While we have indie studios and other gaming industry outfits locally, Ubisoft Philippines is the first and only triple-AAA game developer to set up shop in the country—and they invited us to visit their newly opened studio within the De La Salle University Science and Technology Complex in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
Some Watch Dogs cosplay to set the mood
And a pretty good assassin getup
You might have heard about them in the news prior to this because they actually started out two years ago. They’ve been working out of some borrowed spaces on campus though and that’s no way to help produce big titles like For Honor, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, and Skull & Bones, so they’ve been busy building their brand new three-floor building to house our local talent.
Jesse, our tour guide on loan from Ubisoft Singapore
Designed with several Pinoy motifs in mind, the star attractions are the break-out spaces, dedicated pantry with unli coffee machine per floor (the availability of pancit canton was also confirmed), a full roof deck for smoking—both cigs and barbeques—and a giant slide to go between floors.
Of course we tried it
Also worth mentioning is the fresh air and relaxed atmosphere of Laguna outside all the wall-to-wall windows. Since it’s within the DLSU campus, you can also meet college girls run around their track and field areas and all that university fun stuff.
Belizario with Chip Go, studio manager, JP Tan, lead artist, and Hugues Ricour, managing director for Ubisoft Philippines and Singapore
Currently numbering a hundred or so people, Ubisoft Philippines has artists, programmers, project managers, and, yes, game testers. Because the snap reaction of everyone seems to be "can I be a game tester?" we had to double-check that it was really on the table. According to Suzy Belizario, talent acquisition manager, “We have hired game testers, and I’ve interviewed a lot of people who want to be game testers. Definitely it’s not as simple as it sounds [to be one]. You need to be very meticulous, have that eye for detail, and be able to write bug reports to ensure games run smoothly.” So for the game-is-life gang, get applying because Belizario further confirmed that, “Yes, we will continuously hire game testers.”
Lots of female devs too, which was nice to see
If you’re interested but iffy about moving out to the semi-province, Belizario adds that, “We provide competitive packages and benefits that can help people move here to Sta. Rosa because we really chose to be here because of the environment. We provide relocation assistance, and we’ve been helping [people move].”
That nipa hut bar though
Not pictured in their first floor mural is Philippine gaming's reason for fame abroad: toxicity. Just kidding!
They look to expand to around 200-250 heads and part of reaching that is the creation of various game development courses with DLSU, but a bigger factor would be all you talented dudes who have dreamed of working with a big video game studio. Check their site for current job openings and maybe you’d be living the dream soon!