Gaming conference Level Up KL 2019 to attract 30,000 visitors

Govt provides RM1m to bring 82 international speakers and the rest of the funding comes from industry players, sponsors

by ASILA JALIL/ pic by ARIF KARTONO

GAMING conference Level Up KL 2019 will be back for the fifth year to celebrate the video game culture in the country, with the aim to attract 30,000 visitors.

Malaysian Digital Economy Corp Sdn Bhd (MDEC) creative content and technologies VP Hasnul Hadi Samsudin (picture; right) said the event organised by MDEC is an effort that validates Malaysia as the preferred destination for the regional game development ecosystem.

Hasnul said the government has provided RM1 million to bring 82 speakers from all over the world and the rest of the funding came from industry players and sponsors like Unifi and Boost, among others.

“I am very grateful because of the aid and support they provided in ensuring we can develop the programme even more,” Hasnul told reporters in Kuala Lumpur (KL) yesterday.

The event will feature two sections: i) Level Up KL Biz which will be held from Nov 2-8, at Bangsar South; and ii) Level Up KL Play which will take place on Nov 9-10 at KL Convention Centre.

Level Up KL Biz serves as a platform for announcements from local and international game developers, expert-led workshops, talks, business creations, game creations and more, while Level Up KL Play will feature various activities ranging from game demonstrations to meetand-greet-activities.

About 1,000 industry players will be involved in the event that is supported by the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Communications and Multimedia, and Ministry of Youth and Sports.

Tickets for Level Up KL Play can be purchased online or on the site during both days, priced at RM10 per day.

Belgian game developer Larian Studios founder and CEO Swen Vincke will be the keynote speaker at the event. Other speakers include Danny Koo from Marvel Entertainment LLC, Daisuke Hiragami from Soleil Ltd and Ashnil Dixit from Google LLC.

“This event is also for local gamers to showcase and develop their games so that the public can see what games have been developed in the country.

“They hope that many people can play their games and at the end of the day purchase it,” Hasnul said.

Level Up KL also aims to further expand their programmes to rural areas next year as Hasnul believes there are talents in these areas that could be polished.

During the tabling of Budget 2020 recently, the government allocated RM20 million to MDEC to develop local champions in creating digital content, especially in e-games, animation and digital arts.

Hasnul expressed his gratitude for the allocation as it gives the industry and its players the opportunity to develop internationally.

“One of our programmes involves giving them funds to develop their digital content for animation and games. Besides that, we also provide mentorship programme and expose them to the international market where they have the opportunity to meet broadcasters and publishers and also sell their products.

“Among the things that we are proud of are cartoons such as Upin & Ipin, BoBoiBoy and also a video game No Straight Roads, which are produced by our local artists and have become known globally.

“Therefore, we could use the allocation to help new companies and artists,” he added.

Last year, Malaysia raked in US$654 million (RM 2.7 billion) in revenue from the gaming industry.