Billions to be made from video games, says Gobind

A scene from the video game Final Fantasy XV.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia needs to continue to focus on the digital gaming industry as it can help generate a lucrative income for the country, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo.

He said the industry had improved vastly alongside other digital entertainment industries such as film-making and animation series that have raised the country’s stature in the world.

He noted that in 2017, some 60 local game-making studios recorded exports worth RM600 million.

“Apart from the ability to generate billions of ringgit for the national economy, it can also create employment opportunities, especially for young people,” he said when opening a digital creativity programme for schoolchildren with special needs.

Gobind said that positioning Malaysia as a hub for the digital content creation industry will also attract more foreign investment.

World-class talent like Wan Hazmer, lead designer of Final Fantasy XV

Game designer Wan Hazmer made a name for himself and Malaysia

He said Malaysia had great but lesser-known talent such as Wan Hazmer Wan Abd Halim, the lead designer for the ‘Final Fantasy XV’ video game. “Previously Wan Hazmer worked in Japan with a world-renowned gaming company, but he has now returned to Malaysia to help local talent,” the minister said.

Gobind also congratulated Animonsta Studios for their latest animated movie, BoBoiBoy: Movie 2, to be released on August 8 in Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia and Vietnam.

In the meantime, he emphasised that the development of the digital economy in the country should be inclusive so as not to sideline the disabled community.

“Let’s work together to build a Malaysia that is digitally inclusive,” he said, citing his ministry’s cooperation with telecommunications companies such as Celcom, Maxis, Digi, UMobile and YTL to introduce special mobile phone packages for people with disabilities.

Gobind said the Kre8tif! @Schools programme, introduced by his ministry and the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation, would allow the schoolchildren to learn about creative technologies such as 3D modelling and animation.

“We have many other programmes in the pipeline to ensure the Malaysian digital economy continues to grow and the people can enjoy mutual prosperity,” he said.

His ministry would take appropriate measures to help the animated film industry. “We want to lead in this industry, we have the capacity to do it and Malaysia is full of talent. It’s definitely important for the government to play its role in identifying this talent and also making sure that we give this industry all the systems that it needs to succeed,” he said.