Rockstar Games has announced they are closing their Rockstar Vancouver studio and moving some of its’ members to a new expanded Toronto studio. Apparently the Ontario government has been nice enough to provide some subsidies to help Rockstrar build a custom made Toronto studio in Oakville, Ontario.
Both Rockstar Toronto and Rockstar Vancouver worked on Max Payne 3 but each studio has also done previous projects as well. Rockstar Toronto has also worked on the PC version of Grand Theft Auto IV, Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City, The Warriors, and Max Payne 2. While Rockstar Vancouver is most famous for being the main developers behind the excellent Bully and Bully: Scholarship Edition.
Rockstar’s vice president of publishing and operations Jennifer Kolbe had this to say:
“combining the two studios will make for a powerful creative force on future projects.”
In addition, Kolbe mentions that the new studio will be able to add 50 new jobs thanks in most part to the Ontario government’s. Details about the Ontario government’s deal with Rockstar were not disclosed, however the minister of economic development and innovation Brad Duguid had this to say:
“By providing financial support and tax incentives to help companies grow, we maximize Ontario’s competitiveness in the global economy and support job creation.”
There is no word on what the two combined studios will work on first, although fans were promised more Max Payne 3 DLC which will probably be the first thing on the agenda. Personally I am hoping the next project the combined Rockstar Toronto team is going to undertake is a Bully sequel.
In my opinion Bully is one of Rockstar’s most underrated games and really deserves a sequel. There was a lot of opposition to the game from the media when the game was released, which probably didn’t help the sales of the game, which by Rockstar standards were somewhat low. But to me Bully had one of the more focused stories they have ever produced for an open world game.
Now chances are we won’t hear from this new Rockstar Toronto studio until the next generation of consoles hits; but what would you like them to start working on, a sequel to Bully like me or maybe a new IP?