|Industry||Video game industry|
|Headquarters||Oakville, Ontario, Canada|
|Kevin Hoare (studio manager)|
Rockstar Games Toronto ULC (formerly Rockstar Canada Inc.), doing business as Rockstar Toronto, is a Canadian video game developer based in Oakville, Ontario. The company was established in 1988 as Imagexcel, and became part of Alternative Reality Technologies (ART), a subsidiary of GameTek, in March 1995. The studio was acquired by Take-Two Interactive as part of ART being sold off, which lead to be split independent from ART, and becoming part of Take-Two Interactive's Rockstar Games umbrella in 1999. In August 2002, the company was renamed Rockstar Toronto to avoid confusion with the newly-acquired Rockstar Vancouver.
Rockstar Toronto is primarily a porting house for games developed by subsidiaries of Rockstar Games, but also developed the 2005 game The Warriors, based on the 1979 film of the same name, and co-developed Max Payne 3, as part of Rockstar Studios, in 2011.
As Imagexcel and part of Alternative Reality Technologies (1988–1999)
On 9 March 1995, the company was announced to have been acquired by Alternative Reality Technologies (ART), a subsidiary of GameTek, becoming its Canadian office. The acquisition was completed by 7 April 1995. As part of ART, and Quarantine II: Road Warrior, which was released in 1996, and Dark Colony, which was released in 1997. On 29 July 1997, Take-Two Interactive acquired several assets from GameTek, including ART and its Canadian division, GameTek's European offices, and distribution rights to their Dark Colony, Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune games.
As part of Rockstar Games (1999–2002)
In early 1999, ART Canada was merged out of ART and became Rockstar Canada, and a part of Take-Two Interactive's Rockstar Games label. Although their first duties covered creating two Grand Theft Auto expansion packs, London 1969 and Lonson 1961, their primary tasks became ports of games published by Take-Two Interactive or Rockstar Games to PlayStation 2, that being Oni (2001) and Max Payne (2001).
On 1 August 2002, Take-Two Interactive announced the acquisition of Barking Dog Studios, which would be renamed Rockstar Vancouver. As part of the acquisition, Rockstar Canada would be renamed Rockstar Toronto to avoid confusion between the two. Alongside the acquisition, Take-Two Interactive announced that the now-renamed Rockstar Toronto was working on a video game adaption of the Walter Hill-directed 1979 film The Warriors. The eponymous game was first shown at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in May 2005, and released in October that year. The game was well received, and a PlayStation Portable conversion of it was developed by Rockstar Toronto in conjunction with Rockstar Leeds. A spiritual successor to The Warriors, tentatively titled We Are the Mods, was originally planned, but cancelled.
Following the release of The Warriors, Rockstar Toronto returned to being mostly a porting house, though instead of PlayStation 2, the focus shifted to Wii, porting Manhunt 2 (2007) and Bully: Scholarship Edition (2008), and later to Microsoft Windows, porting Grand Theft Auto IV (2008) and Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City (2010, comprising the two 2009-released Grand Theft Auto IV expoansions packs, The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony). In September 2008, Rockstar Toronto was rumored to be working on a third installment in the Max Payne series. Rockstar Toronto most recently collaborated with all other Rockstar Games subsidiaries, collectively referred to as Rockstar Studios, on Max Payne 3 (2012), and assisted Rockstar North on Grand Theft Auto V (2013), as well as handling its Microsoft Windows port. For the Microsoft Windows versions of Grand Theft Auto IV and Grand Theft Auto V, Rockstar Toronto each develoepd a own built-in video editor for footage caputred in-game. Journalists remarked Grand Theft Auto V's Microsoft Windows port as its "ultimate version". In November 2010 and 2013, respectively, Rockstar Toronto teasted to be working on next-generation games.
On 9 July 2012, two months after the release of Max Payne 3, Rockstar Games announced that Rockstar Toronto would be moving into a new, bigger, and custom-build studio within their Oakville, Ontario location, with which the Rockstar Vancouver studio would be merged, effectively closing it. All of Rockstar Vancouver's 35 employees were given the posibility to move to the newly-expanded Rockstar Toronto, or any other Rockstar Games studio. Jennifer Kolbe, vice president of publishing and operations at Rockstar Games, stated that the move intended to make a single Canadian team that "will make for a powerful creative force on future projects", and aimed at making room for 50 new positions at the company. On 22 November 2012, the company was legally renamed from Rockstar Toronto Inc., over Rockstar Games Toronto Inc., to Rockstar Games Toronto ULC, as such becoming a unlimited liability corporation under the laws of British Columbia.
|1999||Grand Theft Auto: London 1969||Microsoft Windows, MS-DOS, PlayStation||Rockstar Games||Expansion pack for Grand Theft Auto|
|Grand Theft Auto: London 1961||Microsoft Windows|
|2001||Oni||PlayStation 2||Ported only; game develoed by Bungie West|
|Max Payne||PlayStation 2||Ported only; game developed by Remedy Entertainment|
|2005||The Warriors||PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Xbox||N/A|
|2007||Manhunt 2||Wii||Ported only; game developed by Rockstar London|
|2008||Bully: Scholarship Edition||Wii||Ported only; game developed by Rockstar Vancouver, Scholarship Edition developed by Mad Doc Software|
|Grand Theft Auto IV||Microsoft Windows||Ported only; game developed by Rockstar North|
|2010||Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City||Microsoft Windows|
|2012||Max Payne 3||macOS, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360||Developed as part of Rockstar Studios|
|2013||Grand Theft Auto V||Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One||Support developer for Rockstar North; also ported to Microsoft Windows|