Amazon Games hired a former Ubisoft Toronto boss to lead its new Montreal studio

    
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Amazon Games announced today that it’s picked a new leader for its new Montreal-based studio: Alexandre Parizeau. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because he was a co-founder of Ubisoft Toronto alongside Maxime Béland. Béland, of course, was ousted following a slew of allegations of abuse and violence lodged against him last year. Parizeau himself, then the managing director, was never named in any of the accusations, and in fact was apparently well-regarded for handling the studio’s response to the scandal after it became public, though of course as one of its leaders for over 10 years he was also responsible for handling the studio before that too. In any case, he left Ubisoft in February of this year to “focus on personal priorities.”

“After spending some time with my family in Montreal, I’m excited to announce that I am joining the great people here at Amazon Games,” he says. Here’s Amazon’s pitch.

“Today, Amazon Games announced that Alexandre Parizeau has been appointed head of its recently opened development studio in Montreal, Canada. Alex brings over 20 years of experience in the gaming industry, most recently at Ubisoft Toronto as Managing Director. Alex, who also served as Senior Producer on Splinter Cell and Rainbow Six Vegas, will lead development of the studio’s first project, a competitive multiplayer AAA title based on new IP. In addition, Alex will work closely with studio founders, who most recently worked as the core team behind the tactical shooter Rainbow Six Siege, to build a broad and talented team in Montreal, developing games that offer bold new play experiences, and foster community inside and outside of the games themselves.”

Also worth noting for MMO fans: The press release namedrops New World and Lost Ark, as well as Smed’s game we still know very little about and “several” other “unannounced projects,” and of course.

“The Montreal studio, which joins Amazon Games development teams in Seattle, Orange County, and San Diego, will focus on creating original AAA games. Upcoming internally developed titles from Amazon Games include open world MMO New World, releasing September 28, 2021, and several unannounced projects currently in development, including an original game from the team in San Diego, led by industry veteran John Smedley. Amazon Games is also a publisher of externally developed games, including Lost Ark developed by Smilegate RPG, releasing in early 2022.”

Source: Amazon, press release
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lorenzo marshall

I see potential in New World but any game Smed is working on will be a hard pass. This guy has been needing up games since SOE days!!!

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Zuldar

then the managing director, was never named in any of the accusations

He wasn’t a very good managing director than if he allowed it to happen. Either he knew it was happening and did nothing which shows he’s just as bad, or he had no idea what was happening and did nothing which shows he’s incompetent.

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Kickstarter Donor
Peregrine Falcon

Or perhaps people were hiding things from him and he just isn’t psychic?

Nah, couldn’t be that. He must be guilty of something, right?

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Zuldar

Either guilty or incompetent. Even if we give him a mulligan on the first instance of sexual harassment (because hey, he has no clue what’s going on in the company he was directing am I right?) why didn’t he take action after that? At very least something more than the lukewarm PR speak Ubisoft gave.

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Neurotic

Wait, Smed’s game is not New World? I thought that was it? I mean, okay, I just kind of assumed…

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tibasanpa

Dou as boas vindas ao novo cargo e adianta logo o New World Poh, e libera o Lost Ark pra gente Br…. Feito isso ganha meu respeito….
Parem de ser tão mesquinhos e julgar o cara, tendo ou não envolvimento no caso da Ubisoft, o cara merece sim uma chance, vai dizer que o cara não pode trabalhar mais pelo resto da vida.
Pessoas são presas e ficam pelo resto da vida sem poder arrumar um emprego por conta de título que a população lhe dá, hoje a pessoa é presa julgada e pode participar na concorrência do maior cargo do Brasil.

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Bruno Brito

Welcome to MOP.

Parem de ser tão mesquinhos e julgar o cara, tendo ou não envolvimento no caso da Ubisoft, o cara merece sim uma chance, vai dizer que o cara não pode trabalhar mais pelo resto da vida.

Roughly translating: “Stop being so petty and judging the guy. Being involved or no in the Ubisoft case, the guy deserves a chance, or are you going to say he can’t work anymore for the rest of his life?”

My answer: You get to work after you pay for your deeds. IF he had a hand on the sexual harassment case, he should be doing jailtime, not getting paychecks.

Pessoas são presas e ficam pelo resto da vida sem poder arrumar um emprego por conta de título que a população lhe dá, hoje a pessoa é presa julgada e pode participar na concorrência do maior cargo do Brasil.

This is irrelevant, so i don’t care for translating.

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rk70534

“Competitive multiplayer AAA title” in connection with the other information – anything between an Overwatch clone and a Destiny 2 -style lobby shooter?

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kothoses

So that is where we are at with this now? You don’t even have to have any allegations put up against you and if you happened to work in the same place as some one that did then you are automatically tarred with that same brush?

This is very irresponsible journalism on a number of levels, 1, As you noted not a single allegation or hint that this guy was involved in the reprehensible behaviour at Ubisoft.

2, While yes, the people high up are ultimately responsible for things that happen in a multi national corporation to believe even for a second that the vast majority of head up their own arse execs have any idea what happens outside their own door never mind outside their own building is just not realistic. I have worked in Software, it is entirely plausible that execs in one office are disconnected from the reality of the world, if it wasn’t there wouldn’t even be a debate over things like minimum wages, unionisation, anti crunch practices etc.

3, You know what’s going to be needed as much as people standing up for them selves to change things for the better, Allies, people to stand with those who step forward and say “I got your back” you know how you don’t get that, by fostering a culture of “You are either with us or you are against us”

Its worth noting that he left Ubisoft, its worth noting Ubisofts problems but to imply that this guy was connected to them, when by all accounts that is not the case, is just not doing the story, the narrative, the movement for change and improvement or the people who genuinely want to help any good at all.

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somber_bliss

Bill C-45 put supervisors and such directly, lawfully and financially, accountable for stuff they allow to happen to their staff. This was initially just physical injury and death but has since expanded.

So yes, he was responsible for the well being of the staff beneath him. Laws are different in different countries and it does impact this case.

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kothoses

Bill c-45 also entitles people to due process though doesnt it?

(Though, thank you for the very specific reply, which gives me something new to read up on!)

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Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

a competitive multiplayer

Damnit.

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Crowe

Hasn’t Amazon failed multiple times with that already? (the last two things almost launched) And they switched New World’s focus from competitive multiplayer to more co-operative-ish.

Honestly, I haven’t cared for any of Ubi’s competitive multiplayer stuff and never mess around with it when it’s optional in their games. So I think this is just going to end up being a waste of time/resources for Amazon. (not necessarily this guy’s hiring but moreso the project(s) he’s on)

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Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

Their first two ventures, the capture the flag game and Crucible, yeah. But that’s hardly a reason to stop trying if they think they can make it work, even if they’ve got a lot of veterans it’s tough to make games, especially with newer teams.

I hope they finally find some success even if it’s for a genre I largely don’t care about anymore.

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TheDarthStomper

What’s Edison’s quote about knowing a thousand ways to make a light bulb that don’t work? There’s something to be said about learning from failures.