Southeast Asian Game Industry 2017 Highlights – Events, Awards, and Milestones

By Arya Wibowo

It’s the first edition of Southeast Asian game industry highlights, and hopefully the first of many. It covers events, awards, and milestones in the region.

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

gaming events in indonesia

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 2017

gamestart 2017

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.

Attended by Over 24,000 People, GameStart 2017 and SEA Summit Set New Record!

GameStart 2017, the fourth edition of Southeast Asia’s premier game convention organized by Eliphant, concluded with resounding success.

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).\

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

Level Up KL 2017 was already held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. How does it help accelerate the growth of gaming industry in this region?

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.

BEKRAF Game Prime 2017 Announces its Partnership with Indie Prize!

BEKRAF Game Prime just announces its partnership with Indie Prize to bring the best game to Casual Connect Asia 2018!

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.

PlayStation Experience

PlayStation Experience SEA 2017

Source: thehive.asia

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).



best southeast asia's mobile game

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.

More than 60 mobile games were submitted, while only 13 awards are up to grab. Postknight ultimately won the Grand Prix award.

10 Southeast Asia’s Best Mobile Games from IMGA SEA 2017 That You Should Play

Are you looking for a new game to be installed on your smartphone? Here's the list of top 10 Southeast Asia's best mobile games from IMGA SEA 2017!

Indie Prize 2017

indie prize singapore 2017

Source: gamesauce.biz

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

Toge Productions SEA Games 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.

Top 10 Games from SEA Game Awards 2017 That You Should Take a Look

These are the top 10 games from the first SEA Game Awards held in Level Up KL 2017that you should take a look and play. What are they?


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-0Lightning 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.

Wan Hazmer Newly Opened Game Studio Marks His New Journey

Square Enix's former game designer, Wan Hazmer has announced his new game studio Metronomik. What kind of game that it will create?

Re: Legend, the Most Funded Crowdfunding Game in SEA

Re Legend

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!




About Writer

Arya is a gamer dad, boardgame geek, and game industry enthusiast. He loves strategy games and soccer games.