COMPUTER games maker Ubisoft Reflections is expanding its Newcastle workforce as it wins more work from other parts of its global parent company.
The driving game specialist has increased its staff from 110 a year ago to 140 and the business wants to take on another 23 people.
Reflections general manager Giselle Stewart said: “We are looking to fill a variety of roles from artists to producers and games designers and testers.
“Our needs are growing. We are working on a number of different products here for other studios in the Ubisoft group. We have attracted more in because of the quality of the work we produce.
“Testers are usually local and they often come with a games-related degree. Designers tend to be more specialist as do the programmers.
“Around a third of these jobs are of a senior level. It’s certainly not out of the question they will be local.”
Known as the Driver games studio, Reflections is now diversifying after adapting the Just Dance 3 game for the PlayStation Move.
“We are recognised as the driving games specialist, but there are also some using new technology,” said Stewart. “They were absolutely blown away with what we did [with the dance franchise].”
It is also working with sister studios in Paris, Bucharest and Pune on the creation of Just Dance 4 and has recruited staff to work on the development.
The studio has benefited from the quality of graduates being produced by Newcastle, Northumbria and Teesside universities.
Michael Troughton, Reflections’ director of technology, said: “We have been very impressed with the level of the students. They have brought a lot of fresh ideas to the company and it’s great to see. That is why we decided to hire them full-time.
“It’s important for them to get a close look at the real world of computer game design and to learn how to operate as part of a team, so the internships are something which benefits us and the students.”
Stewart added: “We are hoping that Newcastle University can supply us with the same quality of interns next April.
“We’ve got about an 80% retention rate from our interns, generally because the universities we work with know what we want in terms of skills and are very good at matching us up.
“Northumbria and Teesside have been good feeder universities as well. We are very well supported by our local universities.”