategy first conceived for triple-A production.

Yet Warner Bros Montreal’s existing 26 employees are, according to Canadian newspaper Lapressaffaires, being told to work on bite-sized mobile/social games and a microtransaction-based MMO.

“Some staff were surprised by the change in philosophy, sometimes to the point of leaving the company,” the paper alleged.

The studio’s general manager Martin Carrier said the focus is a response to a games market in flux; with the social and mobile spaces offering lucrative alternatives to triple-A production.

"Before, we perceived the [social /mobile] market as a secondary market, but today is a growing market with the democratization of video games. Commercially, we believe we can sell more than games on a grand scale," Carrier told the paper.

Local politicians have invested a $7.5 million grant, as well as various tax credits, in the studio.

Projects underway and in place at Warner Bros Montreal will draw from DC Comics-related IP.

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