by Burhanudin Zamri in

Malaysia’s biggest event focusing on digital content such as animation and video games is just around the corner. That’s right, I’m talking about Level Up KL 2019. This will be the 5th year that the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) is organising Level Up KL and this year, it will be the first time that the event is open to the public so don’t miss out!

At a recent Level Up KL 2019 media event, I got the chance to talk to Hasnul Hadi Samsudin, the Vice President of Digital Creative Content at MDEC. Observing the success of local animation and games studios such as Les’ Copaque, WAU Animation, Metronomik, Magnus Games, and more, the interview was focused on finding out MDEC’s future plans for the growth of the local games industry.

They’re bringing in Swen Vicke, Founder of Larian Studios to the business days of Level Up KL 2019. Now that’s awesome.

The highlight of our interview was the part on bringing in game publishers into Malaysia. Seeing as games development is beginning to bloom in Malaysia, it would be unwise to neglect the publishing aspect of the industry. The presence of publishers would greatly help developers to market their games and also provide other levels of assistance during the post-production stage. Here’s what Hasnul said:

“We used to lack the proper infrastructure that game publishers needed but now, that’s no longer the case. Publishers don’t need to necessarily have physical presence in the region anymore, thanks to how things can be done digitally.”

There will also be esports tournaments on the public days of Level Up KL 2019.

Hasnul also noted that there’s a lot of game publishers in China who are looking for opportunities outside of their country and Malaysia could be a good destination, supported by the fact that young people in Southeast Asia are becoming more affluent. Another reason why publishers would be attracted to Malaysia is our “diversity and multiculturalism” says Hasnul.

“We already see it happening in the studio production side. That’s the reason why Bandai Namco opened an office in Malaysia, it’s because they saw that Malaysian talent is multicultural. We love experiencing things from all over the world such as both anime and western cartoon. It’s happened before that Chinese animators didn’t even know who Chewbacca is because of the lack of exposure. Coupled together with the command of multiple languages, that’s what we bring to the table.”

When it comes to overall exposure towards the fields of animation and games development, MDEC has been working hard to bring Level Up outside of the Klang Valley. With programmes like LEVEL UP @Schools, LEVEL UP Apprentice, and more, Hasnul wants to ensure that every state in Malaysia can take part in the development and growth of the creation of digital content in Malaysia.

If you buy the early bird tickets for the public days (priced at RM20), you’ll also get a free Unifi sim card with one month of free unlimited data.

For those of you who can’t see the big picture just yet and don’t really get what’s going on in the local animation and games development industry, you should come down over to Level Up KL 2019. The public days are happening on 9 and 10 November 2019 at KLCC. Entry tickets are priced at RM10 per day. For more information and to buy tickets, check out the event’s official website.

Byrgenwerth Scholar and occasional writer. Likes well-timed dodges. Dislikes dialogue wheels.
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