Sunday, April 18

Ministry introduces DICE policy to bolster digital content


Gobind (seventh left) and Surina (fifth left) pose with (from left) Digital Bros Group CEO Thomas Rosenthal, Magnus Game Studios co-founders Welson Gan and Gan Dong Chee, MDEC Digital Creative Content vice president Hasnul Hadi Samsudin, Secretary General of Ministry of Communications and Multimedia Datuk Suriani Ahmad, Malaysian eSports Federation president Datuk Ananth S Nathan, Metronomik founder Wan Hazmer and Business & Marketing manager Idir Alexander Ould Braham during the launch of the DICE policy.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Ministry of Communications and Multimedia (KKMM) announced that it is working with Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) to establish a new Digital Content Ecosystem (DICE) policy to strengthen the local digital content industry and ultimately position Malaysia as the leader in digital content creation and production in the region.

Minister of Communications and Multimedia Gobind Singh Deo said, “Malaysia, which sits in the heart of Southeast Asia is well poised to further grow and solidify its position as the games development hub of the region.

“Malaysia is attractive to digital content and creative tech studios due to its youthful demographic, access to talent with cultural influences from both the East and West and a higher education system that has a focused tech-track.”

He added, “The DICE Policy, to be spearheaded by MDEC, aims to accelerate the digital content creative industry as a driver of economic growth in Malaysia. The policy will focus on attracting investments, building local talent and companies and strengthening the ecosystem through government and private sector partnership. It also aims to advance research, IP creation, commercialisation, branding and marketing capabilities in order to improve its export potential.

“Equally important, this policy will also look at Best Practices in order to promote a healthy animation and gaming environment for all users. In order to develop the new DICE policy, the government has decided to take a collaborative approach. MDEC will be organising town halls and focus group discussions with the industry, academia and those related and interested to this industry.”

MDEC chief executive officer Surina Shukri said, “Malaysia needs a comprehensive development plan to fully take advantage of the market opportunities ahead.

“MDEC, through our Creative Content Team, has been working hard to grow the local creative content industry over the past few years. This has resulted in Malaysia enjoying a head-start in digital content development in the region and Malaysia’s talents and creative IP’s are gaining global recognition. The DICE strategy will help to unleash the talent of our digital content and drive faster growth.”

Malaysia’s track record in digital content creation includes the Animation sector where Emmy-nominated Saladin has been followed by dozens of global and regional IPs such as Upin & Ipin, Boboiboy, Ejen Ali and many more.

The national game development industry recorded exports of RM684 million in 2017 registering a 46 per cent year-on-year growth between 2016-2017. This coming from just over 60 game studios in this sector.

Malaysia is also now home to the biggest digital content industry platforms in Southeast Asia such as Kre8tif (covering animation, VFX, new media) and Level Up KL (covering games, interactive media, AR/VR).

LEVEL UP KL is an annual Southeast Asia Games Developers conference led by the MDEC to drive the growth of the games industry in Malaysia and the region. It is the premier platform for the region that brings together local, regional, and international community of games developers, publishers, and technology providers to gather, learn, and share the latest information of content development technologies and business trends in the industry.

LEVEL UP KL 2019 is the 5th iteration of the LEVEL UP KL Conference that will happen from November 6 to 10, 2019.

In conjunction with the announcement of the DICE strategy, Gobind witnessed local animation studio Metronomik sign a landmark global publishing deal for their game, ‘No Straight Roads’, with London-based Sold Out Games; as well as the official launch of ‘Re:Legend’, a cooperative multiplayer JRPG game developed by Malaysia-based Magnus Games.

The minister was also present for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between MDEC and the Malaysia eSports Federation to collaborate towards the development, promotion and acceleration of the Malaysian eSports ecosystem.

DICE, spearheaded by MDEC, will seek to drive growth of the digital content economy through its exports and talent development. MDEC will look at potential collaborations between public and private sector, government, industry and academia to further the Nation’s ambitions in this sector.

The strategy is anticipated to spur a competitive, commercially successful industry supported by a cohesive ecosystem of talent, business, government and legislation, providing opportunities for long-term ecosystem growth. As digital content catalyse the use of both technical and technological skills combined with art, creativity and design thinking, the uplift of digital content can be used as a leading policy initiative with spillover impact into other sectors of the economy.