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 Max Payne 3  developer Rockstar Vancouver closing its doors
Max Payne 3 developer Rockstar Vancouver closing its doors
July 9, 2012 | By Tom Curtis

July 9, 2012 | By Tom Curtis
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    15 comments
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing



Grand Theft Auto developer Rockstar Games announced some major changes to its Canadian game studios: Namely, that it's dissolved Rockstar Vancouver, one of the major contributing studios behind Max Payne 3, to refocus its efforts on another Canadian studio, Rockstar Toronto.

After numerous delays and several alleged development hiccups, Rockstar Games released Max Payne 3 in May, and while the game received positive reviews and saw a strong launch at retail, it looks like it'll be the last title for the Vancouver team.

Despite closing down the Vancouver branch, Rockstar said it hopes to retain the 35 employees at the studio, and has offered the staff positions at Rockstar Toronto, which is relocating to a new, larger office in Oakville, Ontario. Rockstar said that it also plans to add 50 new positions to its Canadian team in the months ahead.

That said, Rockstar Toronto hasn't been the lead developer on an original game in quite some time. The studio played a major role in creating the 2005 action title The Warriors, but ever since the studio has primarily offered support for other Rockstar divisions. Rockstar did not clarify whether the studio's role will change after these major shakeups.

Outside of Max Payne 3, the only other major Rockstar title to come from Rockstar Vancouver was the 2006 PlayStation 2 title Bully (which later came to Xbox 360, PC, and Wii). Prior to that, the studio was known as Barking Dog, and developed titles like Homeworld: Cataclysm and Global Operations before it was acquired by Rockstar in 2002.


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Comments


David Phan
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Wow Vancouver. It's like dominoes over here with Studios dropping left, right and center. Best wishes to all those affected by this studio closure, hope y'all land on your feet real fast.

Shea Rutsatz
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It just won't stop!

Eric McVinney
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Damn shame, too. I thought MP3 was decent enough to land them on another project :(

[User Banned]
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This user violated Gamasutra’s Comment Guidelines and has been banned.

Gabriel Campbell
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Very sad news but I guess it was expectable because vancouver is one of those cities where the cost of life is so high you cant live there unless you make 100k a year. They probably had trouble keeping their most valuable employees who were getting offered jobs in Quebec and Ontario where the cost of life is way lower.

Ross Symons
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@Joe M (Below) Australian government does not subsidise the games industry, we are losing staff from our studio to Vancouver on a regular basis, indeed only last week another has left for Canada.

Nis Bojin
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This is another fiasco for the British Columbia government and a blow for the Vancouver industry. Rather than the studio expanding here, that talent is being directly shipped to Toronto and other places.


We have pulled together a political action group to try to arrest Vancouver's quickening slide. If you are interested in hearing more, you can either "like" us on Facebook:


https://www.facebook.com/CanWeDoItHere


Or join us here:


www.can-we-do-it.com

Joe McGinn
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Ya the fact is Ontario has matched Quebec's roughly 40% subsidy for game development. BS has a subsidy too, but only 17%. Do the math (more than the politicians are capable of, apparently).

Adam Bishop
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If an industry needs 40% subsidies to survive isn't that an indication that there are problems with that industry?

Should the government provide 40% subsidies to any/every industry, or just the one that most Gamasutra readers happen to work in?

Joe Morton
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@Adam: exactly. It amazes me that people think that offering ridiculous subsidies for targeted businesses is a panacea. Even disregarding the sheer moral/ideological issues, look at the high number of negative results. In gaming alone you have gigantic fiascos like Silicon Knights and 38 Studios. Outside you have the constant pipe dream of 'renewable energy' and 'hybrid cars' getting tax cash infusion and then silently failing.

It's also rather hilarious that people complain about Vancouver's high cost of living, then call for the government to subsidize employment there. Subsidies only drive costs higher. That's why health care is getting more expensive every year, it's why housing gets more expensive every year, it's why post-secondary education gets more expensive every year ...

Joe McGinn
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>> If an industry needs 40% subsidies to survive isn't that an indication that there are problems with that industry? <<
Nope, it's very common, governments do it all the time. Canada, Germany, Singapore, Australia, all choose to invest in one industry or another, and when successful it's a big win for their country.

@Joe M: Intelligent people do not think it's a panacea, they think it's an option. And it is just as unintelligent to assume that governments have no roll investing in business. Not only unintelligent but a repudiation of the actual history of capitalism.

John Flush
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What does this do to the tons of planned DLC the game was going to get? or was that already moved to a different studio?

Leonardo Ceballos
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99.9% chance that it will be taken up by essentially the same group at Toronto.

Leonardo Ceballos
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This is really a move more than a closure. It sucks for developers who don't really want to move that far, but its nowhere near as dire news as many of the other recent closures. Max 3 was a solid success as far as I can tell.

Derek Gu
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The Toronto studio is located at Oakville, where the leading animation school (Sheridan College) also located. Hopefully they will hire me since it's so closed to where I live.


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