This article is part of Virtuos Insider, a series of interviews where Virtuosi share about their careers and experiences in the company and video game industry at large. In this installment, we speak with Clément Galiay, our newly-appointed General Manager at Virtuos Paris and his predecessor Christophe Gandon, the current Head of Game Division at Virtuos, who shared with us their aspirations and goals for Virtuos as they assume their new roles in the company.
Clément Galiay is officially assuming his new position as General Manager of Virtuos Paris studio. Formally a Senior Business Development Manager for Europe, he succeeds Christophe Gandon, who was the original founder of the studio. Moving forward, Christophe will focus solely on his role as Head of Game Division at Virtuos.
The new appointments will play to each individual’s strengths and aspirations, serving to boost Virtuos’ overall goals of enhancing the capability of our Paris studio and the Game Division as a whole.
Both Clément and Christophe took the time to sit with us and share more about their thoughts on their respective appointments and how it will aid Virtuos’ journey towards becoming the premier end-to-end AAA game development company.
Please introduce yourself and tell us about your passions in life.
Clément: My name is Clément, and I have been with Virtuos for one year. Aside from video games, I also like team sports, like rugby and football.
I also enjoy food very much; I’m fond of picking up the freshest ingredients at the grocery store and cooking nice meals for friends and family, or – provided that it’s safe to do so – going out to eat at restaurants.
Christophe: I’m Christophe and I am proud to be a part of Virtuos for the past 15 years. I have two passions in my life: creating or playing video games, and motorsport. I consider myself very lucky because I’ve been lucky enough to have worked in the two industries.
I began my working life in motorsport as a car engineer, but eventually I decided to switch to video games as my main career while keeping motorsport as a hobby. Does it mean that I’m a better game creator than a race car driver? I won’t try to answer this!
What was your previous position, and your current one at Virtuos? What has changed?
Clément: I had been working as a Senior Business Development Manager for Europe for one year before transitioning to the position of General Manager for Virtuos Paris studio. I guess a lot will change for me! Instead of working on many projects for studios in Europe and linking them up with all our studios at Virtuos, I’ll be overseeing our production team in Virtuos Paris, who will focus on Game projects from partners all over the world.
Christophe: As the original founder of Virtuos Paris studio, I’ve been working both as its Studio GM, as well as Virtuos’ Head of Game Division for 4 years now. With Virtuos continuing to grow, it is time for me to keep my focus solely on the Game Division.
What inspired you to take on this new role?
Clément: I’ve always aspired towards running a studio and working with the teams to create and work on amazing projects. When I was offered the opportunity to do so, I immediately took the chance to grow into the Virtuos group and undertake more responsibilities, pursuing my ambitions in the process.
Christophe: I’m not actually taking on a new role, so much as focusing more attention to one aspect of an existing one. I’d just like to spend more time with all our teams around the world, with the aim of becoming more closely involved with the process of creating games and my fellow game creators at Virtuos.
What does the change of GM mean for Virtuos Paris?
Clément: I don’t expect a revolution to happen, as Christophe’s way of running things is close to what I hope to implement.
That being said, I’ve had the chance to work in Montreal for 4 years, and I would like to see how much we can incorporate from that culture into the Paris studio.
Christophe: I’m entirely convinced that Clément will be able to continue the studio’s growth, showcasing his strengths within the group and to his clients. Virtuos Paris’ strong suit lies in its proficiency in technology and game design. Both serve as a great foundation for creating games, and it is the path that the studio is following now.
What would you like to achieve in this new role?
Clément: Well, if I can make sure that all my team members are happy to come to work every day, I’ll be satisfied. This means working with them to make sure we set out the very best working conditions possible. It also means working on exciting projects, which would give us the opportunity to offer innovative solutions to developers and gain their trust, in turn allowing us to push their creations to the next level.
Christophe: My goal is to finally go back to making better games at Virtuos, and I hope I will be able to help in that regard. A new generation of hardware has emerged – not just new consoles, but also the rise of cloud gaming as a whole – and it’s the perfect time for us to be ambitious in our work. We now have more projects that not only involve co-development, but full game creations as well.
Game projects are getting increasingly complex, but also extremely exciting. I will do my absolute best to support all our teams, helping them to work closely and effectively together using our distributed development model, sharing their strengths and emphasizing their creativity.
What’s your vision for Virtuos Paris?
Clément: My vision for Virtuos Paris is to keep growing the studio steadily, and become the leading studio in game creation within the group.
Christophe: I think we are fully aligned with Clément. This studio has the required talents and structure to be able to co-develop AAA quality games with clients while creating their own games too. And I believe that Clément is a strong manager that will be able to make this studio even stronger.
Is there anything you would like to say to anyone reading up about Virtuos?
Clément: Many of my industry friends used to see Virtuos as a mere asset creator. I’ve been spending most of my time at Virtuos explaining to developers and publishers about how we truly are partners that strive to work hand-in-hand with their teams to create better games, together. But I genuinely believe in our message, and we can see that the projects where we’re the most integrated with the dev teams are usually the most successful ones.
Christophe: When people first begin to learn about Virtuos, they are usually surprised by the amount and the variety of projects we are working on at any one time. Within the Game Division, we do everything from co-developing parts of games for other developers (DLC, exotic gameplay and others) and coding new features with our engineers, to remastering previous titles to new platforms for them. And finally, we are creating our own games as well. And of course our artists are creating art assets and providing art solutions for both our own game developers or for our clients.
This huge scope of game development is always changing and evolving from project to project, with different game engines (commercial engines or proprietary engines) and a multitude of game genres to account for (including shooters, strategy, adventure, RPG, open world, etc…). To be able to embrace so many different games, each with its own unique developmental challenges from so many AAA clients – it can be so very exciting!
Thank you and all the best in your future, Clément and Christophe!