Square Enix is currently planning to open a new studio in Canada. The studio should be ready for business come 2012, and representatives are currently trying to decide between Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver as the base of operations. The final decision will be made by the company at the end of May, and a minimum of 100 employees will be hired.
Stephane D’Astous, director for Square Enix subsiduary Eidos Montreal, is in charge of choosing the location of the future office. While building the studio in Montreal would pose some advantages, the director needs to decide if Square Enix will pursue closer working relationships with the Eidos studio or branch out, covering a wider span instead. According to D’Astous, “The negotiating process has begun.”
Even more interesting is the company’s motivation in this process. According to D’Astous, the new Canadian studio will be the office where employees work on games for the next generation of consoles once the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii see their final days as leading systems. “The new consoles from Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo will require more attention and more staff,” said D’Astous. “We want to prepare ourselves.”
Is Square Enix hinting as to when gamers should expect the next generation of consoles? 2012 is just around the corner, but the current consoles still have plenty of staying power (and yes, that includes the Wii). All we know so far is that Square Enix wants to establish the new studio soon, but projects and ideas are completely unknown at the moment. It’ll be interesting to see what types of games the studio focuses on, especially considering the company’s statement that this branch will be dedicated to the next line of consoles.