Today started with more classes at UEF, as we learned much about the history of Vietnam, particularly in how it affected the development of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), and furthered our Vietnamese skills in a later language class. These were followed by a surprise trip to a Vietnamese McDonald’s, which was quite upscale, and had much higher quality food than its American counterpart. That being said, the interesting classes and upscale McDonald’s couldn’t possibly prepare us for the incredible company visit we would embark on after lunch.
Visiting Glass Egg Digital Media was honestly a tremendous experience in every sense. We were able to get a personalized tour of a company that produces art for many very prestigious companies, such as EA and Microsoft, and were able to learn even more by questioning the COO, Guillaume Monier. When developing software, they have many challenges, such as being out of the loop of what is going on in the markets they are producing games for, having strict deadlines to accomplish daunting tests, and having strict requirements placed upon them by the companies that outsource the designing to them (they specifically mentioned Disney as being quite burdensome with their requirements. As far as problems occurring due to being in Vietnam, they are out of touch with western culture to some degree, and they also struggle to compete with similar firms based in China, as thy are able to use much cheaper labor. By being in Vietnam, however, they still are able to work at a relatively low cost, and there are many intelligent university students with a tenacious work ethic available for hire. Glass Egg sees the future of their industry as augmented reality, yet is perfectly intent without too much further diversification, as they claim to not have the money to do it.