Frontier Developments — the team behind the WiiWare smash LostWinds and its sequel LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias — has opened its first studio outside of the UK, taking advantage of tax breaks to set up shop in Canada. The new office will be based in Nova Scotia, and will house around 20 staff to begin with.
"For a long time we've had a feeling it would be a good strategic move to have a North American studio presence and we've been looking around at the various places we could go," said David Walsh, president at Frontier, when he spoke to GamesIndustry.biz about the move. "We've had a dialogue with the people from Nova Scotia for a while and it looks like a really attractive place so we essentially set about building the foundations for a studio there."
Walsh says the decision to expand outside of the UK was not just influenced by the promised tax breaks currently being used by Canadian authorities to tempt international businesses into the country. "The important thing for us is it's about people," he said. "We needed to expand and hire people and it's a place where we can find good people. Even if there were tax breaks in the UK we'd still be looking to move to North America as well because there's a strategic element to it. It's people that make games, not tax credits."
It's not known if the company's focus includes Wii U at the moment, though — Frontier, like so many developers, appears to be concentrating on mobile devices. "We've got a good spread of projects, as well as the work we're known for we're moving in to more mobile, smartphone, tablet projects, of which LostWinds was our first step," explained Walsh. LostWinds made its debut on WiiWare in 2008, and successfully jumped over to iOS in 2011.