A new report from VideoGamesChronicle shares that Google has hired notable developers from the Assassin’s Creed franchise for their first-part Stadia studio, Stadia Games and Entertainment in Montreal, Canada. The studio is helmed by Jade Raymond, another former Assassin’s Creed developer and Ubisoft executive who also worked on franchises like Splinter Cell and Watch Dogs.
The trio of new hires includes François Pelland, Mattieu Leduc, and Sébastien Puel. Puel will be taking on the role of Director General for Google’s Stadia Games and Entertainment studio. All three have worked on Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed series along with Raymond. Sébastien Puel played an integral role in developing the franchise, serving as Executive Producer from 2009 to 2014 and working on titles from Assassin’s Creed II to Assassin’s Creed Unity.
François Palland was previously the Executive Director of Development with Ubisoft Quebec, the studio responsible for the titles Assassin’s Creed Syndicate and Odyssey, as well as working as Senior Producer on Assassin’s Creed III. Palland will be serving as Head of Production and will be responsible for developing the first-party games strategy for Google Stadia.
Mattieu Leduc will be serving in the role of Art Director, having previously worked as the Assistant Art Director for the first Assassin’s Creed and leading art direction on both Watch Dogs titles.
Stadia Games and Entertainment opened earlier this year in Quebec, a city with a rich “legacy with game development and […] great studios.” Raymond explained that Google’s Stadia Games and Entertainment studio in Montreal is just the first step in Google’s “long term view” to build multiple first-party studios to create gaming content for Stadia, their recently launched streaming service. Raymond and Google’s ambition is to create an inclusive development environment “that will empower the developers who work at Stadia to create new, unique gaming experiences” that are exclusive to the platform.
Stadia launched on November 19th in 14 markets with an acceptable final lineup of 22 titles; so far the only Google Stadia exclusive title is GYLT, a stealth/puzzle/horror adventure title from Tequila Works that aims to appeal to gamers of all ages. The launch of Stadia was met with fair to negative reviews, coming to an average reviewer score of 6.5 out of ten. Robust and well-crafted exclusives that make interesting use of Stadia’s Google-powered cloud could help increase reception and adoption of Google’s innovative but somewhat incomplete service in the months and years to come.