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Rockstar Vancouver Dies so That Rockstar Toronto May Expand

The western Canadian studio has been shuttered, while a new studio space has opened in Ontario.

Rockstar Vancouver, we hardly knew ye.

Rockstar Vancouver, the studio most recently known for its work on Max Payne 3, has been closed, according to Take Two Interactive. 35 staffers were part of the team prior to its closure, though the good news is that they haven't just been cut from Rockstar outright. However, they may need to look into relocation services should they decide to remain with the company.

That's because Rockstar has at the same time opened a new studio in Oakville, Ontario, and invited any of the Vancouver staffers to move to the new office, as well as any other Rockstar studio currently in need of staff.

Why make this move in the first place? Because of tax credits, of course. The Ontario government has made a deal with Rockstar to provide a hospitable financial environment for them to expand their existing Toronto team. Up to 50 staffers will be housed in the new Oakville office, including any of the Vancouver team that wants to join up.

Forced relocation deals are never exactly fun for the people being forcibly relocated, but at least in this case, the former Vancouver staffers have some options at their disposal. Hopefully they all get settled soon enough.

In related news, I should probably finish Max Payne 3 at some point, shouldn't I?

Alex Navarro on Google+
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Posted by Alex
Rockstar Vancouver, we hardly knew ye.

Rockstar Vancouver, the studio most recently known for its work on Max Payne 3, has been closed, according to Take Two Interactive. 35 staffers were part of the team prior to its closure, though the good news is that they haven't just been cut from Rockstar outright. However, they may need to look into relocation services should they decide to remain with the company.

That's because Rockstar has at the same time opened a new studio in Oakville, Ontario, and invited any of the Vancouver staffers to move to the new office, as well as any other Rockstar studio currently in need of staff.

Why make this move in the first place? Because of tax credits, of course. The Ontario government has made a deal with Rockstar to provide a hospitable financial environment for them to expand their existing Toronto team. Up to 50 staffers will be housed in the new Oakville office, including any of the Vancouver team that wants to join up.

Forced relocation deals are never exactly fun for the people being forcibly relocated, but at least in this case, the former Vancouver staffers have some options at their disposal. Hopefully they all get settled soon enough.

In related news, I should probably finish Max Payne 3 at some point, shouldn't I?

Posted by Ohvee

Bully was good, so hopefully everyone there has a place to go.

Posted by SuperSonic1305

Now make Bully 2

Posted by ArmedBear

I smell copious amounts of poutine in this deal.

Posted by thealexray

Game development seems like the worlds worst job if you aren't a single twenty-something. Hey everybody, pack up all your stuff and leave the home you lived in for years. Hope you didn't have any family or friends or had kids or significant others in school in the area or owned any property we needed to go sponge off of the government over here.

Posted by Little_Socrates

Don't worry about finishing Max Payne 3 if you haven't already.

This puts this story in a much more positive light, though.

Posted by Xeirus

@thealexray said:

Game development seems like the worlds worst job if you aren't a single twenty-something. Hey everybody, pack up all your stuff and leave the home you lived in for years. Hope you didn't have any family or friends or had kids or significant others in school in the area or owned any property we needed to go sponge off of the government over here.

That's what i was thinking. It's nice they have options, but honestly that's not much of an option...

Posted by ogg25

Oh man I live on the border of Oakville right now. If only I was done my degree

Posted by probablytuna

That kinda sucks for the developers involved.

Posted by Sackmanjones

Oh well this story is much nicer than I expected

Online
Posted by simian

Thanks dumbass BC residents for voting to get rid of HST.

Edited by Smokey_Earhole

@Little_Socrates said:

Don't worry about finishing Max Payne 3 if you haven't already.

This puts this story in a much more positive light, though.

I concur. Max Payne 3 was epically disappointing. Such retarded and game breaking changes to series amazing core mechanics.

Posted by Little_Socrates

@Smokey_Earhole: I had no room for disappointment because I hadn't played the previous games; honestly, the response from fans made it sound like I could only enjoy MP3 if I hadn't played the first two. But that doesn't make up for the game's incredibly frustrating encounter design and dull story/characters. Also, fuck everybody who was hyping the "licensed song moment."

Posted by Bell_End

@Smokey_Earhole said:

@Little_Socrates said:

Don't worry about finishing Max Payne 3 if you haven't already.

This puts this story in a much more positive light, though.

I concur. Max Payne 3 was epically disappointing. Such retarded and game breaking changes to series amazing core mechanics.

like what... you mean the cover system. did that really break it. it did not for me, i loved it and it loved the originals. it would of been weird if MP3 didn't have the ability to take cover imo

Posted by Smithers

It's good that these people aren't just losing their jobs, but a forced relocation for the sake of tax credits seems massively skeezy. I wonder how Canadian employment law works?

Posted by Groundings

This news sucks for all the Vancourver employees

Posted by dropabombonit

You should finish Max Payne 3 Alex, one of my favorite games this year and dat soundtrack is just wow. Seems Ontario is becoming a big place for games development atm. There is also a lot of indie studios there if I'm not mistaken

Edited by MeatSim

They should start work on Bully 2 after the move.

Posted by bassman2112

First Radical now Rockstar Van?

Man, game devs are getting the hell out of Vancouver.......

Posted by DJJoeJoe

@Bassman2112: No reason to stay in Van if the Gov benefits are better in other areas of Canada :(

Posted by SockemJetpack

It's no big deal. You didn't want to live near the ocean where the winters are mild and the local hockey team is competent. You want to move here to Ontario! Where the summers are scorching, the winters are brutal and the local hockey team hasn't made the playoffs since 2004.

Welcome to paradise.

Posted by Stimpack

. . . . .

Posted by JerichoBlyth

Can you say bomb?

