It’s the first edition of Southeast Asian game industry highlights, and hopefully the first of many.
The year 2017 has been a good year for Southeast Asian game industry, mostly because it becomes more interconnecting than ever between its countries. Therefore, collaborations can be a more common thing in the coming years.
So what are the highlights of Southeast Asian game industry in 2017? We divided them into three categories: events, awards, and milestones. Here you go!
BEKRAF Game Prime 2017
BEKRAF Game Prime, previously known as Game Developer Gathering (GDG), was first started as a hangout and sharing session by a number of game developers in Jakarta. It was then changed from coffee shop chit chats into a full-fledged developer gathering and seminars.
In its first years, GDG was held annually on campuses. Until 2016, it changed its name to Game Prime due to some reasons. It also has full backing and sponsorship from BEKRAF (Indonesia Creative Economy Agency), thus, the name BEKRAF Game Prime. It was attended by more than 4000 people and was held in Balai Kartini Jakarta. This year, it was held for three days (27 & 29-30 July 2017) and is recorded as an all-time high of over 13,000 attendances.
BEKRAF Game Prime consisted of game developer seminars and networking on the first day. On the second and third day, there were game exhibitions, tournaments (Dota 2, AoV, and PES 2017), artist booths, etc.
GameStart is so far the biggest game conference in Southeast Asia. Held on 14-15 October at Suntec Convention Centre, GameStart 2017 welcomed a record with totals 24,000 local and overseas visitors, which is a 20% increase from last year.
The event’s official live stream page, which was broadcasted on Twitch and Facebook Live, has received over 80,000 views online. The inaugural SEA Summit business conference was concluded successfully on 12-13 October, with gaming scene insights from 46 industry experts across the world.
It also hosted the International Mobile Gaming Awards Southeast Asia (IMGA SEA) Awards 2017, the second edition of the highly rated award for mobile gaming.
There were also cosplays with over 1,000 cosplayers bringing their favorite characters to life.
E-Sports and Gaming Summit 2017
E-Sports and Gaming Summit (ESGS) 2017 was held on 27-29 October 2017 in SMX Convention Center, Manila, the Philippines with more than 19,000 audiences. It brought esports to the fore with tons of competitions for competitive games called Brawlfest.
There were eleven games that competed in ESGS 2017, with games like Injustice 2, Super Smash Bros. Melee, The King of Fighters XIV, Street Fighter V, Tekken 7, and many more.
ESGS 2017 also had Indie Arena that showcased indie games from the Philippines and Southeast Asia. For cosplay lovers, there was a cosplay competition that offers formidable prize money.
Level Up KL 2017
As one of the biggest game conferences in Southeast Asia, Level Up KL keeps evolving every year. Level Up KL was held at Connexion Conference & Event Centre, Kuala Lumpur from 4th to 9th of November, 2017. It was organized by Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC).
The event consisted of some sessions such as industry conferences, Business Connection Program, SEA Game Jam, workshops, and SEA Game Awards. Some notable speakers gave their insights at this session, such as Luis Cataldi (Epic Games), Wan Hazmer (Square Enix), Danny Koo (Marvel Entertainment) and Brian Recktenwald (Naughty Dog).\
Casual Connect 2017
The conference that was organized by Casual Games Association took place on May 16-18, 2017, at Hard Rock Hotel, 8 Sentosa Gateway, Sentosa Island, Singapore.
That time around, Casual Connect Asia 2017 added more awesome people to their arsenal of speakers.
About 120 speakers from companies including Ubisoft; Hipster Whale; Gravity Co., LTD.; PlayStudios Asia; Most Played Games; mixi, Inc. (XFLAG); Fifth Journey and many more shared their experience and insights on the following topics: Industry Insights, Growth, Design & Development, Market Navigation, Kids & Family, Social Gaming and Global & Emerging markets.
Casual Connect 2017 also hosted the Indie Prize Awards 2017.
Unite Singapore 2017
Unite is Unity’s annual events that are spread all over the world. In Southeast Asia, there is Unite Singapore that was held on 2-3 November 2017.
As a game engine and ads network, Unity’s Unite mostly covers the technical side of game development. There were many workshops and talks on various platforms, from mobile to VR.
This year is the first time PlayStation Experience took place in Southeast Asia. It was held on 5 August 2017 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Previously, PSX was only held in Las Vegas, USA.
In PSX Southeast Asia, players all over the region can try and play the newest games that haven’t been released yet such as Detroit: Become Human (PS4), Everybody’s Golf (PS4), Far Cry 5 (PS4), Gran Turismo Sport (PS4), Knack 2 (PS4™), and No Heroes Allowed! VR (PS VR).
IMGA SEA 2017
This year is the second year of IMGA SEA. The international awards of mobile gaming came again, side by side with GameStart 2017 and SEA Game Summit 2017 for the first time.
Indie Prize 2017
Indie Prize is a part of every Casual Connect. This year, there were 100 finalists from 52 countries around the globe.
While most winners are from Southeast Asia, it’s not a rare thing that games from other regions win an award, like from Brazil, Poland, and Russia. There was also a new award category which was Best VR Game that was won by The Wizards by Carbon Studio (Poland).
SEA Game Awards 2017
This year, a new award emerged in the form of SEA Game Awards 2017 which is a part of Level Up KL 2017.
While IMGA covers the mobile games and Indie Prize can be joined by all indie developers from all regions, SEA Game Awards focuses on games from every platform that are made by Southeast Asian developers.
Wan Hazmer Quits Square Enix and Opens His Own Studio
Square Enix’s former game designer Wan Hazmer has announced the opening of his new game studio Metronomik.
Previously, Wan Hazmer announced his leaving form Square Enix after joining the company for seven years. During those years, the Malaysian game designer had been involved in many great projects such as Final Fantasy Type-0, Lightning Returns and, the most recent one, Final Fantasy XV.
Earlier this December (2017), Hazmer introduced Metronomik as the name of his newly established studio on his Facebook page. The studio is said to be operating in Komune Bangsar South, Malaysia. He also announced that he and his team had created a business development hub in Tokyo, Japan.
You can read the full report below.
Re: Legend, the Most Funded Crowdfunding Game in SEA
Re: Legend is literally a legend in the Southeast Asia game industry community after they utterly overdid their Kickstarter’s project goal and became the most funded crowdfunding game in the region. Their initial goal was S$70,000, while their actual goal realization is S$630,700. It’s over 900 percent of the original target.
The game itself offers a gameplay that ranging from Harvest Moon‘s farming and relationship building to Monster Rancher‘s monster breeding and adventure. You have to manage the resource of your farm to feed and breed your monsters, then use them on an adventure.
Oh, it also offers multiplayer!