Avalanche Studios Group, known for its expertise in crafting open-world games, has announced the establishment of a new office in Montreal, Canada. This expansion comes on the heels of the acquisition of Monster Closet, a Montreal-based game studio founded in 2021 by a team of seasoned game developers, many of whom have an impressive track record of working at Ubisoft.
Avalanche Studios Group, headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, already boasts a global presence with offices in Malmö (Sweden), New York (US), and Liverpool (UK). Renowned for its work on the Just Cause series, as well as titles like Mad Max and its collaboration on Rage 2 with id Software, the studio has firmly established itself in the realm of open-world gaming.
Currently, Avalanche Studios Group is actively developing “Contraband,” a highly-anticipated title set to be published by Xbox Game Studios for both console and PC platforms. This new IP is described as “a co-op smuggler’s paradise” in the fictional world of 1970s Bayan, with a primary focus on exhilarating vehicle combat.
Monster Closet, the studio acquired by Avalanche, boasts a talented team with a wealth of experience working on notable titles such as Halo Wars 2, Far Cry: Primal, Prince of Persia (2008), Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag, and Hyper Scape. These accomplished developers have now seamlessly integrated into Avalanche Studios Group’s three creative divisions: Avalanche Studios (responsible for Just Cause), Expansive Worlds (known for The Hunter), and Systemic Reaction (creators of Second Extinction).
Stefanía Halldórsdóttir, CEO of Avalanche Studios Group, expressed her enthusiasm for this milestone by saying, “2023 marks Avalanche Studios Group’s 20th anniversary, and becoming a part of Montreal’s thriving game development scene is a fantastic way to start our new chapter. With this addition to our locations, we bring on board some of the brightest talents in the industry, reinforcing our ability to create fantastic games for millions of players worldwide.”
Graeme Jennings, former CEO of Monster Closet and now leading the Montreal branch of Avalanche Studios Group, echoed this sentiment, stating, “From the first moment we met, we knew that Avalanche Studios Group would be a perfect fit for us. We share the same passion for our craft and for creating great games. Not to speak about our common values around people, inclusion, collaboration, and ensuring all voices are heard. If you add that Avalanche has been making amazing titles for 20 years – becoming part of such a legacy and contributing to its continuation is a dream come true.”
With a rich 20-year history of game development that has redefined open-world experiences, player agency, and emergent gameplay, Avalanche Studios Group’s expansion to Montreal signifies its commitment to growth and innovation in the industry. Their focus on creating a sustainable work environment and fostering an inclusive work culture sets them apart, positioning the company to make a lasting impact on Montreal’s vibrant gaming landscape.