Esports set for growth but not at expense of local firms

As Malaysia ramps up its bid to attract global video game companies for local investments, experts in the industry express hope that homegrown businesses will not be overlooked.

“Both international and local studios are critical – fostering the growth of local studios with appropriate funding and support while international enterprises bring investment, technology, and product know-how,” stated Alitt Khaliq, General Manager of NX3 Games.

E-sports analyst and lecturer, Andrew Cheong, was pleased to note that e-sports is gaining recognition as a potential economic booster for the country.

“Based on recent announcements, the agenda is to entice game developers or publishers to invest in the development of digital merchandise.

“Being Intellectual Property (IP) holders, they have a pivotal role in facilitating the growth of the community, thereby fostering a sustainable ecosystem,” Cheong said.

Alitt, whose company is based in South Korea and is eyeing a Malaysian headquarter, is optimistic about the positive influence this expansion will have on the local gaming industry.

“For instance, collaborative endeavors could be formed with regional outsource studios for the development of game assets, animation, and cinematic content for our internal IPs.

“These collaborations would involve educating local studios on our advanced tools and technology and integrating them into our projects,” Alitt stated.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim declared an allocation of RM30mil to stimulate international gaming studios and businesses to invest in the creation of digital products, alongside local talents.

He stressed that this initiative is geared towards promoting Malaysia as a prime hub for the development of the esports industry.

On the other hand, Leon Soo, founder of local grassroots fighting game tournament organizer Infinite Carnage, holds that while designating budget for international companies will help grow the esports scene, more efforts should be taken to expand the competitive scene.

“Yes, international players and events will enhance the country’s esports scene and stimulate interest, but it’s crucial to nurture the local audience too,” he pointed out.

Soo believes that allocations towards local tournament organizers like his are absolutely vital.

Should Malaysia succeed in securing significant tournaments for popular games, Soo is of the opinion that a passionate local playing community for competitive gaming is required for backing and support.

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