Ubisoft "immune to slowdown" as it seeks 900 new employees
Economic problems won't affect industry says Splinter Cell publisher as it begins massive global recruitment drive
Ubisoft has told GamesIndustry.biz that the current global economic slowdown won't affect the games industry – as the publisher embarks on a massive recruitment drive to hire 900 new staff within the next 12 months.
The Splinter Cell and Prince of Persia publisher is seeking around 500 recruits for its newly established studios in Singapore, India and China, and looking to place another 400 staff in established offices in Canada, China and Romania.
"We have a dual priority of ramping up as quickly as possible in our newly created studios while also growing and keeping our leading position in our established studios," said Elham Mottahed-Asdaghi, communications manager for Ubisoft International Production Studios.
"We feel that the industry is relatively immune to the slowdown and we're not expecting that to change in the near future.
"There are a lot of great, innovative products in our industry right now and innovation and excellent entertainment will always attract an audience," he added.
With positions to fill across multiple disciplines Ubisoft acknowledges that recruitment will be a challenge, but new studios have been chosen where educational standards are high, says Mottahed-Asdaghi.
"It is definitely a big challenge but one of the main criteria when we choose the location of our studios is the talent pool.
"We've specifically chosen to establish teams in regions where there is a great system of education and therefore a continually refreshing pool of talent," he detailed.
"In our established studios, we were the pioneers in the region but our success has attracted competitors and so the competition for talent is tougher - but we work hard to ensure that we are attracting the best talent."
This year Ubisoft acquired Gameloft's Indian studio with plans to increase headcount from 120 to 500 over twelve months.
In February the French publisher also opened a studio in Singapore with the intention of employing up to 300 people, with the company stating that strong government support was a deciding factor in the location.
And last year Ubisoft opened a studio in China with the intention to ramp up staff numbers from a modest ten to 200 within 12 months.
Mottahed-Asdaghi believes the combination of solid publishing credentials with creative and multicultural expression makes the firm an attractive prospect to recruits.
"We can offer a unique opportunity for international mobility, since we have dynamic studios in 19 different locations. Our corporate culture is to share our knowledge and our different cultural points of view in order to enrich our experience and therefore offer games that offer unique playing opportunities," he said.
"We encourage international exchange and creative freedom across the board. On the other hand, we are the second largest creative team in the world so our team members have access to solid publisher resources.
"In a way, we offer the best of both worlds - solid enterprise resources with a small developer, creative atmosphere," he added.