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Level Up KL 2016 Showcases What Malaysia Has To Offer

After a hugely successful first run of Level Up KL, the conference returned better than ever. Hosted by Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), the epic five-day event is solidifying itself as one of Southeast Asia’s premier gaming conferences.

Just like the 2015 conference, Level Up featured business perspectives, technical insights, and sharing of future-shaping trends though keynotes from industry leaders and notable panels from all over the world. An ongoing effort to build a world class gaming ecosystem in Malaysia, they reinforced their vision to transform the country into a Game Hub in Southeast Asia by 2025. The event did not disappoint.


Tickets were sold-out, with over 500 participants ranging from game developers and publishers to potential investors and technology providers from both local and international markets in attendance.

That shouldn’t be surprising when you consider the speaker lineup. In total, 40 key industry players from around the world took part in sharing their knowledge, including seasoned video games industry professional Hector Fernandez of Sony Interactive Entertainment, co-founder of the game accelerator GameFounders Kadri Ugand, lead game designer for Square Enix’s Final Fantasy XV Wan Hazmer and Alexander Fernandez from Streamline Studios. We even got a surprise guest keynote from Vlambeer’s Rami Ismail, of Nuclear Throne fame.

And the hits just kept coming.


SEA Game Jam and Unity Certifications


Kicking things off over the weekend was the SEA Game Jam, a 36-hour game jam organized by MDEC, Media Prima Labs and IGDA. It’s where game developers from the Southeast Asia collaborated to create a game based on the “Kid-centric” theme, with titles aimed at children ages 12 and below.

A total of 17 teams comprised of 82 participants took part for the chance to bring home cash prizes, a brand new Oculus Gear VR, and the opportunity to have their games commercialized via the upcoming Alpha Startups: Game Pre-Accelerator program by Media Prima Labs and 1337 Ventures.


International Mobile Gaming Awards SEA


The conclusion of the IMGA SEA awards was also held in Level Up KL, the first award geared towards aimed at discovering the best mobile games in region. Over 300 submissions were received from games studios, indie developers, and publishers from Southeast Asia, including entries from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, East Timor, and Taiwan.

708 of the games moved on to finals where they were reviewed by an all-star judging panel composed of international mobile gaming experts and journalists, such as Ian Gregory (Witching Hour Studios), Kadri Ugand (Gamefounders), Alexander Fernandez (Streamline Studios), and Alysia Judge (IGN). Check out all the winners here.


Wrap up for Malaysia’s game industry


In 2016 alone, Malaysia has made several headlines and achieved an impressive milestone in just one year. In July, Streamline Studios announced their collaboration with Square Enix for Final Fantasy XV, which will be release on 29 November this year. Earlier in May, Passion Republic shared their experience working with Naughty Dog for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. Separately in September, Bandai Namco Studios Inc. officially announced the opening of its Kuala Lumpur studio in a move to develop content for diversed cultures ourside of Japan.

Not bad, Malaysia. Not bad at all.