Digital content policy to be introduced before year-end

The govt recognises the gaming industry as an important engine for economic growth as it has the potential to bring in immense revenue


THE Digital Content Ecosystem (Dice) Policy will soon boost local and foreign investments into the creative content of the local e-gaming and animation industries.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo (picture) said the policy, jointly developed by his ministry and the Malaysia Digital Economy Corp Sdn Bhd (MDEC), will be announced by year end.

“The government recognises the gaming industry as an important engine for economic growth in this region as it has the potential to bring in immense revenue.

“The policy is ready, but we have to formalise certain things. We want to make sure that Malaysia is ready to be the hub for investment and offer an improved and enhanced infrastructure through the National Fiberisation Connectivity Plan, which can provide services at low prices, high speed and 5G-ready,” he said at the announcement of the Level Up KL 2019 in Kuala Lumpur (KL) last Friday.

He said the ministry has secured its maiden investment in the sector as a result of the Dice policy and will be materialised before year-end.

Gobind said the implementation of the 5G technology in the country will intensify the demand for the gaming industry and e-sports — a video game-based tournament.

“5G will take mobile gaming to the next level as e-sports are fast-growing in the world, but the continuous technological improvement has become the most critical component to its success.

“This development means users will demand for new experiences such as low-latency multiplayer gameplay, seamless streaming services and enhanced geo location based features.

“It will increase the number of people who will be able to access the internet and open up new markets for the creative content industry,” he said.

Recently, the minister said the 5G network is expected to roll out as early as the first quarter of 2020, adding that the policy also focuses on building local talent and companies, simultaneously strengthening the ecosystem through collaboration between private and public sectors.

“The policy aims at prioritising advanced researches, intellectual property creation, commercialisation, and branding capabilities in order to improve its export potential.

“We want investors to think about investing in this sector locally,” he said.

Gobind added that MDEC, which is spearheading the policy, will organise town halls and focus group discussions with industry stakeholders to collect information and opinions on the establishment of the policy.

Between 2013 and 2017, the local digital content industry, which includes animation, games and visual effects, grew by 6%, contributing RM7.9 billion in revenue. Last year, Malaysia raked US$654 million (RM 2.7 billion) in revenue from the gaming industry.

At present, there are over 370 studios in Malaysia that are directly involved in various stages of development and production, involving over 11,000 jobs.

Regionally, South-East Asia is the fastest growing market for e-sports with over 11.2 million participants and had generated revenue of US$4.4 billion in 2018.