A leading video game developer is opening shop in Halifax, bringing dozens of new jobs with it.

Longtail Studios, part of Ubisoft Entertainment SA, the world’s fourth-largest video game publisher, announced the 60 new positions for producers, designers, modellers, programmers and data managers will average $60,000 salaries, benefits included, and will be phased in over five years. Longtail is headquartered in New York and has offices in Quebec and P.E.I.

Longtail makes character-driven games with a “broader range” of emotions, said president Gerard Guillemot, citing the recent release of a video game version of Grey’s Anatomy.


“We think that Nova Scotia is really well structured in the training that is given to the students here to cope with these new games that we think are the future,” he said. “The idea was to go to places where we would be able to work long-term with local communities and universities and where the ‘big guys’ would not be there already. Nova Scotia is a great place for that.”

Percy Paris, minister for economic and rural development, said the province offered Longtail $1,077,397 in five years of payroll rebates via Nova Scotia Business Inc.

“These are jobs that will keep our young, talented workforce here in the province of Nova Scotia,” he said at the Centre for Arts and Technology in downtown Halifax. “As we move out of this economic downturn, it’s essential that we support growth that attracts and retains our young, innovative minds.”

Stephen MacDonald, 28, is from Halifax, but moved to B.C. to find gaming work. Two years ago, he took a job with Longtail in Charlottetown. The lead 3D modeller is thrilled to be coming home.

“It was always a dream, but the industry just wasn’t here,” he said.

The jobs were posted yesterday at longtailstudios.com.

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