Bethesda Open New Development Studio In Montreal

Fallout and Elder Scrolls folks Bethesda have opened a second development studio up north in Canada’s fair city of Montreal, they’ve announced. While their parent company ZeniMax own a smattering of other studios, from Arkane to id Software, this new joint is specifically an arm of Bethesda Game Studios. They don’t say much of interest about the studio or what it’ll do, so hey, I’ll repeat my plea to Ubisoft: let these new people go wild with those big open worlds and other assets you already have sitting on hard drives to make weird new things with them. (They won’t, I’m sure. Boo!)

Bethesda say the new studio is to “expand its development capabilities in console, PC, and mobile gaming”, which is vague. A general helper studio, perhaps? They say it’s opened with a team of “more than 40”, and are hiring too.

“It’s exciting to think about the new games we’ll be building together,” says executive producer Todd Howard in the announcement. Is it? Why? What are you up to? What are you thinking about? You can tell me, Todd. I can keep a secret, Todd. C’mon, Todd. C’mooon! Todd. Todd! TODD. Seriously man, come the ‘heck’ on. TODD! Sheesh.

Anyway, why Montreal? Well, I hear it’s a pretty nice city, but I suspect it’s also something to do with the province of Quebec offering tasty tax credits. The government cut these breaks last year, but they’re still added incentive. Ubisoft, Eidos, BioWare, Warner Bros., and plenty other gamefolks are already set up in Montreal. It’s easier to build a new studio in a place with potential employees already around too.

Anyway, I guess at some point we’ll hear what they’ll actually do?


  1. abHowitzer says:

    New franchise, or quicker installments of existing franchises?

  2. Philopoemen says:

    Please be a new game engine.

    Or the very least writing staff that are given priority in the design process.

    • Stedios says:

      Yes Unreal 4 you can afford it chaps!, gamebyro has had its day.

    • Moonracer says:

      I was also thinking this. A new engine that can break free of current limitations while still offering current freedoms (modding especially) would be a wise direction.

    • roothorick says:

      They own id fucking Software. The fact that the terminally broken Creation engine was used for Fallout 4 when they have idTech 6 and the guys that wrote it at their disposal smacks of groupthink run rampant. There won’t be a new engine beyond the sense that Creation (Skyrim) was a “new” engine in comparison to Oblivion’s customized Gamebryo.

  3. teije says:

    The provincial and federal tax credits are very generous, the low Canadian dollar (relative to US) helps, cost of living/salaries are very reasonable, and there’s a good pool of trained people to draw from. Plus Montreal is an awesome city, if you can hack the winters.

  4. ZippyLemon says:

    I can’t imagine this studio would be doing anything core to the main TES or Fallout instalments: BGS have their close knit veteran culture, iterated over decades, which keeps clinching them the big bucks and stellar review scores. They won’t change their philosophy or methods now until one or both of those metrics starts to show disapproval.

    My guess is the new studio will be doing spin offs set in the TES and Fallout worlds, intended to shore up the fandom in the lulls between major instalments.

    My hope is that management is taking the piss poor quality of BGS’s narration seriously, and these spin offs will be character and narrative focused to help flesh out the lore, for the sake of fans and to give BGS more ready made stuff to draw on. Ineptitude at story implementation is obviously ingrained in BGS as a studio, either in their actual staff or their production practices, and I really hope this new studio is a top down attempt to seed a bottom up solution to that problem.

    Or maybe they’re working on IHRA Professional Drag Racing 2017?

    • FriendlyFire says:

      Well, Fallout 4’s scored a whole 10 points lower than Skyrim on PC. It’s also significantly lower than Fallout 3. I think they might actually have to change their methods or philosophy soon, because another game like Fallout 4 might make their scores plummet below 80, which would probably make a lot of big wigs angry.

      • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

        Well, on metacritic the PC version scored just like New Vegas, Fallout 3 had an advantage only because it was the first in 3D and the initial WOW effect might have been stronger.

        Afterall in reviews most of what you rate are the first impressions, or at least that has to be true for most publications. New Vegas especially is not a game that gives a first impression if you’re allergic to crashes and bugs and general wonkyness, but you learn to appreciate it down to line.

        What really is important, however, is that they sold a crapton of units, even more than usual, and that’s why the bigwigs opened a new studio instead of getting angry.

  5. Arehandoro says:

    They could open a Q&A department too.

  6. DantronLesotho says:

    Montreal has a great gamedev scene. It’s understandable they went there, although I wish they would have come to Boston (where I live). Oh well!

  7. Major Seventy Six says:

    Maybe they are building Fallout New Detroit!

  8. Hedgeclipper says:

    Fallout 5: Occupied Quebec

  9. Premium User Badge

    DelrueOfDetroit says:

    They are developing a Papers, Please style game where you have to determine whether somebody’s religious garments are acceptable for wear while working a government position.

    Spoiler!! Only crosses are OK.

  10. Sic says:

    If they’re smart, it’s a helper studio that does in-house technology development.

    Bethesda have always had small teams, and not a whole lot of technological know-how. Focused on creating massive amounts of content is great, but relying on GameBryo for 15 years really isn’t.

    I truly hope this is the team that will co-develop a new engine used for the next TES game. Howard has already stated that they plan for it to use new tech, but then again, that might mean anything, as they said the same thing about Skyrim, and that was still GameBryo.

  11. MultiVaC says:

    The new 40 person team will be dedicated to finally fixing that one glitch where enemies who get turned into piles of ash or goo stay in the game world forever.

  12. Samuel. R says:

    Hope this doesn’t mean the new team will handle spin-offs…I really want Obsidian to be contracted to do another Fallout game :/

  13. Premium User Badge

    piphil says:

    I would hold off visiting the new studio for a few months. Apparently the taps in the restrooms work, but they’re currently dispensing custard rather than water, and the lifts have been experimenting with going sideways.

    They’re working on a patch.