17 September 2009 - Speech By RADM(NS) Lui Tuck Yew, Acting Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, at the 2009 Games Convention Asia Opening Ceremony on Thursday, at Suntec International Convention & Exhibition Centre
Speech By RADM(NS) Lui Tuck Yew, Acting Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, at the 2009 Games Convention Asia Opening Ceremony on Thursday, 17 September 2009, 9.40am, at Suntec International Convention & Exhibition Centre
His Excellency Jörg Ranau
Ambassador to Singapore,
Federal Republic of Germany
Mr Wolfgang Marzin
CEO of Leipziger Messe International GmbH, Germany
Mr Joerg Zeissigb
Managing Director of LMI Asia Pte Ltd
Ladies and gentlemen
1. Good morning. I am pleased to join all of you here this morning at the third edition of Games Convention Asia (GCA). I would also like to extend a warm welcome to all overseas delegates attending the Convention.
About Games Convention Asia
2. Held for the third consecutive year in Singapore, GCA is Asia-Pacific's largest convention devoted to digital media, computer games, entertainment software and hardware. GCA is also the biggest gaming show in Singapore, and is set to attract close to 120,000 visitors this year, including trade visitors.
3. I am heartened to witness the growth of such a unique platform. Since its inception in 2007, GCA has grown significantly. Attendees for the GCA Conference increased 110% from 300 in 2007 to 630 in 2008. Public visitorship also rose more than 30% from 70,000 in 2007 to 92,000 in 2008. These figures are evident of the growing interest in the games and interactive digital media industry in Singapore.
Singapore's Gaming Industry
4. The global outlook for the video games market is encouraging. According to the Global Entertainment and Media Outlook 2009-2013 report from PricewaterhouseCoopers, the video game market in the Asia-Pacific region, will be the fastest growing region over the next five years. The report forecasts a 9.4% compounded annual growth rate, increasing from US$15.7 billion in 2009 to US$24.7 billion in 2013.
5. Singapore's gaming industry has witnessed encouraging growth in recent years. Today, our local games industry comprises close to 30 home-grown game development companies such as Mikoishi and Nabi Studios. Some locally developed games have gone on to gain international recognition. CarneyVale: Showtime for example, was developed by a group of Singaporean students from the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab, an initiative by the Interactive Digital Media Research and Development Programme Office (IDMPO), which is hosted by MDA. It became the first made-in-Singapore game to be published on Microsoft's XNA Community Games Channel. GAMBIT has since trained 117 individuals in games research and development.
6. IDMPO has made strides in driving breakthrough and innovation in the IDM sector. I am pleased to announce a joint collaboration between IDMPO and Razer, the world's leading brand in gaming peripherals, to create the Razer IDM Lab. Razer and IDMPO plan to invest about S$30 million in the Lab. Besides developing cutting-edge interactive gaming interface technologies, the Razer IDM Lab also aims to improve the core competencies of local video gaming startups through mentorship activities. The Lab seeks to be an epicenter for gaming by bringing together hardware and software creators, independent software vendors and publishers to Singapore. This will help local gaming talents and startups to exchange ideas with the world's leading gaming companies.
7. As a major telecommunications and ICT hub in the region, Singapore is well-placed to host and manage online regional games and services. Today, companies such as AsiaSoft, Garena, IAHgames and New Era have already made Singapore their hub to deploy their games to the region. Collectively, these companies have the capacity to serve about 10 million gamers from Singapore, or a third of the regional gamer-base.
Singapore's On-going Efforts to Develop the Gaming Industry
8. The Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) and the Media Development Authority (MDA) have been jointly working to promote the growth of a vibrant games industry in Singapore and position Singapore as the games development hub in the region.
9. To meet the demand for skilled game talents in this sector, IDA has established the Games Resource Centres initiative. This initiative boosts the competencies of our talents by providing them the opportunity to learn from experts with specialist technical skills, industry domain knowledge and through the use of leading-edge technology.
10. The first Games Resource Centre, a collaboration between Nanyang Polytechnic and Sony Computer Entertainment Asia, was launched in April this year. And yesterday (16 September 09), Singapore Polytechnic together with Epic Games China launched the Games Resource Centre (Unreal Technology Lab). It will focus on building up games development capability using Epic Games' Unreal Engine 3 Technology, one of the latest and most sought-after online game engines worldwide. Access to these resources will provide students and small and mid-size game studios the opportunity to build knowledge on the use of these tools which are otherwise only available to the larger companies.
11. In order for our games development companies to grow, it is also important that they have access to a platform to launch and showcase their games. I would like to take this opportunity to announce the launch of Singapore Game Box@E2Max, a joint initiative between IDA and MDA. Singapore Game Box is a one year pilot initiative to provide local game developers a platform to showcase their â€˜Made-in-Singapore' games and prototypes. It also acts as a one-stop location to showcase locally developed games to potential publishers and other trade visitors. NexGen Studios, Razer, and Media Freaks are among the 26 industry partners on board to support this initiative.
12. The Singapore Game Box will be located in Orchard Cineleisure, a convenient location and which is a popular venue for gamers. A dedicated area has been reserved to allow gamers the opportunity to try locally produced titles free-of-charge. When the roll-out of Singapore's Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network (or Next Gen NBN) is completed, gamers can look forward to experiencing ultra high-speed connectivity at the Singapore Game Box@E2Max.
13. Moving away from entertainment, games are also a useful tool in engaging learners and helping them to develop new skills. It lends support to the learning process through more engaging and enriching experiences. I am pleased to announce a new initiative, Media in Learning, by MDA, which seeks to effectively use all forms of media in the education sector. For a start, MDA will be working closely with the relevant government agencies, schools and industry players to develop games that would contribute to strengthening the learning process. Through pedagogically sound games, the Media in Learning initiative aims to make the learning experience more engaging and thus produce better learning outcomes.
14. I am heartened to witness Singapore's growing prominence as a gaming hub in the Asia-Pacific region.
15. This is an exciting phase for Singapore's gaming industry. GCA provides an excellent platform for our industry to network, exchange ideas and forge new partnerships with industry players across the region. I urge all delegates and participants to tap on these opportunities and I wish all a rewarding and fruitful time at the Convention.
16. Thank you.