At the closing of Level Up KL 2019, Southeast Asia’s largest and premier games festival, YB Gobind Singh Deo, Minister of Communications and Multimedia Malaysia announced the ministry’s partnership with Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios (SIE WWS) to establish the global games’ powerhouse first Southeast Asia studio in Malaysia. The move reinforces the country’s position as the games industry hub in the region.
In his speech, Gobind said the establishment of SIE’s studio will create more opportunities for the local and regional game industry. The studio is targeted to be set up some time in 2020.
He said Malaysia will be working closely with the games powerhouse to uplift the creative talents in Malaysia as well as establish a partnership with local education partners.
SIE WWS will provide art and animation services as part of the company’s activities, focused on developing global titles for the PlayStation platform.
Jim Ryan, President and CEO of SIE said, “Impressive talent, a vibrant game ecosystem, and support from the government are key reasons why we have decided to take our partnership with Malaysia to the next level.”
The partnership is a key win for Malaysia and the testament of the nation’s potential as a favoured investment location for international game developers and content creators. Already, the country has a thriving games ecosystem and world-class talent, with over 60 game development studios from all over the world having established operations here.
Gobind declined to reveal the value of the partnership or the government’s investment in the deal. However, there are undisclosed incentives involved in terms of grants. He said more details will be revealed soon.
Over the past two decades, Malaysia has successfully built the local digital creative content industry, creative 149 IP titles, generating MYR7.6 billion revenue and export sales of MYR1.3 billion with a global reach to over 120 countries.
Notable successes include the Upin & Ipin franchise, Saladin, and Ejen Ali, just to name a few—local IPs that have reaped local and international success and critical acclaim. In fact, the latest Upin & Ipin: Keris Siamang Tunggal animated film is in the running for Best Animation Film at the 2020 Academy Awards, the first Malaysian film to be nominated for an Oscar.