Professional Services
Order outsourcing

Working Culture and the Recruitment Process at Virtuos KL

Virtuos KL's general manager Mufizal Mokhtar discussed the studio's foundation goals, explained how the work across different Virtuos studios is organized, and spoke about the studio's approach to hiring new talent.

Mufizal Mokhtar, GM of Virtuos KL


Hello, I am Mufizal Mokhtar, General Manager of Virtuos Kuala Lumpur (Virtuos KL). Our founding team comprises Boon Yan Toh as Studio Operations Director, Ian Ng Siong Yoong as Studio Production Director, Noorazhar Mohd Noor as Senior Lead Artist, and Johaness Reuben as Technical Art Director. Most of our team are veteran AAA game developers who have returned home to launch Virtuos KL – throughout two decades of our careers, we have shipped some of the biggest titles in the industry, including Assassin's Creed, Medal of Honor, and Grid.

Since Virtuos KL’s soft launch in early 2021, our team has grown to 90 employees. I am proud of every single member of our team for their dedication to their craft and uncompromising standards.

Virtuos KL

Virtuos KL was founded with the belief that talent development is key to making incredible games – not just technical skills, but also soft skills. Our goal is to become a studio capable of full-stack game development, made possible by engineers, designers, artists of all kinds, and competent managers who can make magic happen right here in KL. 

As a team, we firmly believe that game development is a team sport! We encourage our team members to work and play in one physical space, which allows us to nurture a creative environment and encourage more robust collaboration. However, we understand that every team member has different needs. To accommodate these needs, we allow remote work on a case-by-case basis while putting measures in place to ensure a strong sense of belonging is maintained.

Virtuos KL

Organization of Working Processes at Virtuos Studios

Each project is unique and comes with its challenge and requirements. Projects require dedicated teams to ensure that our work goes smoothly. Work is generally organized by project. The studio appointed to lead a project will be tasked to deliver it per the client’s requirements.

In addition, our internal pool of over 3,000 talented individuals in Virtuos studios worldwide can be called on as needed. Supporting studios will also have a team and project manager dedicated to the task. One of the key reasons for the success of the work we do is our project managers who know everything about their project, inside and out.

As a large, established external developer, all Virtuos studios work together on the same platform with the same project management and communication tools, ensuring that we can interoperate smoothly together. This enables us to assign hundreds of employees to work on a single project seamlessly, regardless of location and time zones.

Hiring New Specialists

The team goes through a wide range of considerations when looking at a potential hire, and there is no hard rule that would result in a pass or a hire. We believe humans are complex and accommodate everyone from all walks of life.

We primarily look at how well candidates would integrate with our culture, how dedicated they are to their craft, and how they can further strengthen the team in general – whether in terms of soft or hard skills. 

Virtuos KL's team

Working with Beginners

We have a fun and structured onboarding and integration process for new joiners, giving them sufficient time to learn about Virtuos, our KL studio, team members, and culture. Ensuring that everyone is successfully acclimatized is the first step to building an excellent community!

At Virtuos KL, we have a dedicated Virtuos Induction Program to onboard new hires that lack industry experience in the game production process. They get paid and spend three months learning what it takes to be part of a full-stack game development environment.

At our studio, we value openness to feedback and practice an open-door policy. Everyone should feel safe expressing concerns and ambitions openly and constructively, creating a safe space for everyone to work and play. 

Managing Burnout

When it comes to burnout, prevention is better than cure. Having a great production team with foresight, proper risk assessments, and mitigation plans ahead of time is key to a productive and efficient project. We also need capable team members with the right skill sets to deliver projects on time and with quality.

Suppose the project in question does not meet our criteria – for instance, in terms of delivery schedules. We would avoid risking burnout and look for other projects to protect our team. In the unfortunate but rare situation where our team has to put in extra hours to complete a project, we will track the extra time spent and compensate our employees with time off in lieu.

Creative Freedom

Here in Virtuos KL, power lies in data and reasoning rather than seniority. Everyone is encouraged to speak up if they see an opportunity for improvement in any aspect that concerns the studio. 

Virtuos' Approach to Education

We take pride in nurturing talent at every level. Everyone is encouraged to teach if they know, and learn if they don't. They don't have to wait for a specific meeting or time to develop their skills; they can do this anytime. The video game industry is ever-evolving, and the requirements change daily; as games get bigger and better, every developer should have an innate desire to level themselves up to keep up with the latest processes, tools, technologies, and tips.

On top of the three-month Virtuos Induction Program at our studio in KL, Virtuos also has a fantastic learning platform built by our very own Central Technology Group (CTG). CTG is a dedicated team that develops up-to-date educational materials for employees to consume and build their technical knowledge. The team also develops training programs to keep our employees at the cutting edge of game development. 

Tips for Artists

I would say that junior-level candidates who wish to work at our studio don't have to do much apart from continuously improving their craft to the highest level possible. As for senior candidates, I suggest focusing on the core fundamentals, theories, and principles that are expected of senior hires.

Virtuos KL's Roadmap

We are currently growing our team and expanding our studio’s competencies. While we have an aggressive ambition of growing to 300 employees by 2025, we also need to ensure that we grow sustainably – maintaining the delicate balance between seniors and juniors. As we increase our competencies over the years, we will increasingly work on bigger and more complex projects. Hopefully, the next time you hear from us (in the near future) would be of us sharing about our contributions to some of the biggest AAA games that you’ll be playing!

Mufizal Mokhtar, General Manager of Virtuos Kuala Lumpur

Interview conducted by Ana Kessler

Join discussion

Comments 0

    You might also like

    We need your consent

    We use cookies on this website to make your browsing experience better. By using the site you agree to our use of cookies.Learn more