“You can’t build a great company without employees who are passionate about what they do — employees who come to the office every day not just to work but to have a great time,” says Mr Forrest Li, founder and chief executive officer of Garena, a Singapore-based gaming company.
The “passionate” part is understandable, by what does Mr Li mean by “having a great time”?
It is about letting employees take ownership of their projects and enabling their creativity to blossom.
This is something that is a part of the culture that allows Garena’s new hires the freedom to think, innovate and experiment.
“It is people that count, especially in the gaming industry, which places a high premium on talent and creativity,” explains Mr Li.
“Singapore has no lack of young talent and fresh graduates who can produce top-quality work. It’s just a matter of putting them through the right kind of training and development.”
Fresh ideas needed
Garena values people with fresh ideas because it is the employees who have contributed to the company becoming a well-known brand in the global gaming community.
Its employees have had the chance to work on popular games like League of Legends, Dominion, Heroes of Newerth and Blackshot, which are played by millions of users globally and have gained a cult-like fan base.
As online gaming gains in popularity, the future of the industry continues to be open-ended in terms of growth.
A recent ABI Research study showed that the online gaming industry is estimated to grow to US$20 billion (S$25 billion) this year, and the bulk of this growth is predicted to come from the Asia-Pacific markets.
Niko Partners forecasts in its research study that the South-east Asian market alone will be worth US$1 billion by 2015.
Maintaining momentum and keeping up with the creative and imaginative developments in the gaming space are a constant challenge.
This is why there is consistent demand for fresh graduates who can bring new ideas that appeal to the youth of today.
Pursuing a career in the fast-paced gaming industry can be rewarding, and it is essential for young employees to be committed to learning throughout their journey in the industry.
Putting the pieces together
Companies like Garena offer Management Associate programmes which last for one year and allow fresh graduates to pick up new skills in a more structured manner through job rotations and overseas exposure.
These graduates are also paired up with mentors so that they are able to learn the ropes and find their calling in specific fields in the far-reaching gaming industry.
Ms Jasmine Loh, a marketing specialist at Garena, says: “The best part of being in the online gaming industry is the constant challenge that comes about in putting all the pieces together in a game.
“From engineers to community managers to marketers, it is only when all of the processes work together that you see the success of the game.
“To add to this, the online gaming industry is highly dynamic and constantly requires industry professionals to adapt and acquire new technical skills and knowledge to meet the ever-changing demands of the industry.
“My first year at the company has taught me the importance of teamwork, helped to unlock my creativity, exposed me to many opportunities and provided me a platform to gain experience in other markets in the region.”
The gaming industry requires a multitude of talent — from software engineers, web developers and designers to sales, marketing and finance professionals.
With the industry growing steadily, there is constant need for a flow of talent, from various backgrounds and specialisations.
“There’s no question about it. The door is always open to people who feel they have what it takes to succeed in a fast-growing industry,” says Mr Li.