Avalanche Studios has said it chose New York City as the location of its new US studio, due to it being less expensive than California.
Speaking with Edge, managing director David Grijns said New York also made more sense because there are less studios in the area, which would therefore provide less competition in certain sectors.
“We’ve done our homework,” he said, “you see a lot of people posting on forums saying: ‘What are these guys thinking? New York is the most expensive city in the world’.
“Let’s say we were going to set up Avalanche in Santa Monica. Every time we wanted to hire a render programmer, an experienced animator or a good lighting artist, we would be competing with a hundred other studios within a 25 square mile radius. Which means that same render programmer is going to cost us about 30 percent more than it would to hire the same person in New York.
“The whole cost factor is really only talking about infrastructure costs: it’s not a reference to staff costs, and that’s really where we think there are some savings that sort of even the playing field a little bit.”
Plane trips were also a contributing factor, said Grijns explained, as well as the time difference between the LA area and Stockholm, where the firm is headquartered.
The firm announced last week it was opening a US studio and would be working on a “large-scale, online-enabled original IP for next-generation consoles, handhelds and PC.”.