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Former Ubisoft studio head Jade Raymond opens EA studio in Montreal

Jade Raymond, who was the managing director of Ubisoft Toronto and executive producer on some of Ubisoft's biggest franchises, is opening a new studio in Montreal to develop Amy Hennig's Star Wars game, among other projects.

In addition to building the Motive Studio in Montreal, Raymond will oversee the Visceral Games studio in California and work in close quarters with the BioWare team, she wrote in a post on the official EA site for the studio.

"I'm a huge fan of the games that have come out of Visceral and I feel honored to be working with such a talented team led by studio GM Scott Probst," Raymond wrote. "I've also known Amy for years and have admired her work on the Uncharted games! I'm thrilled that the first big project that we will work on in Montreal will have Amy as Creative Director. An opportunity to work with her and the Visceral team, and to play in the Star Wars universe, is once-in-a-lifetime stuff."

Hennig, the former creative director for Uncharted developer Naughty Dog, left that studio last year to begin work on a Star Wars video game for Electronic Arts, following that company's 2013 deal with new Star Wars owner Disney.

Raymond announced her departure from Ubisoft in October, 2014.

Raymond got her start in the game industry as a programmer for Sony. She went on to work at Electronic Arts, then as a correspondent for The Electric Playground, and finally Ubisoft Montreal, where she was the producer of Assassin's Creed. She went on to serve as the executive producer of Assassin's Creed 2, Watch Dogs and Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist. She helped open the Ubisoft Toronto Studio and served as its managing director since 2009, helping to expand the studio from one focused on a single game to an array of titles.

In announcing Motive, Raymond wrote that after 20 years working in the industry she is as excited today about the potential of video games as she was on her first day in the industry.

"There is no recipe for what a game should be and the only limit is the team's imagination," she wrote. "The endless possibilities, the talented people I get to work with and the passion that gamers add to make each game their own is what motivates me. Everyone in this industry has a motive, an idea they want to bring to life, a new idea they'd like to see in a game. It's what's so great about this industry. And it's what I want to get back to.

"I love change and challenge, and the time is right to try something entirely new."

Raymond wrote that before accepting the job she had a conversation with Patrick Soderlund, EA's executive vice president of studios, about the future of games.

"We talked about how EA wants to deliver more innovative experiences and more of what players are asking for. It's energizing to see EA today bringing more passion than ever to the games they make, and passion to getting it right for players.

"Motive will work in close quarters with the BioWare team. Yanick Roy and the BioWare Montreal team are doing some new and exciting things with Mass Effect: Andromeda and it's clear that there is already so much talent to collaborate with on site. And as a player of the latest Battlefield and Dragon Age games, I have experienced what the Frostbite engine can do; and I can't wait to get my hands on it and see what a new team can create!"

In a February interview with Polygon, Raymond talked about her career and where she hoped to head.

"I like the part of thinking what the big new franchise could be," Raymond said at the time. "I'd like to continue to have a chance to do that. I also am pretty excited about all the new tech and platforms coming out. I think games, in some of the new spaces, whether it's purely online with free-to-play or VR or stuff like that, have other opportunities to innovate, which you might do on a smaller scale. It's a different kind of experience where you could also deliver something.

"I guess there's a lot of stuff I'm pretty interested in."

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