FRENCH game developer Ubisoft said it will open a production studio in the Philippines in the second quarter of this year, its second in Southeast Asia after its Singapore studio which it opened in 2008.
Chip Go, studio manager of Ubisoft in the Philippines, said in a press conference that the company will open a 2,000-square meter production studio in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, within the campus of De La Salle University (DLSU) Science and Technology Complex.
The studio is set for completion by the second quarter this year.
Declining to give initial investment figures, Go said they are looking to hire up to 50 members for their local team this year which will include artists, programmers, designers, project managers and support staff. Go said the group is setting its sights to expand the team to “200 members within five years.”
He said Ubisoft Singapore will work hand in hand with the Philippine team to build and train the new recruits.
He said the Philippine studio will work on the development of “AAA console games, [which are]the biggest franchises that feature the latest technologies.”
Ubisoft is known for its hit franchise games such as the Assassin’s Creed, Just Dance, Tom Clancy’s The Division, Rayman, Far Cry, and Watch Dogs.
Without going into details, Go said Ubisoft Philippines has signed a partnership agreement with DLSU to house the Ubisoft facility within the school campus, as well as to come up with two four-year courses in art and technology that will feature the Ubisoft team as lecturers.
The two four-year courses are still in development but other one-year special courses will also be considered.
The Ubisoft team said the Philippines is an attractive location for them mainly for its “young, creative and tech savvy population”as well as the company’s strong relationship with Filipino members in Singapore for eight years.
“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 Olivier de Rotalier, managing director of Ubisoft in Singapore, Chengdu and the Philippines.
“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,” de Rotalier added.
Asked if the company is expecting hurdles since the Philippines has one of the slowest internet speeds and one of the most expensive broadband services in the world, Go said he remains confident in the country, adding that “the internet here may not be ideal, but a lot of BPOs [business process outsourcing firms]have located here, and we are confident in that.”
Ubisoft is the third leading game developer in the world with 30 studios across the globe. It produces and creates games for popular platforms including consoles, mobile phones, tablets and personal computers.
As of end-2015, the Ubisoft group generated a total sales of 1.46 million euros or about $1.64 million (P75.9 million).