Ubisoft Quebec adds a Longtail studio

Ubisoft has reached a deal to absorb 48 members of Longtail Studios Quebec into its own Quebec City studio, reports French-language outlet Le Soleil (Google translation). The acquisition will also result in a reported 5–6 staff layoffs and effectively closes Longtail's Quebec branch, though its New York headquarters and remaining studios are expected to remain in operation for now. Le Soleil claims that anonymous staff from the studio are pleased to now be working directly for a well-established developer -- plus they'll only have to move a few floors in their current office building, which they share with Ubisoft.

The move comes just weeks after Longtail Quebec's studio director, Andreas Mollman, abruptly departed. The studio had most recently contributed to the development of Ubisoft's Michael Jackson: The Experience and other unnamed, but "key" Kinect projects, Ubisoft clarified in a short statement.

The Quebec outfit represented about half of Longtail's total workforce, and the company will now shift the bulk of its development efforts onto its Halifax studio, director general Estelle Jacquemard confirmed. Jacquemard also denied suggestion that the company's future was in question, heralding the success of its most recent release, Dance on Broadway, and saying that ten new jobs would open up in the coming weeks. He also shot down rumor that Longtail's owner, Gerard Guillemot, has plans to get out of the games business altogether -- Gerard is indeed the brother of Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot and a co-founder of the mega-publisher himself.