by: Karen Cayamanda
Wednesday, February 24, 2010 |
The Philippines has long been known as a location of choice for voice-based work. Call centers abound not only in Greater Manila area but also in nearby cities and towns. The outsourcing industry soon expanded, including non-voice BPO work in its service offerings. Even during the tough financial crisis, the Philippine outsourcing industry had showed resiliency and it was one of the few industries which raked in revenues that greatly helped the economy.
There’s no doubt that outsourcing has become a major income generator for the country, and it doesn’t stop at call center functions, IT services, and medical transcription. Another promising field is game development, the youngest branch of the industry.
The different factors that make the Philippines an ideal BPO location still apply when it comes to the game development sector. There is no question about talent. Filipino game developers are creative, highly skilled, and innovative. Aside from English proficiency and low operational costs, the immersion with the Western culture is advantageous for game developers in the sense that cultural compatibility makes it easier for them to appreciate and comprehend the games from the West.
What keeps the country from tapping a large part of the game development outsourcing market is the lack of enough trained game developers to meet the demand. In an article entitled "Philippine game developers ready for big players?" by Nestor Arellano, Ranulf Goss, President of the Game Developers Association of the Philippines, said there were about 50 employees in the sector back in 2004. Five years later, more than 600 comprised the game development workforce. "We're the fastest growing industry in outsourcing right now, but definitely we need more manpower."
While there are game development courses being offered in the Philippines, there is no formal training available. For the country to become a game development outsourcing hub, it is crucial to provide the necessary training for those who want to work as game developers.
The country must find ways to beef up the workforce for the game development sector and make BPO players aware that Filipino game developers have the right skills and talent. If the country has enough manpower to meet the demand, this young sector may soon put the Philippines on the map of global game development outsourcing industry.