The global gaming industry was estimated to be valued at USD152.1B in 2019 which shows that there’s a huge chunk of the market that is open to be served and explored by the Philippines given the current share and capability of the game development industry.

To boost the local game development industry, the DTI-Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) and the Philippine Trade and Investment Center-Kuala Lumpur (PTIC KL) co-organized a webinar on 8 June 2020 with the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation Sdn Bhd (MDEC), and the Game Developers Association of the Philippines (GDAP) for Philippine game development companies to explore opportunities and widen network with Malaysia. Ms. Katrina Banzon, Philippine Commercial Attaché for Kuala Lumpur, served as the webinar’s moderator and host.

“The young generation of today in the Philippines and Malaysia have been exposed heavily to digital media entertainment. The digital industry is said to be one of the major propellers driving the ASEAN economy along with the richest countries in the world, whereby online gaming has come to greater heights as compared from the last decade,” said DTI Undersecretary for Trade Promotions Group (TPG) and Special Concerns Abdulgani M. Macatoman.

MDEC Vice President Hasnul Hadi Samsudin said that Malaysia’s gaming industry is one of the fastest growing exports, with 57 companies in the country. He also said that Malaysia is the regional gaming hub because of highly skilled talent, strategic location, high market growth, a vibrant game ecosystem, good internet infrastructure, and strong government support.

Meanwhile, GDAP President Alvin Juban shared the Philippine roadmap and the challenges faced by Filipino game developers. The roadmap was created in 2014 and involved three steps: gain a new flagship client, gain a flagship studio, and create a Triple-A game—a game with big production and marketing budgets.  The industry already achieved the first two milestones with Gears of War 4 signing with Synergy88 in 2015 and Ubisoft locating in Laguna in 2016.

In terms of nurturing talent, the number of higher education institutions offering game development increased from 2 in 2014 to 8 at present. The number of graduates more than doubled from 300 in 2014 to an expected 1,000 this year.

Juban cited the need for more original content, attractive incentives, and Manila-centric development to address the weaknesses hampering the local growth.

Meanwhile, DTI Undersecretary for Competitiveness and Innovation Group (CIG) Rafaelita M. Aldaba welcomed closer collaboration with the gaming industry, saying that the DTI’s main strategy is to move more industries outside of NCR. “I also believe that the opportunities are tremendous, given the talent. With the proper support, the proper business, the proper operating environment, I think we could really grow the sector here in the country. One that could provide high-paying jobs. A sector that could provide export earnings. At the same time, a sector that could provide services to the domestic market. There’s so much that we can do together,” she said. ♦

Date of Release: 11 June 2020