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UK’s largest video games developer opens new studio in Newcastle, recognising the region’s industry profile

March 16, 2023

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The 36-year-old studio and developers of the multi-award-winning Total War Franchise, Halo Wars 2 and Alien: Isolation establish Creative Assembly North in Newcastle.

The Creative Assembly™ Ltd., part of SEGA® Europe Ltd., today announced a new development location in Newcastle, UK, sitting alongside their locations in Sussex, UK and Sofia, Bulgaria. The newly established Creative Assembly (CA) North is home to a growing flexible working team developing a project for the renowned best place to work award-winning developer.

The new project is being developed in collaboration with the studio’s Sussex-based team, while it is yet to be announced it promises to give players an unforgettable experience.

CA North is led by games industry veteran, Giselle Stewart, who has joined as Studio Director, alongside her role as Visiting Professor at Newcastle University. Giselle brings with her over 26 years’ experience with AAA developers and has advocated for the UK games sector in previous positions as a board member of TIGA, the games developer’s trade association, of the Creative Industries Federation and Ukie.

Giselle Stewart OBE, Studio Director at Creative Assembly North, said:

“Starting a new development studio from scratch with the full support and insights of one of the UK’s oldest and largest studios is incredibly exciting.

“Creative Assembly North establishes us in one of biggest cities for the games industry in the UK, which has a growing development community of both experienced professionals and aspiring students.

“We are bringing new job opportunities to the North-East, building a studio which amplifies the fantastic culture and values of Creative Assembly. We will also extend the reach of the studio’s award-winning outreach programme, the Legacy Project, to support excellence in industry education in the region.”

Lord Vaizey of Didcot. Ex-MP for Wantage & Didcot, Former UK Tech & Culture Minister, said:

“The games industry is a key contributor to the UK economy, and it is fantastic to see a studio with such heritage and strong education links expand its operations further across the country. Creative Assembly North will contribute to the growing technology hub in the Northeast of England, seeing the region’s calibre of digital skills level up.”

Chi Onwurah, MP for Newcastle Central, said:

‘It’s incredibly exciting to see such a highly innovative sector expand further in Newcastle and the Northeast. This new game development studio will bring with it more high value job opportunities and contribute to the economic growth of the area.”

Professor Chris Day, Vice Chancellor and President at Newcastle University, said:

“Our researchers and students have worked with Creative Assembly for many years and this is a welcome and exciting move that will strengthen our focus on aligning education with games industry needs. Newcastle University is recognised as a world leader in Computing Science research and teaching and it was right here in the North East that our researchers pioneered the programming that brings realism to video games. This learning is now embodied within our teaching to provide a pipeline of talent that the global video games industry depends on. We look forward to working more closely with Giselle and the new CA North team in the future.”

Jennifer Hartley, Director of Invest Newcastle, part of Newcastle Gateshead Initiative, said:

“It is incredible news that the UK’s largest games developer, Creative Assembly, part of Japanese owned Sega, has chosen Newcastle to locate and grow their new Northern games studio, creating 100 skilled careers and job opportunities over the coming years. Newcastle and Gateshead has one of the largest and most historic games communities in the UK and this investment cements our ability to attract world-leading brands as well as furthering our position as a leading tech hub.

“They will join an established cluster of AAA games developers and independent studios. As one of the best places to work, and a leader in supporting diversity and inclusion, Creative Assembly’s investment will provide a huge opportunity for the talent coming out of our world-leading universities, colleges and schools, giving our residents access to good quality jobs. “

CA North is set to recruit around 100 new developers in both technical and creative roles over the coming years. Creative Assembly already has strong connections with Newcastle University and the University of Teesside, including a scholarship programme to support more diversity in the industry. CA North will amplify this work, extending the reach of the studio’s award-winning education programme, the Legacy Project, to more education establishments in the region.

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