Jason VandenBerghe, creative director at Ubisoft Montreal, is joining Guild Wars 2 developers ArenaNet as their new director of design.
To read a story about ArenaNet and what makes them special as a studio, check out our chat with their new art director.
It's perhaps a slightly odd move. Montreal is one of Ubisoft’s biggest studios – as their creative director for the last nine years, he's worked on some of the biggest IPs in gaming, including Far Cry 3 and For Honor. It sounds like a game-maker's dream job, but then, everything I've personally heard about ArenaNet and its culture suggests it's a lovely place to work.
VandenBerghe's Facebook post where he made the announcement reinforces that impression. He says he “went out there on a lark – and then fell head-over-heels in love. Isaiah [Cartwright, ArenaNet’s current design director] did an amazing job of setting the table… but it was all the people that I met there that sealed the deal.”
VandenBerghe’s new role at ArenaNet sees him step away from making games directly. “I’ll be studio level,” he says. “Shepherding teams and growing people. I’m… sort of thrilled about how difficult that sounds. It’s exactly what I want to be doing right now.”
He says his nine years at Ubisoft have been “the best experience of my career” and that he leaves “full of gratitude for everything I was given the chance to do there, a profound love for all the amazing people who make that place what it is, and a bright hope for the company's future.”
VandenBerghe signs off by bidding his soon-to-be-former colleagues “take good care of For Honor, you guys! We did a great thing together. I can't wait to see where you take it from here.”