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Video game giant Ubisoft announces plan to triple Winnipeg workforce by 2030 – CBC.ca

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Video game giant Ubisoft says it plans to triple the size of its Winnipeg workforce over the next eight years. 

The company announced Friday that it will expand the number of people it employs at its Exchange District studio to 300 from 100 by 2030 by hiring additional programmers.

The France-based company is best known for its Assassin’s Creed series and has also produced numerous other games such as Brawlhalla, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon and Just Dance.

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The Winnipeg studio opened in 2019, employing Manitobans while also recruiting across Canada and internationally. 

“They’ve helped us deliver on our promise and prove what we already knew: that this province is home to impressive techno creative talent and we made the right decision to be here,” said Michael Henderson, managing director of Ubisoft Winnipeg.

Henderson says the company has been renovating its studio over the past three years to make space for additional employees, who also have the option of working from home. 

About 70 per cent of the Winnipeg studio’s workforce comes from Manitoba, while the other 30 per cent are recruited from other cities, he said. 

“Winnipeg’s a great place to live. The cost of living is great … but it’s also the talent. We’re here in Winnipeg because the talent’s here in Winnipeg and Ubisoft goes where the talent is.”

Michael Henderson, managing director of Ubisoft Winnipeg, says most of the employees at the Winnipeg studio are from Manitoba. (Jeff Stapleton/CBC)

Henderson says the company is not using government subsidies to do so, other than taking advantage of provincial tax credits. 

The Manitoba government initially helped lure the developer to Winnipeg with the province’s interactive digital media tax credit in 2019, which provides a fully refundable income tax credit to companies that develop interactive digital media products.

Premier Heather Stefanson says she see’s Friday’s announcement as a vote of confidence in Manitoba. 

“We have become a powerhouse of talent on the Prairies,” she said.

“We are excited one of the industry’s most innovative and successful players has selected Winnipeg for this expansion opportunity.”

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OpenAI Looks to Escape Copyright Lawsuit Over Open Source Code

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OpenAI Inc., the viral generative artificial intelligence company that’s drawn major investment from Microsoft Corp., moved to dismiss a wide-ranging lawsuit brought by open-source software developers claiming that the company’s “Copilot” AI program was trained with and reproduced their code without authorization.

OpenAI, which was sued alongside Microsoft and Github Inc.—companies that helped develop Copilot—said in court documents filed on Thursday that the complaint had major procedural problems and relied mostly on unspecific allegations.

OpenAI is the company behind other popular AI programs like the image-generating DALL-E and the chatbot ChatGPT; this month it received a $10 billion investment …

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Electronic Arts Spotlights Accessibility Features In Motive’s All-New ‘Dead Space’ Revival – Forbes

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In a blog post published this week, video game captain of industry Electronic Arts (referred to as EA henceforth) outlined several of the accessibility features included in Motive’s popular horror title Dead Space. The Redwood City-based EA’s announcement coincided with the release of the updated game late this week.

As noted on the game’s website, the story of Dead Space revolves around “the dark secrets behind the events aboard the USG Ishimura through the final logs of the ill-fated crew and your encounters with the few survivors that remain.” The new version of the game, available on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC, is a remake of the classic version with what the developer calls “jaw-dropping visual fidelity, suspenseful atmospheric audio, and improvements to gameplay.”

Dead Space is a classic that changed how horror games were perceived when it was released,” said lead senior experience designer Christian Cimon in a statement included in the post. “[It] made sense to revive that game and share it with a whole new generation. But the game came out 15 years ago, when accessibility features were less common. Things like subtitles, menu narration, control-remapping, and the like are pretty much expected now [by the disability community], so we wanted to make sure the remake aligns with today’s highest standards.”

EA notes Motive has made Dead Space more accessible and inclusive by building in a number of “customization options with some fine-grained control.” Amongst many others, they include colorblind settings, control customization, and aim assistance. There’s also the ability to have screen reader-like narration of menus, as well as options to reduce motion effects, enable subtitles for dialogue, and display content warnings in anticipation of more gruesome moments.

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There’s a video demoing accessibility in Dead Space on its YouTube channel.

All told, Motive is acutely aware that supporting accessibility is an evergreen endeavor that never finishes. The company is committed to making Dead Space even more inclusive going forward, with Cimon astutely noting the inclusivity ultimately benefits gamers yet also helps the business too. Accessibility features, he said, help the game feel more accessible and approachable by making it appealing to the widest possible swath of potential players. Ergo, more players means more business for the development studio to pour into future innovations.

As the axiom goes, a rising tide lifts all boats.

“[Working on accessibility is] about addressing and removing barriers that come between our players and games,” said EA’s program lead for game accessibility Morgan Baker in the post. “Accessibility improves experiences for people of all abilities and backgrounds, allowing for better products and ensuring that more players can have an enjoyable experience. And the work done by the Dead Space team shows that increasing accessibility continues to be a priority for us.”

For Baker, it’s heartening to see Motive so committed to accessibility.

“It’s so motivating to see a studio like Motive so invested in providing players more choices around how they consume horror content,” Baker said. “It’s inspiring. And we hope to see more studios consider the same. Because ultimately, when we can all play games, we all win.”

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Samsung Galaxy S23 series German pricing leaks

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Just a few days ago we got some detailed pricing info for the Galaxy S23 series in Germany and Spain, WinFuture is here with some more finalized sums for the German market.

Based on the latest info, the entry-level Galaxy S23 with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage will start at €949 while the 256GB S23 model will go for €1,009. These sums are €10 less than the alleged Spanish pricing.

Galaxy S23+ will start at €1,199 in its 8/256GB trim while the 8/512GB model will go for €1,319. The 8/256GB Galaxy S23 Ultra starts at €1,399 while the 12/512GB model will go for €1,579.

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Germany
Galaxy S23 Galaxy S23+ Galaxy S23 Ultra
8/128 GB €949 N/A N/A
8/256 GB €1,009 €1,199 €1,399
8/512 GB N/A €1,319 N/A
12/512 GB N/A N/A €1,579

A closer comparison to the S22 series pricing reveals Samsung will be charging a €100 premium on the entry-level S23 and S23+ models. The base model S23 Ultra gets €50 price increase though the new model should arrive with 256GB storage instead of 128GB on its predecessor. The top-dog 12/512GB Galaxy S23 will be a cool €130 costlier this time around. Pre-orders from Samsung.com are expected to get the storage upgrade promos.

Source (in German)

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