Assassin’s Creed maker Ubisoft has revealed that it will be opening a new studio in India. The company has selected the upscale Powai neighbourhood in Mumbai as the location for its second India studio, the first being Ubisoft Pune. The Ubisoft Mumbai studio will participate in AAA game development and live operations for Ubisoft’s existing games. Ubisoft Mumbai will report directly to Jean-Philippe Pieuchot, Managing Director of the Pune studio. The Ubisoft Mumbai team will work closely with Ubisoft Pune, collaborating on the development of Ubisoft’s AAA console games. Several senior team members from Pune will also join the new studio in Mumbai to build the core team and help new recruits to ramp up quickly. Ubisoft Mumbai opens its doors in June.
“This year marks the tenth anniversary of Ubisoft’s presence in India. Our commitment to India is now strengthened by the new expansions in Mumbai. Mumbai being one of the biggest cities in the world, the opening of a new studio here will allow us to reach out to both national and international talents. By opening up to this wide high-potential talent pool, I’m confident Mumbai studio will help us attract more creative profiles and expand the diversity of our internal creative force.” said Christine Burgess-Quemard, Executive Director of Ubisoft’s worldwide studios. “I am proud to see how our production presence is growing, and strongly believe that it is by investing and expanding our knowledge and expertise internally that we will be able to keep delivering the high quality entertainment experiences of the future.”
Considering game development in India isn’t as high profile as it used to be with the likes of Gameloft, Disney, and Square Enix shutting their studios in the previous years and EA relegating its Hyderabad operations to sustain existing mobile and social fare, Ubisoft Pune has traditionally been one of the more stable studios. Aside from contributing to games like Rayman Origins, South Park: The Stick of Truth, South Park: The Fractured But Whole (and its upcoming Nintendo Switch port), and the Just Dance series, it’s also worked on its own titles in the past such as Splinter Cell Trilogy HD, Prince of Persia Classic, and Far Cry Classic.
With Ubisoft’s release schedule and how its game development processes are organised between studios, its safe to say that Ubisoft Mumbai would be adhere to its support role rather than be tasked with anything new in the immediate future at least. Given the rising cost of game development (partially driven by publisher motivation to turn each game into a service with added micro-transactions) a Mumbai studio appears to be a way to lure talent both foreign and local while keeping development costs relatively low.