Collaborations key in Malaysia’s commitment to creating opportunities, upskilling workforce in gaming industry

The digital landscape is evolving at an unprecedented rate, and the gaming industry has emerged as a powerhouse of innovation, creativity, and economic potential.

As such, collaborations between government agencies and the private sector – locally and abroad – are key to strengthening the digital gaming industry in Malaysia.

Speaking at the launch of the Xsolla Curine Academy at KL Eco City, Digital Minister, Gobind Singh Deo, highlighted that the local video gaming industry has registered significant growth in recent times, and is projected to hit US$649 million in revenue in 2024.

“The market is anticipated to show a steady annual growth rate (CAGR 2024-2027) of 7.55 per cent, resulting in a projected market volume of US$807 million by 2027,” said Gobind.

“Investment in the digital content sector in Malaysia has grown from RM550 million in 2022, to RM1.6 billion in 2023. And the sector is projected to produce over 1,900 high-income jobs through ‘Malaysia Digital’-status companies.

“This shows that the digital creative industry is a significant driver of growth for Malaysia, and there’s plenty of interest in the industry. The annual Malaysia Digital Content Festival is a prime example. The number of exhibitors has gone up since the first festival four years ago – from 80 in 2020, to 150 exhibitors in 2023. Last year’s festival attracted over 25,000 visitors.”

The Raja Muda of Selangor, Tengku Amir Shah Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Alhaj graced the launch of the Xsolla Curine Academy. Also present were Xsolla founder Shurick Agapitov, Xsolla president David Stelzer, Xsolla Curine Academy co-founder Kaveh Wong, and MDEC chief executive officer Ts. Mahadhir Aziz.

Gobind said his ministry, via the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), is committed to growing and nurturing our digital content industry, through a three-pronged approach:

  • Facilitating investments and market access support through participation in markets like the Annecy Festival, Games Developer Conference, and the Tokyo Game Show;
  • Supporting IP growth, incubating new studios and targeted skills development programmes such as the Digital Content Incubation Programme, delivery of the Digital Content Grant and the Digital Content Creators Challenge; and
  • Building the Malaysian brand through industry support and leadership via regional research and thought leadership papers, regional conferences, as well as business events such as LEVEL UP KL, Kre8tif!, IMMERSE KL, and broad-based consumer events such as the Malaysia Digital Content Festival (MYDCF).

“Admittedly, there are challenges and constraints. When it comes to commercialisation, the market may be saturated, making it difficult for new games to stand out and achieve commercial success. Some players may face difficulties in monetising the game, or navigating local laws and regulations in a new market,” Gobind said in his speech.

“There is also a shortage of skilled workforce, especially those involved in game development and design. Another issue that needs our attention is policy matters involving IP protection in the digital space.”

He said the government recognises these challenges and is ready to assist stakeholders to ensure they are equipped with the necessary tools, knowledge, and platforms to thrive and compete on a global scale.

“We hope Xsolla Curine Academy will play its part in assisting those eager to grow in the industry through its cutting-edge curriculum, in line with the demands of the market.

“This involves not just technical skills in game design and development, but also an understanding of IP rights, commercialisation strategies, and international market dynamics. Such knowledge will empower those in the industry to create games that are not just creatively rich, but also marketready and globally competitive.”

Gobind added that the Digital Ministry, its agencies, and the government, remain committed to providing unwavering support to the gaming industry, offering financial incentives, and regulatory frameworks that protect IP rights.

“Collaboration is key. The gaming industry is inherently global, and the achievement in this field requires a concerted effort from all stakeholders, locally and abroad.

“By joining forces, we can share knowledge, resources, create opportunities, and foster a culture of innovation that transcends borders, uniting us in our pursuit of excellence,” Gobind added.

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