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Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Good morning.

1.      I​t gives me great pleasure to join you here at the Digital Life Awards organized by Singapore Press Holdings. I would like to use this opportunity to thank Digital Life for your support in featuring and commending the gems of our local games community.

2.      The games industry in Singapore is a dynamic and fast-growing one. In fact, games is the fastest growing media sector, with a value added compounded annual growth rate of 15.4 percent between 2006 and 2011. The proliferation of mobile and hand-held devices has also created new platforms for games companies to tap on, spurring the growth of online and mobile games. In the Asia-Pacific, the gaming industry was worth USD$22.2 billion in 2012, and this value is expected to reach USD38.7 billion in 2015. There is increasing importance of Asia as a market and an immense opportunity for Singapore to be positioned as the leading regional centre for developing and distributing game content and services to the world.

3.      To drive the growth of our local games sector and strengthen Singapore’s position as a leading media hub, the Media Development Authority has been offering support to games companies in game development, marketing and talent enhancement. Since 2009, more than $20 million in funding has been committed to support the games industry. Apart from our 360-ready grant schemes, there is also the Games Solution centre established in 2011 by MDA and managed by Nanyang Polytechnic. With this one-stop resource centre, our companies have a rapid prototyping environment to work in as well as access to industry-grade middleware, development tools and hardware. The Games Solution Centre also offers specialized training and workshops and mentoring by experienced game developers. In the past two years, 45 companies have been incubated in the centre, with 39 receiving mentorship.

4.      MDA recognises that talent development is a key pillar for sectoral growth, and we support initiatives that upskill our game developers, designers and programmers. Under MDA’s grant’s schemes, upskilling of talent through subsidies for training programmes, work attachments as well as scholarships are offered to game companies and practitioners. Tertiary institutes such as Nanyang Polytechnic’s School of Interactive Digital Media now offer a plethora of courses relating to digital game art and game technology. These, together with the establishment of internationally-renowned schools such as DigiPen in Singapore have created wider options for an education in games here.

5.      I am heartened to see that these efforts to grow the sector have proven successful, with some of our local games companies going on to produce high quality works and clinch international awards. For instance, Ludochip’s Cubetractor won the “Best Game” Award at the Independent Games Festival China in 2012, and just last year, PD Design’s Dusty Revenge​ won the “Excellence in Audio Award”.

6​.      Today, I am delighted to see some of the companies we have supported such as LambdaMu, Gumi Asia, LudoChip, PD Design, Witching Hour Studios and Daylight Studios, competing for the title of Best Made-in-Singapore Game here at the Digital Life Awards. I believe that the quality of works produced by all participating companies in the contention for today’s awards are of world-class standards, and I would like to congratulate all of you. I hope to see a vibrant and growing games sector in Singapore, with our very own companies producing quality games that can reach out to the world. Let me end off by thanking Singapore Press Holdings and Digital Life for organizing this inaugural award to highlight and commend our local players for their hard work and efforts. I would also like to thank all participating gamers and partners for supporting this event. I wish everyone all the best, and I hope you have an enjoyable time.