Montréal is the largest city in Quebec, Canada's infamous francophone province. Founded in 1642, Montréal's official language is, like the rest of the province, French. However, the strong presence of business, entertainment, and immigration in the city has established strong bilingualism within the downtown area, with the English language being more predominant in certain areas around as well.
Montréal is a city rich with culture, activities, and tourist attractions, including events such as the Just For Laughs comedy festival and the International Jazz Festival. Montréal also has a rich history with sporting events. It is home to one of the NHL's founding hockey teams, the Montreal Canadiens, which hold an extremely large influence on the city's people and atmosphere. Sharing a similar importance to the city's culture is the Grand Prix du Canada, the annual Formula One Grand Prix that takes place on the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve. It was the site of the 1976 Summer Olympic Games, and is the home of the Montreal Alouettes, one of the most popular Canadian Football League teams. The city was also home to the Montreal Expos, a Major League Baseball team that disbanded in 2004, and continues to be the home of the Montreal Impact, a popular soccer club.
Montréal in Game Development
Montréal has become a central hub for video game development in Canada, thanks to provincial tax breaks and the increase in specialized labor. Many top-quality schools in the area offer a wide variety of courses on multiple aspects of game development, making the pool for potential game development employees quite large.
Arguably the biggest studio in the area, Ubisoft Montreal has been at the forefront of local game development since 1997. Located in a re-purposed munitions factory, Ubisoft Montreal has made a significant name for itself thanks to its legacy of quality products such as the Splinter Cell, Prince of Persia, and Assassin's Creed series of games. Alongside working on the future of the Assassin's Creed series, the studio is also hard at work on its newly announced IP, Watch_Dogs.
Eidos Interactive also opened a studio, known as Eidos Montreal, in 2007. Deus Ex: Human Revolution was the studio's first release and was met with universal praise, very quickly establishing the studio as a strong contender in the city's development space. The studio is currently working on Thief 4.
Electronic Arts opened a studio, EA Montreal, in 2004. The studio was responsible for Army of Two and Army of Two: The 40th Day, as well as additional work on other EA projects such as Dead Space 2.
THQ opened THQ Montreal in 2010, making it THQ's first North American home studio to have not been acquired and was THQ's largest studio. Patrice Desilets, formerly of Ubisoft Montreal and Assassin's Creed fame was hired to direct the studios first project.
As a result of THQ's bankruptcy and subsequent auction of its many assets, the THQ Montreal Studio as well as the rights to the two games currently in development at the studio, 1666, the project headed by Patrice Desilets and Underdog, an as of yet unannounced game were acquired by Ubisoft on January 23rd 2013.
Alongside these major studios, Montreal is also the home to many smaller developers such as A2M/Behaviour, Polytron, and Trapdoor.