S'pore sets up portal to grow games sector

S'pore sets up portal to grow games sector

Summary: Government plans to launch in June dedicated portal to showcase new locally made games, including prototypes, to help developers gather early feedback and nurture Singapore's games community.

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TOPICS: Singapore
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SINGAPORE--A dedicated portal for the local games industry will be launched next month by the Media Development Authority (MDA), with the aim to nurture the sector by showcasing new games and prototypes and help developers get early feedback from the online community.

Called the Singapore Game Box Portal, the new initiative was announced by Thomas Lim, MDA's director for interactive media, games and publishing, at a press briefing here Tuesday, at Casual Connect Asia 2012. "This portal is not just a directory, but it will create a community for gamers to socialize and congregate," Lim said. "We hope this will encourage gameplay of Singapore-made games, and help local game developers gather feedback."

The portal will be parked under the Games Solution Centre (GSC), which was launched by MDA in October 2011 as a one-stop resource center for Singapore-based small and midsize businesses to develop their games. The announcement follows GSC's recent partnership in March with Unity Technologies, which will offer its game engine to local developers at no cost.

The GSC has helped 40 local companies in the past six months, with 15 of them setting up shop on the compound, said Daniel Tan, director of school of interactive and digital media at Nanyang Polytechnic, which manages the center.

At the same briefing, Tan noted that more than half of the 15 protoypes currently in development were expected to be commercialized within the next 12 months. "These 15 prototypes represent the pioneer batch of games to benefit from GSC. They range from mobile, casual online, Facebook to Sony PlayStation games," he added.

To help identify and commercialize more Singapore games, GSC announced its partner Sony Computer Entertainment would kick off a contest where winners would get a chance, with funding support from MDA, to develop their prototype into a game on the Japanese company's various platforms. The contest is part of Sony's inaugural Playstation Games & Apps Challenge 2012 in Asia.

Singapore's games industry contributed S$59.6 million (US$47 million) in value-add to the media industry in 2009, having grown at a 50.5 percent compound annual growth rate from 2004 to 2009, according to the country's Department of Statistics in data released in 2011.

Topic: Singapore

About

Loves caption contests, leisurely strolls along supermarket aisles and watching How It's Made. Ryan has covered finance, politics, tech and sports for TV, radio and print. He is also co-author of best seller "Profit from the Panic". Ryan is an editor at ZDNet's Asia/Singapore office.

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