Ubisoft, one of the world’s leading video game publishers and the developers of brands such as Tom Clancy®’s Splinter Cell, Assassin’s Creed® and Prince of Persia®, today announced an agreement that will see Ubisoft establish a new development studio and participate in a new game development academy in Abu Dhabi. This marks the first time a major games publisher has established a direct presence in the GCC.
Based at twofour54 tadreeb, the twofour54 gaming academy in partnership with Ubisoft is scheduled to welcome its first intake of full-time students in March 2012. It will allow them to receive international standard training to prepare them for a career in the digital gaming industry; one of the fastest growing sectors within the media industry generally and especially in the Middle East.
Under the agreement, Ubisoft will establish a games development studio at twofour54. This studio will provide exciting job and talent development opportunities for graduates of the Academy as well as other games developers looking to create games that have universal appeal.
“Digital gaming has always been a priority sector for twofour54 and to partner with an international market leader such as Ubisoft is great news for the region’s gaming industry,” commented Wayne Borg, Deputy CEO & Chief Operating Officer, twofour54. “The digital games played by Arabs have traditionally been developed outside the region, which means that they rarely have a direct relevance to Arab gamers. Our agreement with Ubisoft will benefit the region in that it will enable the development of titles with universal appeal, whilst also building the skills of young Arabs to allow the region to create its own games and developing a gaming industry base here at twofour54.”
Ubisoft has the second largest in-house development staff in the world, employing more than 5,400 developers in studios around the world. The young students that sign up to be part of the new academy will have the opportunity to engage with these experts who will provide the guidance, knowledge and tools required to ensure that their gaming ideas turn from concept into reality.
Yannick Theler, a ten-year veteran at Ubisoft has been chosen to manage the new studio. Yannick’s experience at Ubisoft began at Ubisoft Switzerland as Marketing & Sales Director before being appointed Vice President of Business Development for Ubisoft’s China activities and most recently served as Human Resources Director of Ubisoft Shanghai.
“We are excited by the partnership with twofour54. Their commitment to developing a strong regional gaming industry and their knowledge of the region were the perfect foundation on which to continue building our development teams,” said Christine Burgess-Quémard, executive director, worldwide studios at Ubisoft. “The demographics and the pool of skilled technical talent in the Middle East and North Africa region are key factors that will contribute to the success of this new studio.”