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THQ's new prez stands behind Montreal studio, though 'there may be empty seats'


When THQ announced its Montreal, Canada-based studio in 2009, the plan seemed a bit on the ambitious side. 400 new employees across five years, two big projects – one of which is overseen by ex-Assassin's Creed creative lead Patrice Desilets, the other being a followup to 2011's Homefront – and a brand new campus meant a lot of money needed to be spent, even with a potentially generous tax credit from the Canadian government.

And that was long before THQ's recent financial troubles. It's in that context that we asked newly hired president Jason Rubin to address the future of the Montreal location during an E3 interview. "I think the decision needs to be made which projects we can do, what we can afford to do, and stick to it. Even though THQ Montreal's space may be bigger than what we need right now, there's nothing about that space that prevents us from succeeding," Rubin said.

We asked Rubin whether THQ could fulfill the planned 400-person contract across five years in its current financial state. "There may be empty seats," he admitted, but he's not worried that those contractual obligations will affect THQ – nor the Montreal location's – long-term survival. "I'm not saying that we wouldn't fulfill our obligations," Rubin told us. "But assuming for a moment that we don't reach whatever our contractual obligations are, there are very specific clauses in the contract that say what would happen. And I've read the contract, I've gone over it, it was one of the things I did before starting. And there's nothing about the contract or our failing under that contract that would cause the company to fail."

Rubin stressed that THQ under his leadership remains dedicated to the Montreal studio and its agreement with the government. "I love Montreal. I definitely wanna do right by Montreal, and I definitely wanna fill that studio. But having said that, if we fail to do that for any reason, that's not going to be a cause for failure for the company." He also addressed potential concern that other THQ studios employees could be moved to the Montreal location. "Were I able to pick up and move people without worry about their families, the projects they're working on, and everything else, I would fill that space in a second," Rubin said.

Beyond the co-developed Homefront sequel and the unknown Desilets project, it is unclear what else THQ Montreal is working on, if anything.

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