Local games industry rising with global demand

By KEVIN WONG / Pic by TMR

Revenue from the local games industry increased to RM420 million last year compared to RM246 million recorded in 2014, as the industry continues to grow faster compared to the entertainment sector globally.

Malaysia Digital Economy Corp creative content and technologies VP Hasnul Hadi Samsudin said in terms of games export value alone, Malaysia has recorded earnings of RM1.2 billion.

“The digital creative content industry is currently one of the fastest technology sectors in terms of exports. Malaysia employs about 10,000 people within this industry alone.

“The government has recognised the industry as an important engine of economic growth in the region,” he said at the Level Up Kuala Lumpur 2017 Conference yesterday.

Analysts have forecast that the games industry will exceed US$100 billion (RM423 billion) in annual revenue this year.

The video game industry had started in the early 1990s. But the booming of personal computers, the Internet and now mobile devices, has helped the games industry to reach a wider global audience.

Besides favourite console boxes like the Playstation, a player can now pit against another gamer from the other side of the globe online and on mobile devices.

The Internet boom, faster infrastructure and the mobile device explosion have helped the games industry to record unprecedented growth.

Hasnul Hadi said there are 14 million gamers in Malaysia, or almost half of the country’s total population of about 32 million.

“So, the people you meet on the streets are a gamer. And about half of these 14 million gamers are actually paid gamers (people who pay for games).

“There is a considerably big market that values, plays and is willing to pay for games. This has also created the opportunity for people to make a career in games development,” he said.

Foreign investors have also acknowledged Malaysia’s strengths, particularly in design and art.

These will help to woo companies or investors to come and get Malaysian content, and market it on the international stage.

He believes the amalgamation of Asian and Western content would be suitable for the global market.