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Microsoft's game for Victoria studio


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#1 MarkoJ

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 09:36 AM

http://www.timescolo...4848/story.html

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#2 G-Man

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 10:51 AM

Wow great news. Just goes to show that big companies are not interested or in need of tech park type space.

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#3 spanky123

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 11:04 AM

Disney had a game studio on Government St for about 6-7 years before they moved out to West Saanich. It hasn't really grown to anything as it is next to impossible to get really good game developers to live here.

I would be suprised if the Microsoft venture expanded beyond a handful of employees.

#4 ZGsta

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 11:58 AM

That's awesome, and great that they're going into downtown. It says that they could have 60 employees to start.

I don't know where spanky123 gets that "it is next to impossible to get really good game developers to live here." Whether he/she has some actual knowledge or that's just blind conjecture.
I work as a developer (though not in gaming).

#5 Dimitrios

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 12:15 PM

Redmond, WA isn't exactly Manhattan either. It's one of the world's largest software campuses, a tech goliath that dominates an otherwise uninteresting suburb. And in rush hour, it can take more than an hour to/from Seattle proper. I suspect the Wharf st. location may well appeal to quite a few Microsofties lost in the maze of Redmond.

#6 Bernard

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 12:21 PM

My oldest son will be happy, he is already working on game design

#7 Bob Fugger

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 12:58 PM

I suspect the Wharf st. location may well appeal to quite a few Microsofties lost in the maze of Redmond.


Yup, plus you're only a Kenmore Air flight away from the Lake Union seaplane base and a 20 minute cab ride from there to the Redmond campus.

#8 spanky123

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 01:50 PM

That's awesome, and great that they're going into downtown. It says that they could have 60 employees to start.

I don't know where spanky123 gets that "it is next to impossible to get really good game developers to live here." Whether he/she has some actual knowledge or that's just blind conjecture.
I work as a developer (though not in gaming).


It is difficult to impossible to recruit any specialist trade to Victoria. People are not going to move their families here when there is only one company that will fully utilize / compensate them for their skills. Now I am assuming that Microsoft's plan is to develop a higher end development shop. If they are only looking at Victoria for testers or entry level work then that is probably ok.

#9 ZGsta

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 02:13 PM

It is difficult to impossible to recruit any specialist trade to Victoria. People are not going to move their families here when there is only one company that will fully utilize / compensate them for their skills. Now I am assuming that Microsoft's plan is to develop a higher end development shop. If they are only looking at Victoria for testers or entry level work then that is probably ok.


So general cliched cynicism about Victoria. Got it.

#10 Greg

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 03:08 PM

Disney had a game studio on Government St for about 6-7 years before they moved out to West Saanich. It hasn't really grown to anything as it is next to impossible to get really good game developers to live here.

I would be suprised if the Microsoft venture expanded beyond a handful of employees.


I don't think it is that hard to get programmers to come here. A lot of the demographic you are looking at is young, single professionals. The whole snow ski and golf in the same weekend thing is pretty appealing to that crowd. We brought in lots of programmers, including a fair number from the UK. Quality of life is a pretty big recruiting tool.

#11 ZGsta

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 03:11 PM

I don't think it is that hard to get programmers to come here. A lot of the demographic you are looking at is young, single professionals. The whole snow ski and golf in the same weekend thing is pretty appealing to that crowd. We brought in lots of programmers, including a fair number from the UK. Quality of life is a pretty big recruiting tool.


And UVic has incredibly successful and widely regarded Engineering and Computer Science programs. So there's a lot of development and engineering talent that is already here.

Working in that field for the last few years in Victoria, I've seen plenty of highly qualified developers accepting jobs here from all over the place.

#12 maniac78

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 03:20 PM

I don't see a problem with recruiting at all either. Microsoft pays well too which helps. It's hard for some consultant firms in town to get people because they cheap out but MS will have no problem.

#13 rjag

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 03:56 PM

I think its great news. I doubt they will have much of a problem recruiting since the Provincial Government has big-sourced most of their IT functions to anywhere but Victoria. There is a dearth of IT companies and ex-employees that would love to have a chance at this. Sure some work will be specialised but there will be a generic component as well.

On another note I see CGI is looking at 60 new hires over the next few months in Victoria...I wonder if its related?

#14 Baro

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 05:02 PM

Victoria produces many talented programmers and game designers, I know a few who are quiet successfully employed, but of course not in victoria, they always have to move away. More companies here will stop victoria's brain-drain AND attract more.

We have some incredibly talented people here, just no opportunities.
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#15 spanky123

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 07:05 PM

Most people who have lots of experience in game design and development are not 20 somethings fresh out of school. They are working professionals with families who want to grow a career. Even if you could get $80K - $90K in your profession here that doesn't come anywhere near qualifying you for a mortgage on even a dump in Victoria.

I would be willing to guess that Baro's friends are not working here for a reason and it is not because nobody offered them a job!

#16 jklymak

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 07:17 PM

Most mid career people have some savings built up, and most families both parents work. I wouldn't say housing is far more expensive here than say the nice parts of Seattle. I'm sure Microsoft will manage to attract a few employees if they open a shop here, despite higher home prices. I hope they try to open downtown.

#17 G-Man

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 07:48 PM

Spanky123 Victoria really is not as bad as you think it is. I would love to see one positive post come from you once. Anyways cost of living in Vic is far less than Vancouver and housing in Seattle is similar or higher not less than here. And yes you can get a house when you make 80 or 90 k because most people that are making that much have some equity in something.

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#18 spanky123

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 08:01 PM

G-man,

I never said Victoria is bad, all I am pointing out is the reality of trying to recruit skilled professionals here.

If a year from now Microsoft has a shop of 60 game developers working downtown and getting paid big bucks then that is good for everyone.

#19 ZGsta

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 10:06 PM

Except your making up a bunch of logical hoops to jump through to try and prove some ideal you have in your head about Victoria's failings.
And you still haven't stated whether you actually have any experience in this field to justify your claims that "it is next to impossible to get really good game developers to live here." It sounds like you're just going to come into any discussion and try and make the same tired, untrue points about Victoria being a place that no-one wants to live in.

This is an article about a giant tech company setting up a development shop in Victoria. It's literally disproving everything you're trying to say in advance.

One of the stated reasons for them setting up shop here (from the article) is that housing costs are so much less than in Vancouver.
Of COURSE you can get a house here on 80-90k a year. It's absolutely ridiculous that you're trying to say otherwise.

#20 jonny

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 10:58 PM

I know more than a few people living and working in Victoria in IT. I have a real hard time understanding why IT developers would want to work in Victoria any more or less than lawyers, doctors, accountants, engineers, etc.

Any time high paying jobs are added, it's obviously a positive.

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