In a major boost to the local games development industry, Paris-based video game maker Ubisoft has announced the opening of its new production studio in the Philippines, which will be located in the sprawling new campus of De La Salle University in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
At a press briefing held at the Makati Shangri-la Hotel on Tuesday, March 29, Ubisoft said the new studio will be the second production hub for the company in Southeast Asia.
The studio is scheduled to open in the second quarter of 2016 and will hire up to 50 people in the first year. Ubisoft Philippines studio manager Chip Go said they intend to ramp up the headcount to 200 in the next five years.
The local team will focus on collaborating on the high-level development of Ubisoft?s AAA console games, according to Go.
Since the facility will be located at the new Laguna campus of DLSU, Ubisoft will be working closely with the school. Aside from crafting a new gaming development curriculum for DLSU, the company?s local employees will also be performing teaching chores.
?I am very excited to have the opportunity to come back to my country of origin to kick start a brand new studio for Ubisoft,? said Go, who used to work in the company?s studio in Singapore.
?Every day, Filipinos leave the country in search of opportunities elsewhere. I was one of those people eight years ago, and now I?m very happy to come back and bring my own experience in AAA game development. I know that this experience, as well as Ubisoft?s 30 years of industry expertise, is going to spark great things, and is a huge opportunity for the Philippines.?
Olivier de Rotalier, managing director of Ubisoft Singapore, Ubisoft Chengdu, and Ubisoft Philippines, also cited Go as one of the instrumental persons who convinced the company to locate in the Philippines.
Vichael Angelo Roaring, who used to be posted as former director and commercial attach? of the Philippine Trade and Investment Center in Paris, also recalled he pitched the idea of setting up a Philippine studio to the director of finance and studio strategy in Ubisoft’s France headquarters in early 2014 when the DTI was in the early stages of developing its “game development” value proposition.
?The Board of Investments played a crucial role in following through with the lead, matching Ubisoft with several possible strategic partners for them to come to the Philippines with their initial presence today,? Roaring said.
The new studio will be closely linked to Ubisoft?s existing Southeast Asian hub in Singapore, with a number of the founding team members moving across from the Singapore studio to train up the new team.
?We chose to grow in the Philippines because of its great talent pool and I am confident the new studio will meet our demanding standards,? said De Rotalier.
?Our number one priority will be to develop the high potential of our new team members to reach the level of expertise and quality needed to work on AAA games, just as we have previously done in Singapore.?
It may take a while before the studio may create a new game title as this involves a very complex process, according to De Rotalier.
Go said Ubisoft picked the DLSU campus in Laguna because of its ?lush, green and family-friendly area with multiple schools, healthcare and entertainment options.? The location was also chosen for its accessibility: 45 minutes from the Manila international airport and 35km from the Makati Central Business District.
?It?s important for Ubisoft to provide a friendly working environment for its staff. Locating our studio in Santa Rosa is a real advantage in this sense. We have huge ambition for this team, who will play a part in creating some of Ubisoft?s biggest and most beloved games. Ubisoft Philippines will be recruiting 50 new team members this year, from artists to programmers, designers to project managers, and we are very confident of our ability to build a strong team to take up these challenges,? said Go.
Ubisoft said it will provide high-quality training for new recruits: mentoring programs by industry veterans from the Singapore studio, and the new team will benefit from the collaborative learning platforms and events implemented throughout the Ubisoft network.
Ubisoft Philippines is actively recruiting. Candidates can contact Ubisoft Philippines at firstname.lastname@example.org and consult available positions here.