Quebec City-based Beenox, which is a division of Activision Publishing and its parent Activision Blizzard, said it will be expanding its footprint in Quebec to include Montreal to support the growth of the franchise and additional ambitious projects.
This recruiting investment will seek to increase Beenox’s staff by more than 20% and is the studio’s second major expansion in less than two years under the leadership of Nour Polloni, Studio Head at Beenox. To date, the studio employs over 400 game development professionals, including more than 150 hired since last year alone.
“I am very excited to announce the arrival of a new Beenox studio location in Montreal,” said Polloni, in a statement. “We are counting on the city’s great diversity of talent to build a team that will allow us to broaden our creative perspective and bring even more diversity to our development. This investment in Montreal is the next key step in our studio’s growth as we continue to support the creative ambitions across the Call of Duty franchise. We want our location to attract local and international talent and contribute to the vibrant video game industry in Montreal.”
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Beenox’s expansion in Montreal will allow the studio to support its ongoing development projects across Activision’s Call of Duty series. The team has built a reputation for its ability to provide essential input to the blockbuster franchise, including creating new content for each season of Call of Duty: Warzone as well as collaborating to co-develop an all-new mobile experience within Call of Duty.
The choice of Montreal comes as no surprise. The Canadian city has 235 game and visual effects studios with more than 21,000 employees, according to Montreal International. It’s got a lot of talent, and as Call of Duty’s ambitions expand, Activision Blizzard needs more people working on it. (It already has somewhere in the neighborhood of 2,000 people).
But recruiting won’t be easy. The game industry is going through a historic boom with billions being invested in new game studios who are battling for talent with big companies. Activision Blizzard, which has been hit with an acrimonious sexual harassment lawsuit and a unionization effort, could have a hard time attracting people. It is also in the process of being acquired by Microsoft for more than $75 billion.
“This second office will allow us to enhance our fields of expertise and grow our creative spirit. Our priority will be to provide our teams with a space that nurtures inspiration and innovation, but also facilitates collaboration, learning and building strong bonds. We want our team to be proud, excited, and comfortable going to the studio,” said Polloni.
Beenox already employs nearly 50 team members in the Montreal metropolitan area. The team is currently hiring for roles in programming, design and art departments, as well as for the mobile team. Polloni and her team now want to offer them an inspiring workspace that reflects the culture of the studio. The location of the Beenox studio in Montreal will be revealed in the coming months.
“The recipe for our success is our studio culture based on three core values: team spirit, excellence and balance. Being a part of the Beenox team is to feel a part of a big, united family where we share the same values and aspirations: passion invested in every aspect of our games, a deep commitment to quality and the ambition to create the best gaming experiences for our community,” Polloni said. “The Montreal team will be an integral part of the development process for all our projects. We want to keep on growing this culture by hiring people who, like us, care about quality games and who have a desire to succeed together.”
Polloni has been leading Beenox for nearly two years and she has over 20 years of experience in game development. She joined Beenox in 2011 to work on Skylanders and Call of Duty games as a producer, executive producer, and then studio director. Beenox itself was founded in Quebec City in 2000.
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