The Square Enix Group is expanding in Canada with the creation of a new second studio, Square Enix Montréal, and the growth of its Eidos-Montréal studio.

Square Enix Montréal will open in 2012 and create 150 jobs. The first project at Square Enix Montréal will be Hitman Absolution (pictured), the latest in the award-winning Hitman franchise, which it will work on in cooperation with IO Interactive, a Square Enix studio based in Copenhagen that created the property.

The new Montréal studio will be led by Lee Singleton, who currently is general manager of Square Enix London Studios, home of the recent Just Cause 2 with Avalanche Studios and Batman: Arkham Asylum with Rocksteady Studios.

Eidos-Montreal is adding 100 new jobs, enabling the studio to take on a third major title in addition to its current Deus Ex and Thief franchises. The studio will also expand its facilities, including in-house audio recording and motion tracking studios and a mini-theatre.

These initiatives received support from Montréal International, a non-profit private-public partnership that promotes the economic development of Greater Montréal. It is financed by some 100 members from the private and institutional sectors, as well as the Governments of Canada and Québec, the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal and the City of Montréal.

“We believe in creating studios where passion for our games and gaming runs throughout and Eidos-Montréal is testament to this vision. The start up of a second studio brings a huge advantage to our business; we will nurture two separate studios with their own strengths, culture and appeal,” said Phil Rogers, president and chief executive officer of Square Enix Europe.

The Square Enix Group integrated entertainment group consists of the Square Enix, Eidos and Taito brands. Its portfolio of intellectual property includes: Final Fantasy, which has sold over 100 million units worldwide; Dragon Quest, which has sold over 58 million units worldwide; Tomb Raider, which has sold over 35 million units worldwide; and the legendary Space Invaders.

“Montréal is a vibrant centre of game creators with industry-leading talent, and one of the most important bases of our global network of game development within the Square Enix Group,” said Yoichi Wada, president and chief executive officer, Square Enix Holdings Co. Ltd.

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