Local gaming industry lacks traction in own market

Gaming has grown into a billion-dollar industry in Indonesia, but domestic industry players have not played a significant role in the business.

Indonesia is the 17th biggest gaming market worldwide with estimated revenue of US$1.1 billion as of January, according to gaming market research firm Newzoo. It is the largest in this category in Southeast Asia, followed by Thailand with $667 million, Malaysia with $633 million and Vietnam with $472 million.

Worldwide, the industry is estimated to generate $100 billion a year, topped by China with $34.4 billion and the United States with $31.5 billion, Newzoo data shows.

The Indonesian Gaming Association (AGI) said the local gaming market had an average yearly growth of 37 percent, more than its regional peers.

“Ideally, our own industry should be growing two or three times more than that number,” AGI secretary-general and CEO of local game developer Agate Arief Widhiyasa told The Jakarta Post recently.

Joddy Hernady, executive vice president for digital business at state-owned telecommunications giant Telkom, said the all-time record in revenue for a game in Indonesia was greater than that of any movie or music album.

Indonesian film Warkop DKI Reborn booked $17 million, a box office record, while Peterpan’s 2004 Bintang di Surga (Stars in Heaven) music album recorded a record $10 million.

Meanwhile, Mobile Legends, a multiplayer online battle arena mobile game by Chinese developer Moonton, booked over $120 million in Indonesia last year alone, said Joddy.

“Games nowadays have become a staple and inseparable part of our lifestyle, and yet our own gaming market share has been decreasing compared to 10 years ago,” Joddy said during the 2019 Telkom Digisummit recently.

Data compiled by Telkom shows that locally made games have a mere 0.4 percent market share in Indonesia, while local gaming companies make up less than 20 percent of the domestic presence.

“The main challenges for our local developers lie in the lack of investments and the shortage of game-developing talents that lead to a stagnating number of local gaming companies,” he added.

Telkom, in partnership with several local game developers, recently launched Oolean, a Steam-like cloud gaming hub where players can access multiple games, purchase vouchers and find game-related information.

Starting in June, Telkom will also establish Indigo Games, an incubator intended for local game start-ups to help them grow and find capital in relation to developing Oolean.

“Our final goal is to come up with a flagship game that can go international [...] We have recruited Indonesian talents who have worked in major developers like Namco, Bandai and Supercell,” said Joddy.

Arief’s Agate is among the developers Telkom partnered with to establish Oolean. Agate, he said, had supplied more than 20 games in various categories to the gaming hub.

“Telkom is going to provide us financial support via Indigo Games that will be supported by Oolean,” said Arief. “We hope that this partnership will provide long-term and more significant impacts to the Indonesian gaming industry.”

Speaking at Digisummit, Telkom chief strategy officer David Bangun said the gaming industry was part of the company’s expansion toward a digital economy.

He cited research by Google and Temasek that shows that Indonesia’s digital economy is the third-largest in Southeast Asia, representing 2.9 percent of the GDP, below Singapore at 3.3 percent and Vietnam at 4 percent.

The value of the digital economy against the GDP, he said, was expected to quadruple by 2025.

“Therefore, it is important for a company like Telkom to prepare our supporting infrastructure to cater to the demands [of the digital economy],” David said. “Telkom will also optimize our assets and capability [...] to encourage the best user experience in digital services.”

/r/indonesia Thread Parent Link - thejakartapost.com