The Education NKEA game is afoot

  • Game Development Cluster under Education NKEA
  • Bachelor of Game Development degree program at KDU
The Education NKEA game is afoot

 
THE Performance Management & Delivery Unit (Pemandu) of the Prime Minister's Department has given KDU University College the go-ahead to establish the “MyGameDev2020” Game Development Cluster, which they hope would establish Malaysia as a regional game development center.

MyGameDev2020 will be run as an entry point project under Economic Transformation Program’s Education NKEA (National Key Results Area), a critical driver for Malaysia’s transformation from a middle- to high-income nation due its impact on productivity and human capital development, according to Pemandu.

“We want to see the nation establish a firm reputation as a creator of high-quality, creative talents and content; an attractive package for foreign game developers and investors; and an incubation and support hub for independent game developers,” said Dato’ Sri Idris Jala, Pemandu chief executive officer and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.

“This EPP will result in a GNI (Gross National Income) of RM6.1 million by 2020,” he said at the April 24 launch, conceding that it was a small number.

“But this is one EPP where it’s not about the numbers,” he said. “You can’t set up house without thinking about the people, and the focus here is on talent development. When you focus on that, you can spark something.”

KDU is investing RM1.8 million on the project and has launched a Bachelor of Game Development degree program, with an initial intake of 20 students.

On why it is venturing into game development courses, KDU deputy vice chancellor Dr Tan Hui Leng said the global entertainment design industry is forecast to generate more than US$2 trillion in revenue by the end of this year.

The videogames portion of that industry itself is expected to generate US$68.4 billion in sales this year, she added.

“It is one of the fastest growing industries in the world, and as such, demand for such high-level skills will grow in the years ahead,” Dr Tan said. “We are looking forward to a significant role in building the game development industry in Malaysia.”

Earlier in April, the Games Development Faculty at also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Backbone Entertainment, an MSC status animation and multimedia studio.

MyGameDev2020 will be established with the assistance of Codemasters Studio, the British videogames developer which set up a company in the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC Malaysia) in 2006, with whom KDU signed a memorandum of understanding on Tuesday.

Others on the Game Development Cluster committee are Multimedia Development Corporation, MOL AccessPortal, Streamline Studios, the Malaysian Qualifications Agency, Multimedia University, The One Academy of Communication Design and the International Game Developers Association.

“When we first set up in Malaysia, it was for the low cost and the MSC incentives,” said Nicholas Shariff Collins, head of Business at Codemasters Studios.

“Well, Malaysia is not a low-cost center any longer, but with the challenges come new opportunities spawned by mobile telecommunications take-up, the proliferation of broadband and the amount of online downloads.

“The country still has tremendous talents and the name of the game for us now is quality. We’re heartened to see Malaysia’s commitment to talent development; this EPP has come to the right country at the right time,” he added.
 
Under KDU’s Bachelor of Game Development, students have the option of pursuing three majors: Game Art (Visuals), Game Design (Mechanics) & Game Technology (Programming). For more information, go here: http://www.kdu.edu.my/bachelor-of-game-development
 
List of Codemasters accolades (from www.codemasters.com):

  • Winner: British Academy Video Games Awards 2011 – Best Sports Game (F1 2010)
  • Grand Prix Award, Develop ‘Industry Excellence’ Awards 2009
  • BAFTA 2009, Sports for Race Driver: GRID
  • UK Developer of the Year, 25th Golden Joystick Awards
  • UK Development Team, MCV Industry Excellence Awards 2008.
  • Best Technology (EGO™ Engine), TIGA Awards.
 
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