Cloud Imperium Games is to open a new game development studio in Manchester’s Enterprise City district in May 2022.

It says the new studio will create more than 700 jobs in the metropolitan area by 2023, and more than 1,000 within the next five years.

Cloud Imperium Games is described as a new kind of independent studio dedicated to delivering AAA games outside the established publisher system. 

Founded in 2012 by Chris Roberts, the company offers its community visibility of and interaction with product development.

Cloud Imperium Games is developing ambitious game Star Citizen – a record-shattering crowdfunded title that combines classic space simulator gameplay with boundary-pushing visuals in a massively multiplayer setting. 

It is also creating a 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

CGI of Cloud Imperium Games’ planned HQ in Manchester

Cloud Imperium Games is headquartered in Los Angeles and has studios in Austin, Frankfurt and Montreal. 

Positions to become available in Manchester include programmers, artists, animators, audio specialists, writers, designers and producers, as well as administrative roles and entry-level positions for newcomers looking to make a start in the videogames industry.

“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,” said Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester. 

“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.”

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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.”

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Michael Ingall, CEO of Allied London, the property development company spearheading Enterprise City, said: “We specifically targeted Cloud Imperium 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.”