Level Up KL 2018 charts new course for Southeast Asia's games market

  • MDEC’s regional games conference hits record levels of attendance
  • Over 90 companies from the region participating in exhibition this year

MDEC chief executive officer Yasmin Mahmood (6th from left) with MDEC staff and speakers.

THE Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation’s (MDEC) Level Up KL 2018 Conference returns to Kuala Lumpur with nearly one thousand local and international delegates thronging the halls of the conference in Bangsar South, a suburb of KL. Today is the last day of the five-day event which began on Sat the 27th.

MDEC chief executive officer Yasmin Mahmood spoke about how Level Up KL serves to bring greater awareness and validity to the potential of the Southeast Asian gaming industry. “Our sights have remained clear on driving this robust and dynamic industry, and we believe it is the time for the industry to revolutionise our games approach beyond pure entertainment.”

Stressing on the growing potential of the Southeast Asia games market, Yasmin cites stats by Niko Partners that the region’s young population is propelling a fast-growing eSports market. PC and mobile games revenue hit US$2.2 billion (RM9.2 billion) in 2017 and that number is expected to double to US$4.4 billion (RM18.4 billion) by 2021.

“Even in terms of market size, about 300 million people in Southeast Asia consume games and that is also expected to rise to 400 million by 2021,” she says.

The MDEC chief executive officer adds that this fourth instalment of Level Up KL promises a dynamic conversation on expending the video game industry beyond revolutionising entertainment, playing a role in driving efficiency, innovation and disrupting other sectors of the economy.

Adding to this, Minister of Communications and Multimedia Gobind Singh Deo, in a press statement, declared: “Malaysia is ready to embrace the new digital era known globally as Industry 4.0, and games development is part of that larger digital ecosystem. I am confident that MDEC, through its LEVEL UP KL initiative, is on the right path to drive the Southeast Asian game business forward as an integral part of the global game industry.”

In providing a platform for game developers from around the region, Level Up KL’s exhibition area was expanded this year to accommodate 92 companies from Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand and China showcased their products.


Empowering the push for innovation in games development

As a platform for the industry to share knowledge and drive meaningful conversations that could translate into future collaborations, the conference has become the go-to platform for studios to showcase their latest projects, market capabilities and attract new business opportunities.

Among the industry announcements, yesterday was the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between MDEC and iCandy Interactive Limited, a Malaysian founded digital entertainment company listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.

The MoU details iCandy’s role in promoting the adoption of blockchain technology in game-making here and providing funding to promising Malaysian-based game studios to develop blockchain games. The company recently launched the pre-sale for its upcoming blockchain-game, ‘CryptantCrab’ - a made-in-Malaysia game that runs on the Ethereum blockchain.

To further demonstrate Malaysia’s game-making capabilities, several local studios took to stage to announce their latest intellectual properties (IPs) that are set to excite the international gaming community. Among the titles announced are; ‘No Straight Roads’ by Metronomik Studio, ‘Eximius: Seize the Frontline’ by Ammobox Studios, ‘Bake & Switch’ by Streamline Games, and ‘Datum Tap’ by NightMorning Studios.

Also excited about the announcements was Minister of Youth and Sports Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman who, through a media statement, commended these announcements as being in line with the ministry’s push to develop a vibrant gaming culture. “I am pleased that the ministry’s sentiment towards gaming is being shared by the industry and developers community. Hearing about the new games being announced today, I am confident we have what it takes to be the best in Asia and hopefully, we will see our Malaysian-made games being played competitively at major gaming tournaments here.”


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