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The Gaming Industry: A New Game of Growth

MIDA Insights - Services

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T he Gaming Industry evolved from a group of young developers into a billion-dollar industry, and with the exponential growth of technology, the trend of playing games has grown from being played on PCs and mobiles, to consoles and virtual reality (VR). A global leader in eSports, games, and mobile intelligence, Newzoo is the leading market intelligence from the Netherlands since the year 2007. It has a partnership with giant tech companies such as Microsoft, Facebook, Warner Bros, Google, Razer and many others. Newzoo has also highlighted in its 2018 Global Games Market Report that the global games market is expected to grow from USD151.9 billion in 2019 to approximately USD180.1 billion in 2021.

The increasing trend in the Gaming Industry has led to a new trend known as Electronic Sports (eSports), a competition using video games. The global revenue for eSports is expected to grow to USD1.5 billion by 2020. Newzoo also highlighted that the Asia-Pacific region accounted for 51 per cent of global eSports enthusiasts in 2017.

The Malaysian National Creative Industry Policies, governed by the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia has identified the gaming industry as one of the ten main categories in the Creative Industry, namely Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Music, Literature, Fashion and Design, Traditional and Cultural Arts, Creative Education, Creative Technologies, Film/TV/Gaming Content, and Culinary Arts. In 2018, the Gaming Industry alone contributed USD100 million to Malaysia's revenue and expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2018-2023) of 10.9 per cent, which will result in a market volume of USD168 million by 2023. Malaysia also ranks 21st worldwide in term of games revenue, with the total amount of USD633 million.

With the massive growth of the creative industries, Malaysians are also jumping on the virtual world's bandwagon to kick-start their careers as game developers. Today, the production of games require a team of highly skilled professionals in  the areas of graphic material digitisation, programming of digital sound and characters, and the creation of creative content. The spur of the Gaming Industry also sparks the interest of other young technology entrepreneurs to venture and explore the Game Development industry. Courses specialising in the game design such as game software development, game art and design as well as game programming are being offered by local universities and college, and institutions namely Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, and Management and Science University (MSU).

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Malaysian companies are making their mark in the gaming industry. For example, PassionRepublic Sdn. Bhd., a homegrown animation studio based in Malaysia has over 95 employees comprising highly-skilled young talent who are incredibly passionate about digital content creation. PassionRepublic has successfully produced digital  content for leading companies such as Sony, Microsoft Games, Warner Game Brooch and Square Enix. The Company will be expanding its animation studio, building its R&D capabilities and continuing to grow both locally and globally by offering innovative digital content in the gaming industry with the support of MIDA.

The Malaysian Government has recognised the gaming industry as one of the sectors which can boost the economy. Since the year 2015, Malaysia has been hosting the LEVEL UP KL, an annual Southeast Asia games industry event led by Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC). The event aims to bring together local and international players at the regional games development scene in Southeast Asia, as well as to provide a platform for players in the industry to interact, learn and share knowledge. Several notable companies in the gaming scene present during this annual event include Sony Interactive  Entertainment, Epic Games, Google, Bandai Namco and Microsoft XBOX.

During Budget 2019, a total of RM10 million has been allocated to develop eSports. With the commitment shown by the Government, the eSports in Malaysia is expected to boom this year as Youth and Sports Ministry also aspires Malaysia to be the eSports hub in the region. Esports Malaysia (ESM), a governing body for electronic sports in Malaysia has been reformed to address the concerns of eSports athletes and spearhead the development of eSports in the country.

Moving forward, Malaysia's Gaming Industry will continue to grow, as more and more companies and creative individuals are rapidly exploring this innovative industry. In line with this, MIDA will continue to assume its role to assist and nurture local gaming companies to grow and become regional or global players.

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Last Updated : Tuesday 25th June 2019