BUSAN — The ASEAN Korea Center (AKC) set up a pavilion for game companies from seven ASEAN countries to connect them with potential investors and customers who participated in G-Star, the largest gaming exhibition in Korea, which returned after a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic.
At the pavilion, ASEAN companies presented business models, partnership possibilities, potential technologies and contact points for global operations. The venue also provided an opportunity for them to learn from Korea’s leading game companies.
“These experiences will help ASEAN game companies go global,” said Joshua Ngooi Teck Hwa, head of trade and investment at AKC.
AKC has participated in G-Star since 2014 to support and promote ASEAN game companies, with this year's firms hailing from Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
Ngooi suggested increasing the number of places visitors can try out the games in future G-Star exhibitions, citing the example of Singaporean based Doodle People, which specializes in animation and augmented reality.
Doodle People installed a special computer and system at the ASEAN game pavilion for visitors to experience its services and technology.
“Such experiences to directly try, feel and evaluate technology needs will surely bring win-win solution-based outcomes,” Ngooi added.
Jatuporn Rakhthaicharoencheep, CEO of Bangkok software developer Innova, said that most offers her company gets are from another companies who are looking for partners or support services to produce digital media for interactive game design, such as 2D or 3D modeling, and software with ease in accessibility.
Innova designs models and develops interactive content and games (AR and VR), and combines technologies for industry needs such as marketing communication, brand image, professional practices and education, she said.
Lester CT Wai, Managing Director of Malaysia's IXI, said G-Star was very effective in helping them build contents, pointing out the exhibition's infrastructure and technology.
"Here at G-Star, it's definitely user friendly, people are responding,” stressed Wai, who was hoping to introduce his firm's IT solutions, 2D, 3D, outsourcing designs and animation services for game developers.
“It’s great opportunity to physically meet counterparts after the pandemic,” he added.
For Wilson Siow, founder of Brunei company Wilk Games, the trade fair was a chance to increase awareness of his country as well as his company.
“People are coming to our booth showing interest in Brunei. People are less aware about Brunei, so we put some Brunei elements into my games such as traditional costumes, animals, trees and flowers. People become aware of it and when they see it, they recognize it as Brunei's national flower.”
“It’s my first time in G-Star -- we were encouraged by Brunei government. They organized this trip for us and assigned us to showcase," said Siow.
Sharing her experience at the pavilion, Beatrice S. Aranas, the project manager of Definite Studios in the Philippines thanked G-Star and AKC for connecting her with the government, businesses, studios and other people in the industry.
“This is my first time at G-Star but we have known about G-star for a long time and extended support by sending delegates. South Korea is actually a leading consumer of video games. We hope to expand our presence globally," said Aranas.
“We want to make games, original games, and make a presence out of the Philippines," she said, highlighting that connecting with people was something that was missed throughout the pandemic.
"It’s really different when you are physically here networking with people. I am enjoying this experience,” Aranas added.
Timothi Lim, creative director of Doodle People, applauded the B2B area of G-Star expressing desires to expand cooperation.
"AKC is facilitating meetings with key players of the industry and (allowing us to) speak face-to-face. It’s an effective platform to diversify and intensify Singapore-Korea cooperation," Lim said.
On the sidelines of the event, AKC also organized a seminar on gaming industry in ASEAN region.
The seminar titled "Penetrating the global game industry" focused on the global game market and the ASEAN market's prospects, ASEAN case studies and global cooperation strategies, officials said.
“It’s a great opportunity for ASEAN countries’ game industry as a whole and Indonesia in particular. Game developers from Indonesia hopefully will get business from Korea and make profit,” said Eko Prilianto Sudratjat, commercial attache at the Indonesian Embassy in Seoul.
“ASEAN participants know about strategies to enter different markets, gain insights from the seminar and use it for growing businesses in the region,” said Jose Ma. Jojie S. Dinsay, the commercial counselor at the Philippine Trade and Investment Center.