Star Citizen and Squadron 42 developer Cloud Imperium Games plans to open a huge new studio in Manchester, making it one of the UK's largest development houses.
The new office is set to open in May 2022 and rehouse the company's current 400-person team based nearby in Wilmslow, before quickly and dramatically expanding.
A five-year plan will see 700 people fill the building by 2023, before further growth to an eye-opening team size of 1000 by 2026.
All this, of course, is fuelled by the higly-lucrative ongoing development of Star Citizen which has attracted various controversies over the years - as well as over $350m in player funding. The studio also has still nebulous plans for a "Hollywood-caliber" single-player campaign Squadron 42.
CIG currently employs 700 people worldwide, with further offices in Los Angeles, Austin, Frankfurt and Montreal. Today's announcement means the overall company will nearly double in size over the next five years, with the bulk of staff to be based in the UK.
"The company is committed to game development in the UK and is invested in growing its Manchester studio to serve as a pivotal team for its large-scale game plans," CIG said today. "The new Manchester studio will begin its local recruiting efforts in early 2022, with positions available for programmers, artists, animators, audio specialists, writers, designers and producers, as well as in administrative roles, and in entry-level positions for newcomers looking to make a start in the videogames industry."
Even Manchester mayor Andy Burnham sounds happy.
"Greater Manchester is an ambitious tech hub and has become a magnet for digital talent, with a community of industry pioneers, specialist academics and creative minds," Burnham said. "We look forward to welcoming Cloud Imperium Games to the city-region in 2022 - in a move set to bring 1000 jobs over the next five years, along with the opportunity for the region to play a new role in the future of gaming."
"Manchester is where I started my video game career, when I was hired to write the Game of the Month for BBC Micro User, back in 1983 at the ripe age of 14," CIG boss Chris Roberts added. "It makes me very happy to announce that we have signed a long-term deal for our biggest office yet, in downtown Manchester."
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