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Warner Bros. opening Montreal video game studio

March 22, 2010 |  4:10 pm

Warner Bros. is opening a major new video game development studio in Montreal.

The studio announced its plans today in conjunction with the Quebecois government, which will provide about $7.4 million in subsidies.

The new Montreal studio will be the seventh internal production house for Warner Bros.' video games unit and the first it has established from scratch. It previously acquired Britain's Traveller's Tales, maker of the Lego Star Wars and Lego Batman games; Britain's Rocksteady Studios, maker of last year's hit Batman: Arkham Asylum; Seattle-based Monolith Entertainment and Snowblind Studios; and two studios previously owned by Midway Games, which Warner bought out of bankruptcy last year, including one in Chicago that produces Mortal Kombat fighting titles.

Warner has been expanding its video game publishing unit Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment for the last several years as it has cut back on licensing and produced more titles in-house. It is currently developing games based on Lord of the Rings and is expected to start working on Harry Potter games after a deal with Electronic Arts ends next year, as well as more games based on its DC Comics superheroes.

Thanks in part to government tax credits, Montreal has become a hub for video game development, with studios belonging to major publishers such as Ubisoft, Electronic Arts and Eidos.

The new Warner Bros. game studio is expected to employ more than 300 people by 2015, according to the studio.

--Ben Fritz