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Tuesday, August 03, 2021

Play together, gaming sector told

NOW that the Philippine gaming industry is in competition with Vietnam, an industry player urged stakeholders in the Information and Communications Technology sector to strengthen collaboration.

“We have an advantage in the (coming) Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) integration but we are not just maximizing it,” said Komikasi Games and Entertainment, Inc. president and chief executive officer Mary Lizabeth Lu in a forum yesterday organized by the Department of Trade and Industry Export Marketing Bureau together with the Cebu Educational Development Foundation for Information Technology and the Cebu Business Incubator for IT.

Lu said French video game developer Gameloft transferred to Vietnam, which is also an Asean member, from the Philippines this year. She said this is a big loss to the country.

Markets

Vietnamese game developers have been popular among Chinese and Korean clients while Filipino developers have been attracting US and Japanese clients.

Vietnam and the Philippines, however, are slowly encroaching into each other’s market now, Lu said in an interview.

Singapore has been dubbed as the leading country in Southeast Asia for gaming and animation. Big companies like Ubisoft and LucasArts have development operations in Singapore.

Lu said the Filipinos’ advantage on the gaming industry over Vietnam includes our familiarity with Eastern and Western art.

The Vietnamese, on the other hand, have stronger “actual technical training” for game development.

In response to the growing gaming industry in the country today, Lu said government agencies and private companies have collaborated to strengthen the sector.

She said the Commission on Higher Education approved a bachelor’s degree on Entertainment and Multimedia Computing. She said this will be offered in schools probably by next year.

Likewise, the Technical Education for Skills and Development Training is also offering two-year gaming courses on game programming, 2D game art and 3D game art.

Game festival

DTI also collaborated with the Game Developers Association of the Philippines for international conferences and trade shows.

“What really is needed now is collaboration (among stakeholders),” she said.

In Cebu, only one company is a GDAP member. The organization is composed of 30 gaming companies in the Philippines.

Lu encouraged Cebu-based game developers to be part of GDAP so they can avail themselves of the organization’s opportunities and join its events, which can link them up with potential clients.

On Oct. 3 and 4 this year, GDAP will hold the fifth Philippine Game Festival in the SMX Convention Center.

Of the $68 billion gaming industry in the world today, the Philippines accounts for less than one percent of the figure.

Lu said that with the economic integration in 2015, the Philippines gaming industry can take advantage of the wider market base that with it, which is estimated to be at 600 million.
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