Level Up KL 2017: How This B2B Conference Helps to Accelerate The Growth of Gaming Industry in SEA

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Level Up KL 2017 was already held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia early November. With the main theme “Learn, Connect and Level Up”, how this event can accelerate the growth of gaming industry in this region?

As one of the emerging game markets in the world, Southeast Asia region has already had several events related to gaming industry. With topics ranging from Business to Business (B2B) to Business to Consumer (B2C), these events aim to accelerate the growth of the industry.

BEKRAF Game Prime in Indonesia, GameStart in Singapore, and ESGS in the Philippines are the examples of the events, and so is the Level Up KL 2017 that took place earlier this November.

Level Up KL is a B2B conference event initiated by Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and 2017 is its third year. “Learn, Connect and Level Up” is the main theme for this year’s event. But, how can this theme relate to the Southeast Asia gaming industry and help to accelerate it?

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level up KL 2017

Although Southeast Asia has a huge market for gaming, in terms of creators, they still in the development phase. So that’s why learning is very important, especially learning from other stakeholders outside the region. To accommodate that, Level Up KL 2017 presented some veterans of the gaming industry to be the speakers and mentors. Most of them are local and regional speakers that have gained success in overseas companies like Teo Yong Jin (Motive EA Montreal), Wan Hazmer (Square Enix), Danny Koo (Marvel) and so on.

level up kl 2017

Learn, Connect and Level Up!

During six days of the event, Level Up KL 2017 provided range of content that helps developers to learn. Starting from SEA Game Jam that took place from the 4-6th of November, 2017 followed by more than 80 participants around the region. This game jam also illustrates the “connect” word in the main theme, where developers across the region can collaborate to make something new.

The Business Connection Program also boost the “connect” word from the main theme. In this full day session, the industry’s stakeholders can meet each other and discuss for potential collaborations in the future. More than 200 meetings have been done in one day, mostly to connect the developers with potential partners like publishers and investors.

level up kl 2017
SEA Game Jam Presentation Session

And then, there is a SEA Game Awards organized by MDEC and supported by MYGameON. This awarding event purposely exists to recognize outstanding, artistic, creative efforts for technical and gameplay achievements in the game industry within the region. From over 75 game submissions and then shortlisted to 30 finalists, Infectonator 3: Apocalypse from Indonesia and Simulacra from Malaysia are the highlights with its two awards.

level up kl 2017

Lastly, how this event can “level up” and accelerate the growth of gaming industry in Southeast Asia? With the huge population and many great talents, unfortunately there are still few Southeast Asian-made games that can get success worldwide. So, we hope that Level Up KL 2017 can “level up” the developers’ skill, not only technically. And hopefully, they also can “level up” themselves by collaborate with other developers and stakeholders across or outside the region to improve their game quality.

level up kl 2017

Game as Important Engine for Economic Growth in SEA

“The Malaysian government recognises the game industry as an important engine of economic growth in the region,” said Hasnul Hadi Samsudin, Vice President of Creative Content & Technologies from MDEC.

level up kl 2017

“The support we receive from Level Up KL year-on-year, along with solid alliance with prominent players in the game industry, indicates this region has what it takes to drive this robust, dynamic and multi-national industry. More importantly, this positive development has positioned us as an emerging games-producing region,” he continues.

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In its press release, MDEC states that the games market in the region represents only 4% of global consumption. But, they forecasted it to grow with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30% between now to 2018. So with this event, hopefully that number is achievable in one year ahead.

Edited by Devi