Indonesia’s Game Industry: Are We On The Right Direction?

indonesia's board game industry

Howdy, Hi everyone, I’m Arief Widhiyasa from Agate Studio. Here I want to share some insight and thoughts about Indonesia’s Game Industry.


First of all, I want to share a very good news to you all. Our Indonesia Game Market is growing very rapidly. In 2000, we could say there’s no game market, only pirated copy and black market was available. By the introduction of MMO PC Game (2002), Social Game (2008), and the rise of Smartphone Game (2012), the market was already growing into top 20 gaming market in the world.

This still excluded the outdoor entertainment market (Arcade games, etc). I believe with a simple observation on our surrounding, we’ll be able to feel the growth. More and more people playing games, maybe our parents at home are starting to play mobile games. Even last time I heard Pokemon Go was super-hype that in some government agencies and state owned enterprise, they banned the use of Pokemon Go in the office environment.

indonesia's game industry
Pokemon GO

Next of course is the not so good news. If we’re talking about our local game industry (combined value of local-owned game developers and local-owned game publishers), our market share shrunk from around 75%++ during 2003, into less than 10% last 2015. If this trend continues onward, even-though value-wise we’re growing, our combined market share in 2020 will be less than 4%. It means we’re losing in our homegrown.

Indonesia game day

We’re losing our growing market into the foreign players. We need to do something about this. If we can’t win on the growing local market, in the end, we’ll only be a bunch of smaller developers (less than 15) that are trying to get a hit (local/globally). The medium sized companies will be acquired/closed down, other might barely survive doing contract works or outsourcing. And the majority of our market will be dominated by foreign players.

So The Next Question Is, How?


indonesia's game industry

It will be a pretty complex answer, that might not fit in this small article. My main purpose of this article is to give awareness about the latest situation and raise the urgency of the situation.

Yet we still have lots of hope. Our local game industry is growing at a faster pace than ever. I’ve been heavily studying how South Korean game industry could grow rapidly from no industry in 1998 into one of the leading game industries in the world. And also China’s game industry that in 2003 was worth only 200 million USD, and grew to be the biggest market in the world now with 22 billion USD worth market.

indonesia's game industry

The short easy answer at a macro level is that a number of resources and focus we put in the industry. We need more capital to be invested in game industry, more quality talents to grow, and more knowledge to garner from our more mature partners. We also need more privileged access to the market (especially our local market).

[Related Article: What I Learn from 8 Years of Being a Game Developer in a Third World Country – Part 1]

And as a player in the game industry, what could we do? Start asking this question: how could we dominate our local market? Brainstorm, share ideas, collaborate with another local player, build things together, and really focus on it. I believe together we could stand and grab the big opportunity of our growing local market, and face the heavy invasion. Let’s do it together, and of course in a fun way!

Any question or ideas, or if you want to discuss anything, please reach me on Twitter @clawford.

Arief Widhiyasa is the CEO of Agate Studio

Edited by Devi