IGA.biz had the chance to talk to Alexander L. Fernandez, CEO of Malaysia’ s biggest Game Studio Streamline Media Group. Alexander L. Fernandez is a dynamic entrepreneur in the media, entertainment and technology industries. He’s an accomplished dealmaker and creative, with a body of work including Bioshock Infinite, Avatar, Gears of War and a diverse roster of global brands including Coca-Cola, Twentieth-Century Fox and Intel.
IGA.biz: How about we talk about your personal history in the games business first? When did you start your business?
Alexander Fernandez: Streamline started in 2001 as video game developer and content outsourcing studio. We decided to start Streamline because we felt game production was growing more complicated and that there wasn’t a place that developers could tap into expert resources without having to hire them in-house. We wanted to create an ILM of the games industry.
IGA.biz: What is the business of Streamline Media today?
Alexander Fernandez: Streamline Media Group is multifaceted group that works in the intersection media, entertainment and technology. We work with the worlds top creative and business minds to realize groundbreaking products that push the boundaries of how video game technologies can be utilized by other industries, but also how games are made. All of this takes place from our facilities in Kuala Lumpur.
IGA.biz: Which services offers Streamline Media Group in the SE Asia region?
Alexander Fernandez: We have three core businesses: Game Development, Content Outsourcing and Streamframe: the first project management platform for the video games industry. Aside from that, Streamline Media Group works with businesses that are interested in coming into the region through market entry services and operations.
IGA.biz: What are your experiences with the business of your company in Malaysia?
Alexander Fernandez: Malaysia has been a great place for our company. We have recruited top local talent and attracted international A-talent to the country. Malaysia is one of the only countries that supports the creative industry financially, but also actively promotes the growth of the games industry through a dedicated government team. It’s quite remarkable.
IGA.biz: Why did you a choice on Malaysia and what are the advantages to have a established business in Malaysia?
Alexander Fernandez: Malaysia’s raw talent, ease of business and economy were some of the top reasons we came. But other factors were it’s strategic position in SEA and the nations desire to succeed. We have benefited from its cultural diversity and exposure to both east and west.
IGA.biz: Recently you spoke about the creation of an IP at the License Day at gamescom. What are the challenges of the creation of an IP?
Alexander Fernandez: That was a great panel to be a part of. I really enjoyed it. Challenges of creating original IP, that I’ve found, is relevance to the audience and business model. It’s easy to come up with something you’re passionate about, but qualifying it with an audience fit can be tricky. As much as we would like to try to make a science out of it there are just some things you can’t predict and audience taste is one of them. On the other hand finding a business model that is relevant and fair to the property is also a challenge. I tend to spend more time on this so that we can support our vision. Many nights have been spent racking away on this, but in the end nothing is greater than finding a model that works.
IGA.biz.: How it works for Streamframe? Do you have the same challenges to establish the IP?
Alexander Fernandez: That’s a great question. Creating Streamframe was actually a simple task. We had a need that started from our need to solve production problems we faced. As the the company grew the scale and complexity of our problems did as well, which allowed us to update and reinvent what Streamframe was supposed to do. It was an organic process that at one point just became a way of life. It wasn’t until our clients started asking if they could use it that we realized others could benefit from the system. In terms of realizing it commercially we had to strike a balance between the authenticity of our studio and the cost of running a system like Streamframe. Ultimately we settled on a model that gave away 9-Free seats to satisfy our desire to see the industry grow and a SaaS business model that could sustain everything once our customers felt tangible value in utilizing it.
IGA.biz: What are your future plans with Streamframe?
Alexander Fernandez: Continue expanding the system by working with the community to increase its value add to their work. We have an upcoming release of our roadmap that is pretty exciting. I think the industry will like where we are going with it.
IGA.biz: Do you have any time to play games? What are your favorite games and why?
Alexander Fernandez: I spend a lot of time traveling and try to sneak in some game time here and there, but when I’m home I tend to play Street Fighter. I can’t wait for the next version to be released. As for my favorite game it would have to be Final Fantasy 7. My twin brother and I played through it together and it solidified why we wanted to get into the games industry.