A career as a Game Designer has led Julian Gosiengfiao to Copenhagen by pure chance. But the number of professional opportunities, as well as quality of life in the region, might make him stick around for a while.
This article is sponsored by Copenhagen Capacity – one of the partners who made “Games as a Business 2021” possible.
Today, Julian Gosiengfiao is working as a lead Game Designer for an upcoming (and still super-secret) game from SYBO in Copenhagen. Yet before he joined the company back in December, the Hong Konger didn’t plan to move to Denmark.
“My spouse and I were looking for a change, but Copenhagen and SYBO weren’t really on the radar. SYBO reached out to me, I had a couple of ex-colleagues who ended up with SYBO, and their impressions were very positive. They are highly regarded as being artistically-driven, and it’s nice to see a company where artistry plays a leading role in why their games are so successful. I saw it as a place where I could go and grow my skill-set while working with people I really respect,” Gosiengfiao explains.
Before swapping his job in Barcelona for one in Copenhagen, he had never been to Denmark. After a few months, he’s thrilled with the Danish capital – both because he isn’t a big fan of sweltering heat, but also because of all the talent he has already met in the games industry here.
“There is a really nice, local games community. SYBO, Playdead, IO Interactive – all companies that are experts at what they do and make games people play around the world. As someone coming from the outside, I never made the connection: All those companies making really great games are all in Copenhagen? I feel lucky to hang out with these guys while making games,” Gosiengfiao says.
Copenhagen Capacity: We need foreign talent
Julian Gosiengfiao is far from the only foreigner in the Danish games industry. As a burgeoning international industry, most of the major studios have a high percentage of foreigners.
“There is a need for foreign talent – both because the talent pool locally is not large enough, but also to attract the most talented people from all over the world. This is necessary if you want to compete in the tough gaming industry,” says Merete Sandager, Senior Talent Attraction Manager at Copenhagen Capacity.
Copenhagen Capacity is working towards making Greater Copenhagen visible as an attractive career destination and has worked actively to connect international talent with the Danish gaming industry.
“We have several talented game studios that makes it attractive for the talents to work here. But one of the things that also makes it attractive to come here is precisely our different approach to both work and private life, such as work/life balance, work culture, employee development, teamwork, etc., which differs from what they have been used to,” Sandager says.
- Greater Copenhagen Career Portal is a service that lists jobs at companies in the Greater Copenhagen region especially suited for international candidates.
- It functions as a matchmaking service that facilitates contact between companies in Greater Copenhagen and qualified international candidates interested in pursuing a career in Greater Copenhagen.
- There are currently 171 jobs opening in the games industry, which you can find them here: https://careers.greatercph.com/gamedev
- If you are considering a job in Greater Copenhagen, sign up for our GameDevTalent Pool and get career news directly in your inbox. Sign up at https://careers.greatercph.com/talent-pool-game-development
- It’s free for a company to sign up for a company profile at the Greater Copenhagen Career Portal. Contact Merete Sandager at email@example.com to learn more.
A low tolerance for endless meetings
A career in the games industry has taken Julian Gosiengfiao all over the world: from Hong Kong to Beijing, and from Canada to Spain. So far though, moving to Denmark has been the easiest.
“The government operations are incredible, everything simply works. And everyone speaks English as well. I almost feel guilty because everyone is so happy to speak English, so I don’t know if I will ever improvemy Danish,” Gosiengfiao laughs.
He has previous experience with the long working hours and demanding daily grind of the gaming industry – working from 9 am to 10 pm. SYBO, on the other hand, Gosiengfiao has found to be very accommodating for people with families. The studio is focused on avoiding burnouts, and employees are allowed flexible schedules.
“I think Danes have a very low tolerance for endless meetings. At the same time, I feel like we’re getting much more done in less time. We have really efficient meetings and Danes are just very practical-minded when it come to getting things done,” Gosiengfiao says, and adds that they do so in a non-hierarchical way:
“Everyone just wants to do good work. The dynamic you are used to seeing with senior people is very different. We have a couple of junior guys with less experience, but they own their own things. No one is waiting around for seniors to make decisions. It’s very collaborative.”
A painless move
Despite the reputation of being soft-spoken and introverted, Julian Gosiengfiao has found the Danes to be open and friendly. This has been particularly helpful when moving to a different country with a spouse.
“It is hard setting up because you feel like you’re giving up your whole life. When you’re moving for a job you have a network to tap into, but in some places it’s really hard for my spouse. But – as much as it can be – it’s been made very painless to move here. We have never had that anywhere else,” Gosiengfiao says.
Through a “Spouse Care Program,” they have found it easy to find and hang out with other couples, who have also relocated to Copenhagen. This has also proved to be a great outlet for the strange experiences which come with arriving in a new country – like the lack of curtains and lamps in their new apartment. Despite the curiosities, Gosiengfiao is not dismissive of staying in Denmark for a while:
“I don’t know how long we’re going to be in Copenhagen. But I think it’s a great place to start a family.”
This article is part of the theme “Games as a Business 2021”. You find an overview of the theme here: