The Philippines once again showcased the industry’s competitive advantages by highlighting the home grown games of the country’s independent (indie) game developers after the successful participation in the Tokyo Game Show (TGS) at MakuhariMesse, Chiba, Japan from September 15 to 18, 2016.

Organized by the Philippine Board of Investments (BOI) in cooperation with the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) Manila and the Philippine Trade and Investment Center in Tokyo(PTIC-Tokyo),six indie game developers participated in TGS 2016 namely Unli Box Enterprises Corporation, Squeaky Wheel Studio, Popsicle Games Studio, Monstronauts, Incorporated, Moocho Brain Interactive Designs and Keybol Games. Their games range in themes and complexity, from bite-sized casual games to third world political simulations. There are puzzle platformers, online strategy games, and quirky experimental games.

Taking advantage of the international exposure, the Philippine delegation received around 90visitors and inquiries on individual and company levels in the event, giving them more opportunities to promote their games and expertise.

“The Philippine participation in the show is in line with the strategic initiatives outlined in the game development industry roadmap which aims to increase awareness on the Philippines as a viable investment location for international game development companies, as well as their game-related services and offshore studios,” said Trade Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo.

Ms. Marie Therese Tuason of IGDA Manila meanwhile said that “Game shows like TGS are rare opportunities for indie game developers to connect with avid gamers and to see their games come alive”. “Both exciting and nerve-wracking, showing your game to random strangers is the best way to get unbiased feedback. It’s also an avenue for small studios and individuals to vie for attention from media, youtubers, bloggers, and game review sites who are at these conventions”, she said.

IGDA Manila is the local chapter of the International Game Developers Association. Comprised of game developers, students, and enthusiasts, IGDA Manila holds monthly meet-ups to promote collaboration and professional growth.

The TGS is organized by the Computer Entertainment Supplier’s Association (CESA) and co-organized by Nikkei Business Publications, Inc. (Nikkei BP). It is an annual exhibition held every September, where thousands of game enthusiasts flock to MakuhariMesse to have a first-hand preview of the latest games and game-related gadgets and technologies produced and created by the biggest game companies which will be commercially released in the market. Not only does the show cater to the commercial or buying market, the TGS serves as an effective platform for game development companies from all over the world, including the ASEAN member states, to promote direct business matching between exhibitors and buyers present at the show.

Through the ASEAN Creative Network for the Development of Contents Industry program of the ASEAN-Japan Centre (AJC), the Philippines was once again given the opportunity to join this year’s TGS for the fourth consecutive time.

DTI believes that the game development industry in the country is on the threshold of an impending boom. Local companies continue to make waves in the international market not just for outsourcing services but through locally-made games that have gained recognition in various international trade shows and conventions. DTI is optimistic that next big video game title will have a Filipino imprint on it.

The Philippines provides game development (original IP for PC and Mobile), art and design (current generation and AAA assets), and live operations support (handling the largest game communities).

BOI continues its efforts to support the sector through the inclusion of creative industries services such as game development and animation in the current Investment Priorities Plan.

As evidenced by the establishment of Ubisoft Philippines studio this year, the Philippines is now most value-for-money destination for investments in the Asian region, and is poised to become one of the premier international hubs for game development and games-related services.