French game developer to open studio in Laguna


Game developer and publisher Ubisoft Entertainment S.A. of France said it will open a studio in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, its second production hub in Southeast Asia, in the second quarter.

Ubisoft Philippines studio manager Chip Go said the country was chosen as the company’s new production hub in Southeast Asia because of the wealth of Filipino talents.

“It’s been about seven years now since we opened in Singapore. We’ve been eyeing the Philippines for possible collaboration since then. Our success in Singapore made the group decide to set up another hub in the Philippines,” he said.

Go said investments needed to set up a studio would be quite significant, not only in monetary terms but also because “we are bringing in 30 years of experience and expertise.”

The Philippine hub would employ 50 people in its first year to man production and teach new hires.  Ubisoft Philippines said over the next five years, the plan was to build a 200-man strong production house.

Ubisoft Philippines, which is building the new studio at De La Salle University in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, the emerging central business district south of Manila, will collaborate on the development of Ubisoft’s AAA console games.

“We signed the agreement only recently. And we got assurance that we can use the innovation center which De La Salle is currently building. It is 2,000-square-meter space that we will use as our base in the Philippines,” said Go.

The new studio will be closely linked to Ubisoft’s existing Southeast Asian hub in Singapore, with a number of founding team members moving from the Singapore studio to train the new team in the Philippines.

The company will hire artists, programmers and production staff for the new studio.

“We have huge ambition for this team, who will play a part in creating some of Ubisoft’s biggest and most beloved games. We are confident with our ability to build a strong team to take up these challenges,” said Go.

Ubisoft, known for its popular brands such as Assassin’s Creed, Just Dance, Tom Clancy’s video game series, Rayman, Far Cry and Watch Dogs, also signed an agreement with De La Salle University to offer four-year courses on arts and technology.

It also plans to offer special one-year certificate course on game software development.

“Working with the academe is not new to Ubisoft. We’ve had several partnerships for agreements like this in some of our hubs across the globe. To date, we have more than 30 hubs globally,” said Go.

Go said De La Salle would issue its own announcement on the new courses soon.