International independent videogame developer Cloud Imperium Games today announced it will open a new game development studio in Manchester's Enterprise City district, scheduled for May 2022. The Manchester studio will create more than 700 jobs in the metropolitan area by 2023, and over 1,000 within the next five years.
Cloud Imperium Games is a new kind of independent studio dedicated to delivering AAA games outside the established publisher system. Founded in 2012 by renowned visionary game developer, Chris Roberts, the company continues to shift the paradigm of the game development process, offering its community an unprecedented level of visibility and interaction with product development.
Cloud Imperium Games is developing one of the most ambitious and anticipated games, Star Citizen – a record-shattering crowd-funded title that combines classic space simulator gameplay with boundary-pushing visuals in a massively multiplayer setting with extraordinary fidelity. In addition, Cloud Imperium Games is creating a Hollywood-caliber story-driven single-player game set in Star Citizen’s sci-fi universe featuring an all-star cast of Gary Oldman, Mark Hamill, Mark Strong and Gillian Anderson, known as Squadron 42.
The company currently employs more than 700 people worldwide, with 400 employees based at its current UK studio headquartered in Wilmslow, Cheshire. The Wilmslow team will relocate to their new headquarters at the heart of the Enterprise City district in Manchester Goods Yard – a media, tech and creative cluster designed to connect people and businesses, encourage collaboration and create success through expert place-making.
Cloud Imperium Games is headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif., and has studios in Austin, Texas; Frankfurt, Germany; Montreal, Canada, and the United Kingdom. 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. 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. Current open roles can be found by visiting https://cloudimperiumgames.com/join-us.
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said:
“ 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. We look forward to welcoming Cloud Imperium Games to the city-region in 2022 - in a move set to bring 1,000 jobs over the next five years, along with the opportunity for the region to play a new role in the future of gaming.”
Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said:
“ The tech and digital sectors are two of the fastest growing in our region's economy, and developing pathways for our residents to access these jobs in the future, allowing Manchester people to share in the success of the city is key. Cloud Imperium Games coming to Manchester is a welcome addition to a growing cluster at St John's, helping to solidify the city's global reputation for pioneering tech.”
Tim Newns, Chief Executive of MIDAS, Manchester’s inward investment agency, said:
“ MIDAS has supported Cloud Imperium Games with the upcoming move to its major new studio at Enterprise City. Interest in Manchester from tech businesses continues to grow at pace but Cloud Imperium Games are also looking to leverage the great production and content creation expertise that Manchester is home to. The city-region’s universities already have specialist gaming and related courses geared to the industry – and this, along with the career opportunities and investment Cloud Imperium Games is bringing, will help develop the next generation of gaming designers and digital storytellers.”
Chris Roberts, CEO of Cloud Imperium Games, said:
“ 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, so it makes me very happy to announce that we have signed a long-term deal for our biggest office yet, in downtown Manchester. Manchester is one of the most vibrant and modern cities in Europe, with strong education links and high connectivity, offering outstanding opportunities and quality of life for our team. The new Enterprise City space is the perfect home for game development, with its deep investment in businesses focused on media, technology and creativity. Manchester joins Los Angeles, Austin and Frankfurt as home to Cloud Imperium’s team, working in partnership with our community of players on Star Citizen and Squadron 42.”
Michael Ingall, CEO of Allied London, the award-winning property development company spearheading Enterprise City, said:
“ We specifically targeted Cloud Imperium Games as a model business that we can support and help grow at Enterprise City. We have a unique inventory that can excel media, creative and tech businesses, and we have worked with CIG to find a real estate solution that ensures they can create an environment that supports a business case move to Manchester. CIG is one the most creative tech businesses to land in Manchester and we will help its team create a “universe” for its exceptionally talented workforce.”
Allied London was advised by Shoosmiths, led by real estate partner Daniel Monaghan, and supported by senior associate Laura Green.
Daniel Monaghan, real estate partner at Shoosmiths, said:
“ This deal has the potential to create up to 1,000 new jobs – boosting the North West economy and showing that Manchester is a prime location for growing, ambitious businesses. Allied London is creating a new hub for modern industry with Enterprise City and we look forward to supporting the firm as it attracts further businesses from the tech, media and creative sectors.”
Aviva Investors, the global asset management business of Aviva plc, continue its long-term funding partnership with Allied London to create Phase 1 of Enterprise City.