x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Top gaming house moves to the UAE

Ubisoft, the developer behind some of the world's most popular video games, is setting up in Abu Dhabi.

The developer behind some of the world's most popular video games is setting up in Abu Dhabi.
Ubisoft, known for games such as Assassin's Creed, is going to have a facility in the TwoFour54 media zone in March.
"It's a first that you've got a major games publisher of the calibre of Ubisoft setting up a studio in this region," said Wayne Borg, the deputy chief executive and chief operating officer of Twofour54.
The Abu Dhabi studio will start with a core team of five to 10 people chosen from its 5,400 developers around the world, to help Ubisoft's European team create games for PC, Microsoft's Xbox and Sony's PlayStation 3 consoles.
However, Yannick Theler, the manager of Ubisoft's Abu Dhabi office, said the studio in the capital could create games on its own and plans to increase staff numbers to 25 next year, and then to 100 people in the next two to five years.
"The objective is to find people within the region," said Mr Theler.
"We need to train our guys and grow their expertise."
Ubisoft will also partner TwoFour54's gaming academy to help train the region's next generation of video game developers. The academy is due to take in its first batch of students in March.
Developing a regional talent pool is key to growing the video game industry in the UAE. Previously, those who wanted to become professional games developers had to go to the US or UK to receive training.
"I think it will draw talent from the region, not just from the UAE, but you'll find people from Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and the peripheral countries in this region wanting to come out and study game design or attend courses that are being offered," said Nitin Mathew, one of the founders of Dubai's annual Games conference. "It could be great if you could study in your own backyard and live and work there too," he said.
 
gvanzyl@thenational.ae