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.”