London, United Kingdom – April 29, 2008 – Today Ubisoft announces that Kiev, Ukraine, has been chosen as the location of its latest internal development studio. The studio represents Ubisoft’s third studio in Eastern Europe, and the fifth new studio to swell the group’s ranks in the last few months.
The Ukraine has long been of interest to the game industry and has numerous gaming-related companies in operation across the country. Home to over 100 of the country’s 300 IT universities and institutions, and with over 7000 graduates in software-related disciplines annually, the city of Kiev was quickly determined to be a promising location for a new Ubisoft studio. A core team of 12 developers, led by Vitalii Blazheiev, has already contributed to the PC version of Blazing Angels®: Secret Missions of WWII. The team plans to have 50 people in the studio within the next 12 months.
Ubisoft has been present in Eastern Europe for over 15 years, and in 1992 was the first international publisher to open a studio in Bucharest, Romania. After the positive reception of game franchises such as Silent Hunter® and Blazing Angels, the group decided to open a studio in Sofia, Bulgaria in June 2006. Today, Ubisoft Sofia has over 50 people and is actively recruiting in order to double in size within the next year. At the same time, Ubisoft Bucharest has over 500 people in its production, testing and IT departments, with ambitious plans to reach 650 people within the same time frame. This would bring Ubisoft’s overall presence to over 800 people in the region, and its development teams to over 350 by early 2009.
“We have had a very positive experience in Eastern Europe, as the quality of the upcoming Tom Clancy’s HAWX™ developed by our Bucharest studio can attest,” said Christine Burgess-Quémard, executive director, worldwide studios at Ubisoft. “Having seen the potential demonstrated by the Sofia studio’s first projects, it was only natural for us to pursue our expansion in this region and attract a new pool of highly-skilled talents to the group.”
Initially, the Kiev studio will directly collaborate with Ubisoft Bucharest, primarily contributing to projects such as the PC version of Tom Clancy’s HAWX, and will operate under the responsibility of Sebastien Delen, Managing Director of Ubisoft Bucharest and Ubisoft Sofia.