In 2009, in a move that surprised many, Square Enix acquired Eidos and all studios operating under the company. Since then, one of the primary goals for Eidos has been to continue the ongoing growth of their Eidos Montréal studio (Deus Ex: Human Revolution), founded in 2007. This responsibility has been undertaken by Stéphane D’Astous, general manager of Eidos Montréal, who helped build the studio from scratch.
But how involved are Square Enix’s Japan offices in the growth and running of Eidos Montréal? Speaking with Gamasutra, D’Astous says that Square Enix let Eidos run themselves on a day-to-day basis for the most part.
“The honest truth of that is they realize that by taking us under their wing, they knew that we were doing a lot of good stuff, so they fully respected [that],” D’Astous shares. “It’s a partnership, more than a father and a son kind of relationship, so they let us really do our stuff. They don’t intervene at a micro level, and I report directly to Phil Rogers, who’s the CEO of Square Enix Europe.”
D’Astous says that Square were even willing to learn a few things from Eidos Montréal. “So they really respected us, and in the first year, just to show you how courteous they were, I think every month we had visitors from Tokyo coming to see an exchange on the tech side, HR, IT, creative, so at least they were really sincere in sharing, and to learn more, [rather] than ‘You do this, you do that.’”
Also touched upon in Gamasutra’s interview is the subject of Square Enix Montréal, which Square Enix announced they were in the process of establishing late last year. The reason Square Enix Montréal is a separate studio, D’Astous says, is because there’s an effort to keep the Eidos Montréal studio at a manageable size. The plan for now is to cap Eidos Montréal at 450 people.