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Powering-Up for Tomorrow

Mr Khoong Hock Yun, Assistant Chief Executive, Industry Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore Opening Remarks - The Launch of the Games Exchange Alliance and IDA's 3rd Games Industry Networking Event, Barcelona Wine Bar

Mr Khoong Hock Yun, Assistant Chief Executive, Industry
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
Opening Remarks - The Launch of the Games Exchange Alliance and IDA's 3rd Games Industry Networking Event, Barcelona Wine Bar
Singapore, 1 October 2004

Good afternoon members of the media and industry partners.

1. Thanks for taking time to join us today as we share with you yet another piece of good news for the games industry.

From Games Bazaar to Games Exchange Alliance

2. As you know, just a few months ago in June, IDA launched the Games Bazaar. This is to help companies test games on a pay-as-you-use hosting platform before they decide to roll them out commercially in Asia. Two local companies, iGames Asia and PAN*iMX, were already on board the Games Bazaar when we went 'live' in June. Today, we have a pipeline of more games to come the Games Bazaar way. More than 20 Korean games companies are now interested to use the Games Bazaar, specifically to test the Southeast Asian market. Three have signed up - Taewool, Magics and Enium.

3. Just for today's event, we are very happy to have with us our Korean friends from Taewool and Magics. They have specially flown in to Singapore immediately after their mooncake festival so you can have a first-hand go at their games, before they hit the market. Let me introduce them to you. We have Anthony Cho and Cho Gu of Taewool, and Charles Uhm from Magics. With us also is Bob Chua from iPARK, the local representative of KIPA, which is IDAs equivalent in Korea. Without the support of iPARK and KIPA, we will not have these games to try today. Thank you.

4. With the Games Bazaar launched, we are looking at yet another exciting initiative to help games companies. This new initiative will help games companies move from the test and host phase, into the final leg of the race, to commercialise and put games into the hands of gamers. This is the Games Exchange Alliance.

Gearing Up for Tomorrow

5. The Games Exchange Alliance (GXA) is a Singapore-inc network that helps games companies cross last-mile commercialisation hurdles so that games reach gamers faster, and game owners make money earlier. For the GXA, we are talking about commercialisation services such as online distribution, localisation, marketing, and finally revenue collection. Why are these services so important today and what can the GXA do to help games companies?

6. It is a changing landscape. Technology has revolutionised the form of many products. Products have morphed from physical commodities into services. A very good example is games. It was not too long ago that if you wanted to play a game, you would typically go into a shop, pick up a game from the shelf, go home and play the game essentially a single-player experience. Today, we are looking at intense multi-player interaction, new content via the web and gaming on the go in short, a richer gaming experience. Technology and infrastructure such as broadband pervasiveness and mobile connectivity has not only changed the way we play games, but how we get them too. No longer can businesses ignore not having an online or mobile games strategy. This is especially true in Asia.

7. The games industry is set for exponential growth and Asia is expected to remain on top for the online games market. IDC, in its May 2004 Asia/ Pacific Online Gaming Report said Asia's online gaming market is expected to hit US$1 billion by 2005. There is tremendous opportunity for the local games industry, especially companies that deliver regional games and services. Businesses must embrace this change in distribution model to survive.

8. Members of the GXA are companies that embrace this change. As experts in regional games deployment themselves, they are best placed to help other game owners in localising, distributing and delivering their titles to target markets.

Members of GXA

9. GXA members, such as Teckwah Online, who started out as a print and packaging company, has recently launched 'Noribox' to Korean and Southeast Asia hubs which allow game title distribution to regional LAN shop.

10. Singapore is also proud to have another GXA member, Mikoishi, launch the world's first multi-territory, multi-player mobile game called "Crossfire". Now, gamers in Singapore can compete with the best from Hong Kong, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Australia.

11. An Asian first, Pacific Internet's launch of an MMOG feature allows gamers to play via PC and mobile phone. Now, gamers can remain "in character" as they go "adventuring" with friends no matter where they are at home or on the go.

12. The GXA covers a spectrum of players in the game deployment space. In the area of games services and publishing are Teckwah Online, Mikoishi,10tacel and Pacific Internet. Webvisions, Equinix and 1-Net are key infrastructure providers of the GXA while iV Lab, InerWorx Technologies and Camelot Hobbies have expertise in technology and localisation. The GXA has members providing support services too. For instance, Systems@Work offers payment collection and gateway services while Hardware Zone offers events, media and marketing expertise.

13. The GXA is starting as a twelve-member alliance. In time, I am confident that this will grow, as Singapore offers the world a business alliance that helps games companies reach all parts of Asia. Our GXA members today are the trial blazers of tomorrow.

The Digital Exchange Agenda

14. The GXA also delivers on a very key aspiration for Singapore. IDA is committed to develop Singapore into a Digital Exchange. Singapore is renowned for our world class transhipment port. Let Singapore be renowned also as a transhipment hub for games and all things digital. The target for the IDA-led Digital Exchange is for Singapore to achieve S$500m in digital transactions by 2006.

15. In digital cinema, IDA's partnership with local cinema operator, Eng Wah, has transformed reel-cinemas into digital ones capable of receiving and exhibiting digital movies. On the games front, we have just launched the Games Bazaar, and today, we have the Games Exchange Alliance. Just last week, our sister agency launched its Games Creation Community. All these efforts add to the quality and quantity of digital transactions coming through Singapore to Asia.

16. With our high level of connectivity to Asia and rest of the world, excellent telecoms infrastructure, high standards of intellectual property rights and legal enforcement, and technology-savvy population, Singapore is well positioned to be Asia's hub for the distribution, management and delivery of digital assets and services.

17. Let's power-up for the future!