Studio Spotlight: Massive Entertainment

We speak to the studio behind Tom Clancy's The Division
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Tell us about your studio for those who are unfamiliar with your work.
Martin Hultberg, head of communications: Massive Entertainment has been around since 1997. Our portfolio ranges from classic strategy games like Ground Control and World in Conflict to more recent triple-A blockbusters like Assassin’s Creed: Revelations and Far Cry 3.

Our teams are currently working on Uplay for PC, Just Dance Now for mobile and Tom Clancy’s The Division. These projects have created a strong demand for cutting edge technology, which is why we also work with our own proprietary technology UbiBluestar for mobile and the Snowdrop engine for new-gen triple-A games.

What makes your studio stand out?
There are many excellent studios out there. What defines our work is a belief in empowering the craftsman, the developer, and a fascination with quality in everything we do. At the studio we also try to give room for people’s passions, not just in relation to the job, but everything from environment to community outreach. We work hard to let people excel in all aspects of their life. 

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What was the biggest development in 2014 for you?
The Division. It is a beast of a game. In addition, releasing Just Dance Now was tremendously interesting for us since it is basically completely platform-agnostic, and it takes us to many new markets

and opportunities. 

How has the studio been working with Reflections on The Division? How smooth has communication been between nations?
Reflections are awesome, and in the same timezone as us, and we don’t have any significant language or cultural barriers so we have a good foundation to start from.

Co-development is still a challenge due to the scope and complexity of the tasks though. Fortunately for us, the nice folks at Reflections are very experienced and eager to help. They are a great co-dev partner.

Ubisoft studios are known for sharing technology. What are you hoping to share from The Division?
The answer here clearly has to be the Snowdrop engine. It is a powerful tool we hope many Ubisoft teams will take advantage of. 

What lessons have you learned from other open-world online games while developing The Division?
Maybe not unique to open-world games per se but engaging the community in as many ways as possible is crucial. Fans have always been important to us, since way back with World in Conflict, but we are taking it much further now. 

Are you recruiting or expanding the team at the moment? 
We have been growing for the last few years and there are always open positions. We have close to 400 people working here and a third are ex-pats, which is pretty cool.

What we look for in people is an ability to function well in a team, a passion for their job and of course the necessary experience or skills to deliver on the tasks.

What do you hope to accomplish this year?
To create the start of a new franchise for one of the world’s most famous brands by launching Tom Clancy’s The Division.

Tell us something about Massive that no one knows.
Little known fact outside of the studio – we have bee hives on the balcony, adopted carnivores with Africat in Namibia and a large fish tank by the pool table. We love animals. ν

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