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Rockstar Vancouver closing, absorbed by Rockstar Toronto

Rockstar Vancouver is being dismantled, Take-Two Interactive announced today. The 35-person team, best known for its work on Bully, is being offered new positions at Rockstar's newly-expanded Toronto studio.


Rockstar Vancouver is being dismantled, Take-Two Interactive announced today. The 35-person team, best known for its work on Bully, is being offered new positions at Rockstar Games, specifically the expanded Rockstar Toronto studio.

The plan is to bring all of Rockstar's Canadian development talent "together under one roof." In a press release, Rockstar VP Jennifer Kolbe said that "a single Canadian team will make for a powerful creative force on future projects."

A larger, custom-built facility in Oakville, Ontario will house the expanded Rockstar Toronto team. The expansion is being supported by the Ontario government, although financial details are not being divulged. The new Toronto team will be able to offer 50 new jobs as part of this "strategic partnership with the Ontario government."

Both Rockstar Vancouver and Toronto most recently worked on Max Payne 3.

Andrew Yoon was previously a games journalist creating content at Shacknews.

From The Chatty
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    July 9, 2012 5:00 PM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Rockstar Vancouver closing, absorbed by Rockstar Toronto.

    Rockstar Vancouver is being dismantled, Take-Two Interactive announced today. The 35-person team, best known for its work on Bully, is being offered new positions at Rockstar's newly-expanded Toronto studio.

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      July 9, 2012 5:20 PM


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      July 9, 2012 5:27 PM

      Toronto isn't exactly close to Vancouver, culturally or geographically. That's not much better than a pink slip for those guys. Ouch.

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        July 10, 2012 10:31 AM

        yeah, terrible. It's like going from California to Jersey.

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      July 9, 2012 5:39 PM

      That's hours of flying time away (I live in CT and fly to visit my sis in Vancouver every year. It's about a 5-6 hour direct flight.)

      Talk about a major move just to keep your job =(

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        July 9, 2012 5:50 PM

        In this economy, I find it hard to see any of them not going through with the move though, at least r* isn't saying "too bad, so sad"

        I'm looking at you EA, many many times........

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      July 9, 2012 5:42 PM

      That really sucks. It seems like a few studios in Vancouver have closed.

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        July 10, 2012 10:32 AM

        Higher cost of doing business, higher cost of living expenses, everything's just more expensive in Vancouver compared to other similarly sized hubs in Canada.

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          July 10, 2012 11:37 AM

          Exactly, Vancover got too expensive and Ontario keeps working to offer competitive tax incentives for digital media.

          Canada always has trouble with cultural centers being too spaced out.

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      July 9, 2012 6:00 PM

      And the BC government will continue to do fuck all about all the studios closing and moving out East where Ontario and Quebec offer better breaks.

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        July 9, 2012 9:11 PM

        The Liberals (conservatives in reality) have almost bankrupted BC, they have no more money for higher tax breaks.

        They lost the battle years ago anyway and focused on tv and film production which they've also now lost because Ontario and Toronto have better breaks for production.

        The only thing BC has going for it is the VFX industry which has just going fucking haywire here. Though I doubt even that will last very long because companies like ILM have developed what they call a ''pod", basically a mash unit for vfx that can be moved to wherever the highest tax breaks are, long term investment is now considered a dirty idea.

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          July 9, 2012 10:00 PM

          Yeah. I'm just pissed that so much is drying up and everyone is either getting funnelled into the same places now or having to move away for any real opportunities again lately.

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      July 9, 2012 6:17 PM

      Which studios are even left in Vancouver? Yeesh.

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        July 9, 2012 7:46 PM

        EA Canada, Relic, Microsoft GS Vancouver, Capcom (Blue Castle), Slant Six, United Front Games, Hothead...

        A bunch of indies too. But yeah lots of closures lately

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          July 9, 2012 8:35 PM

          Slant6 is minutes away from closing, I mean theyve been there before but things are looking good around town so...

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      July 9, 2012 6:25 PM

      Wow they really are all jumping ship. Shitty.

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        July 9, 2012 7:41 PM

        Film too

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        July 9, 2012 7:49 PM

        Did a tax break end or something?

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          July 9, 2012 7:54 PM

          Quebec and Ontario have been making a big push to draw studios and projects so they offer better

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            July 9, 2012 8:33 PM

            And suddenly a crapload of studios close down and move? Jeez.

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          July 9, 2012 8:36 PM

          Vancouver never had one for games. It's an incredibly expensive city. Montreal/Toronto are cheaper and have serious tax credits.

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            July 9, 2012 8:52 PM

            No we've always had one but it was complicated and basically around 17%, then Ontario and Quebec woke up one day and decided they wanted to take that industry so they went up to 37 fucking percent or like Ontario, gave Ubisoft 250 fucking millions dollars over 10 years to open up a studio there. Shortly there after, Ubisoft Vancouver magically closed! magic! Poof!

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              July 9, 2012 9:06 PM

              No, the BC tax credit is relatively new. The one in Quebec was one of the first digital media tax credit and AFAIK is still the highest.

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                July 9, 2012 9:15 PM

                Im talking about SHRED and those types of grants, which require extensive documentation, is there a new one in the last few years? It cant come close to Quebec's...

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                  July 9, 2012 9:54 PM

                  SR&ED is federal and they're really clamping down on it the past couple of years. It's no longer the free for all that companies were making it out to be.

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                    July 9, 2012 10:40 PM

                    Yeah, and there are good reasons to, but they are going overboard. People used to apply for SR&ED and stretch it to it's breaking point. Now they are talking more in depth audits and that's frightening even legit applicants. Also, they are skewing it for larger companies who often don't need the money, but they have full time staff whose job it is to maximize grants and shit that smaller companies don't.

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            July 9, 2012 9:05 PM

            Actually they have for a couple years. It's the BC Digital Media Tax Credit:


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              July 9, 2012 9:22 PM

              Oh ok so my 17% figure was close... still, in this age a 20% differential will make an corporation move where they need to

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                July 9, 2012 10:42 PM

                Yeah, there has to be a combination of reasons because moving operations isn't cheap.

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      July 9, 2012 8:13 PM

      Yeah, just heard from some friends. Vancouver is becoming a development wasteland.

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      July 10, 2012 8:48 AM

      Just a reminder to everyone that Rockstar Vancouver was originally Barking Dog, who worked on a bunch of CS during the days.

      I still love the Pop Dog soda logo in those old maps.

      Of course no one from Barking Dog(well probably no one) is still there, but that's the lineage of the studio.

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      July 10, 2012 10:58 AM

      Wow, WTF happened to Vancouver? Went from the Game Dev capital of North America to this Detroit style wasteland.

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