By Eunice Law
The gaming industry is experiencing a surge in popularity.
According to the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), it will bring in RM1.5 billion (about $ 370 million) by 2024. It is also providing employment to many and financial gains for businesses.
In Sarawak, game development businesses are many. They provide ample opportunities for aspiring game developers and young talents. This encourages universities in Sarawak to develop game development courses and training programs.
One such program is the Multimedia and Graphic Design program at Swinburne Sarawak. This degree emphasized trending design approaches, game production, and interactive design.
Learning is however not limited to the class environment. As part of the enhanced learner experience, Swinburne hosts workshops with industry experts, alumni, and current students on game design, programming, and graphics.
Many parents are also concerned about their children’s employment prospects after graduation. This is why the Sarawak government initiated the Tabung Ekonomi Gagasan Anak Sarawak (TEGAS). TEGAS conducts programs and initiatives to support and nurture game development start-ups. These include financial assistance, coaching, training and development programs, co-working spaces, and networking opportunities.
Swinburne University also believes that developing entrepreneurship is critical, as demonstrated by its design graduates and alumni who founded gaming companies such as CtrlD Studio and Trifold X.
The Sarawak government also shares the same view in that the gaming development industry will continue to thrive. To support the expansion of the region’s game development business, the government offers incentives to game development companies by hosting events and activities to promote the industry.
The Malaysian government also encourages this growth through various initiatives. Initiatives such as the Malaysia Digital Hub, Digital Content Ecosystem (DICE), Malaysia Game-on Initiative, and the Malaysia Digital Creative Content Fund help establish technology parks, funding and incubation schemes, and encourage foreign investment in these industries.
The growth of the e-sports industry is expected to shape the future of the game design industry. Millions of gamers compete in both online and offline tournaments as part of the global movement of ‘e-sports’ or ‘competitive video gaming.’ Malaysian game developers contribute to this growth by creating innovative games for competitive play, fueling its expansion. This is further acknowledged by the president of the Sarawak Esports Association (SESA), saying that e-sports are not just about gaming but have real value in the form of a career.
The advancements in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technology also allow game creators to create immersive and interactive gaming experiences. This technology transports players to new and exciting virtual worlds. Emerging technologies like 5G and cloud gaming enhances these gaming experience and present many opportunities for Sarawakian game makers.
The development of today’s technology will improve future industries. It also gives more opportunities for young talents interested in this industry increase. The government’s continued emphasis on advancing the digital economy and developments contribute to the future growth of the industry. This will intrigue both parents and students alike.
The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus. Eunice Law Mei Yuan is a Lecturer of Design at the School of Design and Arts, Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus. Her research interests are in instructional technology, cultural studies, packaging design, typography and graphics for interactive communication, and game design. She is contactable at firstname.lastname@example.org