Yassine Arif, a former Game Designer at Ubisoft Casablanca, tells the sad story of how the first gaming studio in North Afrika was shut down after 18 years of operations. Among its famous titles is Prince of Persia: Two Thrones.
Ubisoft Casablanca was set up in 1998 by Ubisoft, a French multinational video game developer, and publisher. This was the first gaming studio in North Africa, developing famous titles such as Donald Quack Attack, Beyond Good and Evil, and Prince of Persia: Two Thrones, co-developed with Ubisoft Montreal.
In 2008, Ubisoft and the Moroccan government joined to open Campus Ubisoft, a specialized school for Game Development, from which I graduated as a Level Designer. Still, unfortunately, the campus was shut down because of the economic crisis in 2009/10. Fortunately, I was able to join Ubisoft as a Game Designer, and we co-developed Rayman Origins, Legends on consoles, Jungle, and Fiesta on mobile.
"Ubisoft Casablanca is closing down as a result of the evolution of the video game market. We didn't find a sustainable formula for the studio within our broader network." - Jean-Michel Detoc, Ubisoft Mobile executive director
I left after working in the studio for 6 years, and there were a couple of warning signs. Things were not looking good, and one year later, Ubisoft Casablanca was closed. I would like to share some of the internal and external issues that contributed to the closure based on my personal view and experience while working there.
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