Or...*shifty eyes* a giant...bomb?

Edited by Stimpack

@Bell_End: I enjoyed it as well. I don't know what people are talking about. It was definitely different compareD to the originals, but it certainly wasn't a bad game. I guess if you were a die-hard Max Payne fan, I could see being upset about it. Anyway, how can you not love it? They shot his second-favorite drinking arm!

Posted by McP

I'm still playing Max Payne 3 online. It's pretty great. Thank you Rockstar Vancouver.

Posted by boylie

As a Toronto game artist, WEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Posted by falling_fast

@SockemJetpack said:

It's no big deal. You didn't want to live near the ocean where the winters are mild and the local hockey team is competent. You want to move here to Ontario! Where the summers are scorching, the winters are brutal and the local hockey team hasn't made the playoffs since 2004.

Welcome to paradise.

Edited by Etnos

@damnable_fiend said:

@SockemJetpack said:

It's no big deal. You didn't want to live near the ocean where the winters are mild and the local hockey team is competent. You want to move here to Ontario! Where the summers are scorching, the winters are brutal and the local hockey team hasn't made the playoffs since 2004.

Welcome to paradise.

I live in Vancouver, most over-priced/over-hyped city in the world. It is a cool place for sure, but the price for living is out of the chart.

Now wonder, Vancouver studios are shooting down all over.

PD. Seems like landlords are the only ones doing any money around here.

Posted by MikkaQ

@Etnos: Getting a place in Toronto isn't any better. Well maybe Oakville's cheaper, but yeah housing is just inflated across the board. I wouldn't want to find myself forced to move somewhere right now.

Posted by boxing_hobo

Welcome to Ontario, the land of overpriced booze.

Posted by Brodehouse

BC is really fucking up if their tax situation is worse than Toronto.

Might have more to do with the major increase in Montreal development. Toronto is close enough that you can draw from the same talent pool, just like Vancouver did with Washington State.

Posted by scottp

I live in Oakville, this is pretty crazy!

Posted by SmilingPig

There asking their employees to move from possibly the nicest looking city in Canada to the dump that is Toronto... at lease the rent won’t be as high.

Posted by scottygrayskull

Good to hear this isn't a straight closure of the Vancouver studio, especially after Radical.

@boxing_hobo: Actually having lived in both Ontario and BC, the latter's prices are as high if not higher. D:

Posted by D_Mac

Going to start polishing up the old resume. Here's hoping they'll consider interviewing someone with 10 years of television producer experience.

Posted by PJ

@Bell_End said:

@Smokey_Earhole said:

@Little_Socrates said:

Don't worry about finishing Max Payne 3 if you haven't already.

This puts this story in a much more positive light, though.

I concur. Max Payne 3 was epically disappointing. Such retarded and game breaking changes to series amazing core mechanics.

like what... you mean the cover system. did that really break it. it did not for me, i loved it and it loved the originals. it would of been weird if MP3 didn't have the ability to take cover imo

I didn't like the cover system. Max Payne for me was always that you run at your enemies and then dive in bullettime or just activate it and run though a group of enemies and kill them before they know what hit them. The cover system ruins the pace that your used to from the old games. I understand that they were doing a more "grounded" game and having you just run out and get shot a million times in every combat scenario isn't exactly what you'd call realistic. But it's not Max Payne as I remember it. And I liked to story better in the old games, though the story in MP3 is still great and the reason you'd play the game.

Posted by Aegon

@SockemJetpack said:

It's no big deal. You didn't want to live near the ocean where the winters are mild and the local hockey team is competent. You want to move here to Ontario! Where the summers are scorching, the winters are brutal and the local hockey team hasn't made the playoffs since 2004.

Welcome to paradise.

*sigh*

Toronto, man...just...ugh

Posted by Zaxex

35 staffers? I assumed Max Payne 3 was made by hundreds of people.

Posted by ripelivejam

@Zaxex said:

35 staffers? I assumed Max Payne 3 was made by hundreds of people.

yes cause hundreds of people worked so well for 38 Studios

Posted by MikeGosot

So... What about Bully 2? >:

Posted by Shaanyboi

@SockemJetpack said:

It's no big deal. You didn't want to live near the ocean where the winters are mild and the local hockey team is competent. You want to move here to Ontario! Where the summers are scorching, the winters are brutal and the local hockey team hasn't made the playoffs since 2004.

Welcome to paradise.

Posted by Shuborno

Oh man, trading Vancouver for Oakville? Brutal.

Posted by BayHarborButcher

Glad to see people still remember how great Bully was.. not those shit ports on 360 and Wii but the good ol' PS2 version. Hope it shows up on PSN as a PS2 Classic, that'd be 10 bucks well spent.

Posted by NoobSauceG7

Bully is one of my favorite games and would love to see a Bully 2 so well...idk

Posted by Gunslinger0130

That's a bummer... Vancouver's a great city, would be shitty to have to make the jump to Onterrible.

Posted by jakob187

At least they didn't lay off the employees. That's the good bit of news from this.

Hope it all works out well for the duders that relocate.

Posted by Nightfang

I thought Max Payne 3 was good, but to many people take it to seriously, just like the Hitman series.

Posted by Cybexx

This is the result of changes to media tax breaks in BC that are now relatively low compared to the tax breaks being offered by Quebec and Ontario, which is why everybody now has Toronto, Montreal and Quebec City studios and all the AAA development is leaving Vancouver.

Posted by HellBrendy

@Zaxex said:

35 staffers? I assumed Max Payne 3 was made by hundreds of people.

Probably was too, but as the gaming industry is known for, most of them are hired for that project.

Posted by TPoppaPuff

Well that's business for ya. It's too bad Vancouver isn't smart enough to try to give Rockstar an incentive or match what Ontario could give them in tax breaks, etc.

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