In recent memory, two rumors have surfaced between Ubisoft and the Philippines: that Ubisoft is eyeing the country for a new studio, and that the next Assassin’s Creed game will be set in the Philippines. Today, we finally have confirmation on one rumor. Ubisoft is officially opening its doors to a Laguna-based production studio this year. (Sorry, Assassin’s Creed: Bayanihan. Next time.)
Ubisoft Philippines will be Southeast Asia’s second Ubisoft studio, following Ubisoft Singapore’s opening several years ago. The new production studio will be based in Santa Rosa, Laguna. Its offices will be hosted by the campus of De La Salle University in the area.
The studio will be headed by two veterans from Ubisoft Singapore—Chip Go, the newly nominated studio manager of Ubisoft Philippines, and Olivier de Rotalier, managing director of Ubisoft Singapore, Ubisoft Chengdu, and now Ubisoft Philippines. Since its managing staff comes from Ubisoft Singapore, the new studio will be working closely with Ubisoft’s existing Southeast Asian hub, with a number of the founding team members moving across from the existing studio to train up the new team.
Himself a Filipino who worked abroad, Chip Go is “very excited to have the opportunity to come back to [his] country of origin to kick start a brand new studio for Ubisoft.” More than opening new avenues for Ubisoft, Go anticipates the opportunities that this presents to Filipinos within their home country, as opposed to finding them elsewhere.
Meanwhile, Olivier de Rotalier believes in the potential talent pool that the Philippines is capable of. Their number priority will be to train and develop new team members to co-develop high-caliber AAA games.
Location, location, location
Santa Rosa, the new studio’s location, is the emerging Central Business District in the South of Manila. With its own lush, green, and family-friendly ecosystem, Laguna will provide Ubisoft and its employees with a friendly working environment that’s only 45 minutes from the airport and 35km from Makati.
Since its offices will be located within DLSU, Ubisoft and the university will be offering two Bachelor’s Degree courses and one conversion course to orient and train potential Ubisoft developers. Ubisoft employees will also fly in to co-teach the school’s curriculum.
Ubisoft Philippines is scheduled to open in the second quarter of 2016, which also signals the start of its call for applicants. For its first year, Ubisoft Philippines is looking to hire up to 50 people in the product development sector, which includes artists, programmers, designers, project managers, and support staff. At the time of this writing, the studio is not yet actively searching for a marketing arm. However, in five years, they hope to increase their initial staff of 50 people to 200 employees.
Once formed, the team will co-develop AAA games. When asked about the specific games they could be working on, Go and de Rotalier have kept mum, stating only that they have the potential to be the best games of the year. Ubisoft is responsible for bestselling IPs, including Assassin’s Creed, Watch Dogs, Far Cry, and The Division. Ubisoft Philippines’ projects are anyone’s guess.
Meanwhile, the studio will be providing high quality training for new recruits: mentoring programs by industry veteran from the Singapore studio, and the new team will benefit from the collaborative learning platforms and events implemented throughout the Ubisoft network.
Candidates can contact Ubisoft Philippines at email@example.com and consult available positions at: https://www.ubisoft.com/en-US/careers/search.aspx?location=santa%20Rosa.