A trade mission of several top companies in the Malaysian games industry are making the trip from Kuala Lumpur to participate in the Games Developers Conference (GDC) this week. InsideGamesAsia.biz had the chance to talk to the Director of the Creative Content and Technologies Division (CCT) at MDeC (Multimedia Development Corporation of Malaysia), Hasnul Hadi Samsudin, about the mission and the current development of the Malaysian games industry. The Malaysian Pavilion is located at the GDC expo floor, booth #2102.
Please introduce MDeC and tell us more about the mission of MDeC.
Hasnul Hadi Samsudin: The Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) was incorporated in 1996 to oversee the development of the MSC Malaysia and to advise the Malaysian Government on legislation and policies, as well as to set breakthrough standards for multimedia operations.
In October 2010, MDeC was given an additional task by the government – to develop a blueprint for a Digital Economy that draws from the huge opportunities created by the Digital world. This programme is called Digital Malaysia.
Digital Malaysia is a natural progression to harness the building blocks already laid by MSC Malaysia. Founded on three strategic thrusts, of moving Malaysia from supply to demand, consumption to production and low knowledge-add to high knowledge-add, it ultimately aims to create an ecosystem that promotes the pervasive use of ICT in all aspects of the economy
What is your role at MDeC?
Hasnul Hadi Samsudin: I am the Director of the Creative Content and Technologies Division (CCT). We help facilitate MSC companies that are involved in creative content including animation, games & new media; and technology companies related to the creative industries.
We also facilitate opportunities for growth of local businesses, foreign direct investments, capacity development, building talents & market access (expanding local products for local & international markets).
It is the second time that Malaysia has a major presence at GDC. What are the plans for this year and how many companies will be present at GDC?
Hasnul Hadi Samsudin: This is the year of #MYGameON! #MYGameON is meant to raise the brand of the Malaysian Game Industry. #MYGameON hashtag will be used to publish information, news and updates of the Malaysian Games Industry. We are supporting a total of 11 companies under the Malaysian Pavilion at GDC2016. There will be many things happening that we are very excited about!
We have a couple of exciting things lined up. In which we will be sharing very soon.
There will be multiple announcements this year for collaborations and partnerships. The gaming industry in Malaysia is pushing forward. We are definitely organising:
• Possible collaborations for FDI investments for potential companies to create a base in Malaysia
What do you expect from the presentation of the Malaysian Games Industry at GDC?
Hasnul Hadi Samsudin: What we want to see is people getting acquainted with the Malaysian Games Industry and for our local players to learn from the other Game Developers attending GDC2016.
Malaysians do have the capability and capacity to develop games at the international level, and we would like to showcase that to the world. Currently, the local industry is growing at an amazing rate and we dare say the world is taking notice.
Most of all, I am proud to let everyone see the culture of our industry in Malaysia. The successful companies have a culture of sharing with the new; and the passion is big, for both large and small companies. We have major industry players that are eager to develop the ecosystem through knowledge-sharing, partnerships with several Institute of Higher Learning and through mentoring game startups. We love this industry and we want to see it grow.
Please could you introduce some of the companies? Are all of them Mobile and Online Game Developer?
Hasnul Hadi Samsudin: Under the Malaysian Pavilion, we will have both mobile and online Game Developers, as well as Game outsourcing companies.
We have game outsourcing companies like Passion Republic and Streamline Studios featuring their latest projects. Streamline had recently announced that their team were involved in creating assets of the latest Street Fighter V.
We will be joined by Les Copaque Games. Les Copaque produces Upin & Ipin, a Malaysian animation television series which is biggest character IP in the country with strong brand recognition in the Southeast Asia region. They will announce the launch of their new game and Upin & Ipin’s upcoming movie.
We’d also like to introduce Peripio Games, a new player and one of the local graduates of Gamefounders Asia 2015 with their mobile game Snake Land.
Other companies include the Centre for Content Creation, Asymptote Games, Forest Interactive, Bolt Studio & Illusionist Production.
Are companies or MDeC planning product launches or special activities at GDC?
Hasnul Hadi Samsudin: We have multiple things planned out for GDC this. I’d like to highlight a product launch for a game by Ace Adventure. This highly anticipated game was fully funded on the Kickstarter platform as an educational game and has already gotten the Greenlight by Steam.
Gamefounders Asia will be starting their next cohort soon and we have planned for two cohorts this year with a total of 40 companies participating. They have received applications from all over the world from many countries including Brazil, Russia, Philippines, Chile and many more.
We are also looking to announce a collaboration soon with the International Mobile Gaming Award or IMGA. It will be exciting to see more collaborations with international companies because Malaysia does have a lot to offer.
What makes Malaysia attractive for game developers?
Hasnul Hadi Samsudin: The talent pool is growing in both quality and quantity as we grow with the game industry experience, with more universities and IHLs offering Game Development courses. You will find that Malaysia has the capability and capacity to develop high quality games. We might as well get in while we’re still rapidly growing and opportunities are plenty.
Not to mention that the growing Southeast Asian markets puts Malaysia in the position to access talent, expertise and potential buyers from countries like Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines and Singapore.
Lastly, we may be a little biased when we say one factor attracting Game Developers is that the Game Industry in Malaysia has good government support via MDeC. Our role to attract FDIs, provide funding and grants; and assisting access to markets locally and internationally pushes in creating strong eco-system in Malaysia
What are the most important and successful games from Malaysia?
Hasnul Hadi Samsudin: Tiny Guardians by Kureichii is an engaging strategy Tower Defense game which has won multiple awards, and has been featured in the Apple App Store’s Award-winning Games.
Upin&Ipin Demi Metromillenium by Les Copaque has recently bagged the Digital Indonesian League 2016 award in the games category at the Mobile Developers Gathering 2016 held in Jakarta recently
ChemCaper by Ace Adventure, an educational game that incorporates the understanding of Chemistry in the gameplay. They have already achieved Greenlight on Steam.
Boboiboy by Animonsta Studios has just released a widely-acclaimed movie and the planned follow-up game is highly anticipated.
A new IP to watch out for, Ejen Ali by Wau Animation will be launching the game soon after the animated TV series.
Please let us know which is your favourite game and why.
Hasnul Hadi Samsudin: ICO by Team ICO published by Sony Computer Entertainment ( by Fumito Ueda). It is one of the most sublime and heart-tugging game that I’ve played since. It has a perfect blend of beautiful art, story and gameplay that is very satisfying. It is one of the first few games that allowed the player to care about not just the player’s character but also an non-playable character. If you make it to the end, make sure you wait till the credits is done. There is an after credit playable section that any fan must play.