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     FrontPage Edition: Wed 10 May 2006

Singapore delivers games to Asia's $14billion video game market


Singapore's Games Exchange Alliance (GXA) localises and delivers games to Asian gamers in a market expected to hit $23 billion by 2009*
The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) and Games Exchange Alliance (GXA) led Singapore's games industry for the first time at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3).
With 13 exhibiting companies, the 1,600 square metre Singapore pavilion featured the IDA-initiated Games Exchange Alliance (GXA).
Having grown from strength to strength, the 25-member Alliance is now able to provide a more comprehensive spectrum of resources to take games from the development stage to full deployment, including 'last-mile' commercialisation to 13 countries in Asia.
The Asia market is projected to grow to $23 billion by 2009.*
In one of the GXA's milestones, Activate Interactive, a GXA member, developed for Nokia a world's first cross-platform MMORPG (massively multi-player online role-playing game) that is playable on both the computer and mobile phones in real time.
Now, gamers can fight monsters, find treasures and meet new friends no matter where they are - at home or on the go. The multi-platform game development and distribution services in Singapore allow video game producers to effectively tap into Asia's wireless and online gaming markets.
The wireless market is expected to exceed 230 million mobile gamers spending over $5 billion a year by 2009 while the subscription market is expected to exceed $7 billion.*
Mr Aroon TAN, Chairman of the GXA said: "With complete access to technology, talent and markets, the GXA's bundling of complementary games services among its members will allow for an integrated value-chain approach. There will also be greater economies of scale through the wider spectrum of services, offering one-stop convenience for our international partners. This platform is already being adopted by Singapore and International development studios."
The launch of the first multi-platform MMORPG is the latest success to come from a GXA member, aligned with IDA's efforts to transform Singapore into a development, testing and deployment center for the regional video game industry.
Mr Thomas LIM, Director, Education, Learning, Digital Media and Entertainment, IDA said: "In order for Singapore to be recognised as a hub for game development and distribution, we need to use cutting-edge technology creatively. We believe that cross-platform gaming is one of the future growth areas for gaming in Asia. As a Games Exchange marketplace, Singapore is ready to develop and launch cross-platform games across the region."
IDA has launched programmes such as the Games Bazaar1, Games Market Access Programme2 and GXA3 to attract more game publishers and developers to use Singapore as their base.
The 25 members of the GXA provide services in development, localisation, hosting, distribution and marketing throughout Asia. Over 20 games have shortened their time to market by making use of Singapore's Games Bazaar.
North American and European companies like 10tacle Studios, Boonty, Electronic Arts and Real Arcade have established development studios and online game hubs in Singapore.
"Delivering games Asian gamers want to play is one challenge. 10TACLE STUDIOS recognises that keeping the player interested, refreshing the experience, attracting new players throughout the product's life span is also critical. The user experience must be something that keeps players coming back. I firmly believe that it is because of Singapore's digital hub position that makes it an ideal destination to host a competency centre such as 10TACLE STUDIOS ASIA, which aims to provide a valuable resource for our Western studios," said Mr Michele PES, CEO (Group) 10TACLE STUDIOS AG.
More..... (Games Exchange Alliance members)
1 Singapore's Games Bazaar is a scalable hosting platform that allows games companies, publishers and distributors to test and deploy their games titles regionally faster, at greater ease and without facing high initial capital costs. It partners with major telecommunications and hosting provider, SingTel EXPAN, and leading technology provider, Hewlett Packard Singapore, to defray up to 80 per cent of the hosting costs during the first six months of trial with the Games Bazaar.

2 In a joint government-industry effort, IDA together with Singapore-based regional internet communications service provider, Pacific Internet, launched a Games Market Access Program or Games MAP. Games MAP will offer a full suite of services ranging from monthly fixed-priced regional deployment, hosting and distribution, community building and marketing support. Powered by Sun Microsystems via deployment of the Sun Games Server Technology, Games MAP aims to provide game companies faster access to market and scalability with cross platform capabilities.

3 A games industry association initiated by IDA, called the Games Exchange Alliance or GXA, is equipped to provide a full value-chain of services and market access for game companies. Under this alliance, we have more than a dozen members comprising of games service providers to publishers and developers, content localisation and e-payment solutions providers.

Drawing on members' strength, the GXA can help game companies all over the world to cross last-mile commercialisation hurdles to place titles into the hands of Asian gamers. GXA provide market access through our members to over 13 key Asian countries. Some of the countries includes: China, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Brunei, India, Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia

*PricewaterhouseCooper Global Entertainment and Media Outlook 2005-2009

Source: Media Release 9 May 2006

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