Level Up KL 2020 goes virtual with a two-month long event

  • Event to kick-off with SEA Game Jam Online, culminate in SEA Game Awards
  • Will feature a two-day industry expo, e-sport tournaments, virtual career fair

Level Up KL has grown from 372 attendees in its debut event in 2015 to more than quadruple the participation at to 1,791 in 2019.

Level Up KL will return for its 6th edition from 10 October until 22 November 2020. This year, the regional event – the brainchild of the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) – will be conducted virtually and is expected to attract more than 50,000 gamers, developers, distributors and visitors from across 30 countries.

Going virtual has allowed the event to extend nearly two-month long, featuring activities that cater to businesses within the video games industry and the public alike. Kicking things off is the Southeast Asia (SEA) Game Jam Online, featuring 100 game developers from across the Southeast Asian region.

Like previous iterations, it will still be a 36-hour hackathon, in which participants will compete for a chance to win US$1,445 (RM6,000) in cash prizes.

Following that will be one of the main events for Level Up KL 2020 - the Business Connection. Now virtual, this meeting platform will provide a more immersive and interactive discussion and networking environment as it connects top industry experts, Southeast Asian games studios and aspiring video game developers.

After that will be the two-day Industry Conference, featuring a wide swath of ecosystem players. This includes the likes of Nintendo, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Microsoft and Unity, all of whom will be speaking on game development, technology and commercialisation.

Taking place concurrently is the Business Expo, an online games industry trade event for local and regional video games studios to promote their product and services. There will also be masterclass workshops and a Virtual Career Fair for those keen on joining the industry.

You can also expect the return of the SEA Game Showcase, which will run from 19 October until 15 November 2020. Here, visitors will find exclusive promotions, video game demos and special deals for the top games that were developed in the region.

This will then culminate in the SEA Game Awards, an event that recognises the best and latest games developed in Southeast Asia. There will also be an e-sports webinar and several e-sports tournaments that offer budding and seasoned professional gamers a chance to get part of the prize pool that is worth US$28,850 (RM120,000).

MDEC chief executive officer Surina Shukri notes the growing interest of the regional event. “In 2015, there were only 372 attendees and last year, that number more than quadrupled to 1,791. This is strong indication that the video games industry in Southeast Asia is on an unstoppable growth trajectory,” she says.

“With the pandemic forcing many to work from the comfort of their homes, we are also witnessing a spike in the popularity of video games that are primarily an at-home type activity. Therefore, we are positive that this trend will be reflected in this edition of Level Up KL as we are expecting to reach 5,000,000 people via social media and record 50,000 registered visitors for its first-ever virtualised event,” she adds.

Globally, the video game market is projected to be worth US$159 billion in 2020, around four times more than box office revenues (US$43 billion in 2019) and almost three times higher than music industry revenues (US$57 billion in 2019). The biggest market, by industry revenue gains, is Asia Pacific with almost 50% of that being the games market by value.

“From 2019, we strengthened our efforts to position Malaysia as a regional powerhouse for the gaming industry through the introduction of the Digital Content Ecosystem (DICE) strategy. Level Up KL 2020 is an additional effort that validates Malaysia as the preferred destination for the regional game development ecosystem,” highlights MDEC’s vice president of Digital Creative Content Hasnul Hadi Samsudin.

To find out more about Level Up KL 2020, visit here.


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