Bethesda Game Studios Reveals New Montreal Studio

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Bethesda expands their games development reach into the tax haven of Québec, Canada.

As great as Bethesda Softworks games have been in the past and recent present, it never seemed like the Maryland-based publisher was ready to make that next step into expansion. Year in and year out it seems like the gaming community would get just a brief collection of titles, as the company didn’t even rank in Metacritic’s Best Publishers list due to producing fewer than 7 titles in 2014. That could changing quite soon, as Bethesda has announced today that they have opened up the Bethesda Game Studios Montreal development studio.

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The studio will be headed up by Yves Lachance, the former Head of Studio and current Senior Vice President of Publishing (PC/Console) for Canada’s largest indie studio, Behaviour Interactive. If that studio name sounds familiar, they were the co-developers for Fallout Shelter and worked on the development of Fallout 4. The company traditionally produces licenced video games for mobile and console platforms, in addition to aiding the development of publishers’ titles like Wolfenstein: The New Order and Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor.

“Our collaboration with Bethesda Game Studios has been an exhilarating and memorable journey already,” said Lachance. “We are thrilled to be launching the studio in Montreal and contributing our city’s great game-making talent to the kind of games that Bethesda Game Studios is known for.”

It makes sense that Bethesda’s (not parent company ZeniMax) first step in games development outside Maryland is headed North of the border. For one, their tax incentives are fairly alluring, restored to 30% of employees’ salaries for commercial games produced in Quebec after a June 2014 Quebec government threatened to remove them as part of that year’s budget. While Ontario’s current max of a 40% tax break is much higher, you don’t get the kind of experience in games development in Ontario as you would from the multitude of studios already in Quebec (yet), nor would you have a team of more than 40 ready to go before their hiring spring begins.