It will be the first time that a publisher has opened a development studio in the Middle East, but Ubisoft has announced it will open a studio in Abu Dhabi by the end of the year.
It's being opened in collaboration with twofour54, an initiative by the Abu Dhabi government to improve the global status of media and entertainment in the Middle East and North Africa. The studio is expected to create 100 new jobs over five years.
This is brilliant news. I've always been a fan of the idea of the games industry becoming a global medium, where ideas and creativity of all forms can be expressed just like it is in cinema. Ubisoft's new studio is hopefully a sign of more high profile Middle Eastern game makers into the future.
Especially since Ubisoft has big plans for the studio. While it will start off with relatively small projects, such as online titles, and mostly in collaboration with other Ubisoft studios, a press release from the publisher said the goal was to have the studio produce original IP further down the track.
Take note, Australian government, this is what you need to be encouraging.