12/02/2016

Get your game on

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We’ve all played our fair share of video games in our lives. I, for one, have probably clocked in my 10,000 hours already at my neighborhood Internet cafe when I was a kid — not enough to become a master, however. Some just play casually, but for some, games have become a passion and even a career path. The gaming industry has become serious business in recent years, especially in the Philippines. A good amount of video gaming talent comes from this country, and the local industry is about to get a whole lot more serious.

French gaming company Ubisoft, known for game titles such as Assassin’s Creed, Prince of Persia, and Just Dance, has landed in the Philippines. They’ve set up shop in the De La Salle University (DLSU) Science and Technology campus in Santa Rosa, Laguna, and are in the process of building an armada to take the Philippines even further in the triple-A gaming arena.

More than just fun and games: Members of the Ubisoft Philippines team with Alex Lim (center), Talent Acquisition Manager of the company’s Singapore studio.

Why the Philippines? According to John Paul Eli Tan, lead artist of Ubisoft Singapore (who also happens to be Filipino), the country produces a good chunk of quality talent in the gaming industry. A lot of artists and developers in Singapore are actually Filipinos, he shares. To further reinforce this, Ubisoft has partnered with DLSU to create a Game Development course, to be offered at the university’s Manila campus. “Our partnership starts next year, and some of our employees will be teaching in the course,” says Suzy Belizario, recruiter of Ubisoft Philippines. While this is not the first game development course in the country — fellow La Salle school Benilde also offers a gaming course — Ubisoft hopes that it will become the leader in producing the next wave of top gaming graduates.

But if you think that working in the gaming industry is a piece of cake — aka just playing games — you’re sorely mistaken. Like most industries, there is a plethora of positions available. “(The job) of an artist can actually branch out into many different specializations. We’re talking about lighting artists, effects artists, technical artists, character artists, UI artists, the list goes on and on. That goes the same for other many other job families like programmers, designers, project management, quality assurance, marketing and whatnot,” explains Alex Lim, talent acquisition manager of Ubisoft Singapore. These positions are ripe for the picking at Ubisoft’s new studio: they’re looking to fill around 50 posts as soon as possible and seem very adamant about getting the country on the map in terms of the gaming industry. If you’re still in school, you’re not out of luck just yet — the company is looking to expand that number to 200 in the near future.

The Philippines is proving itself to be a great resource for the creative industries, and the arrival of Ubisoft in the country only solidifies our presence in the gaming community. It’s an exciting time for the growing local industry, and this is only the beginning. Looks like it ain’t just playtime anymore.

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