Gamescom Asia 2023 kicked off on 19 October in Singapore with the physical Trade Zone to welcome trade visitors and conference delegates from all over the world.
The two-day trade conference began with featured talks and panels across three extended tracks on the latest trends, as well as a wide range of topics in the gaming industry. An interesting panel “Game Studio & Project Funding: What Are Your Options?” assisted game developers and studios in exploring a range of financing and funding options to help bring their gaming projects to life. The panel’s speakers were Kepler Interactive investments & business senior director Catherine Chew, Prime Venture Partners vice president Gaurav Ranjan and Play Ventures partner Phylicia Koh. The session was moderated by Thatgamecompany head of corporate development Shijie (SJ) Xue. The session delved into how game developers typically allocate funds within their projects and which areas are most costly, and the key factors investors consider when deciding to fund a game studio, with the speakers sharing their thoughts on funding the early state of the game development.
Another insightful session of the day was by PUBG Mobile Southeast Asia publishing & esports head Oliver Ye. Ye spoke on “From Zero to Infinite with PUBG Mobile: Building a Sustainable Esports Ecosystem for Southeast Asia.” Ye, who has over a decade of experience in Southeast Asia’s music, browser, social platform and gaming industries, started off by saying how they treat storytelling as the most important element in esports, and encouraged telling a good story for business. Apart from that, “make sure you offer fair gameplay to everyone if you want to make the game esports ready,” Ye stated. He shared how multiple teams work behind the scenes to make PUBG Mobile Esports happen – people who develop anti-cheating systems, people who look at fairplay, people who manage servers exclusively for esports as well as people doing multi-end production.
Apart from these, there were sessions on Web3 gaming landscape, art direction in games, building a studio from scratch, financing a studio, spatial computing and more. Other speakers included the Infocomm Media Development Authority, Ubisoft, Amazon Web Services, Make Waves, Gamegeek Asia and more. India’s Nodding Heads Games studio conducted a session on “Art Direction with Raji: Mastering First & Lasting Impressions.” Using the success of their game Raji as an example, Nodding Heads Games’ Shruti Ghosh and Ian Maude taught the attendees to create a unique art style that captures your audience’s attention.
A highlight of Gamescom Asia 2023 was the Pitch Competition across three gaming-related categories – Best Pitch, Best Game Design and Most Anticipated Game. The competition was hosted by GTR (Global Top Round) and powered by Gamescom Asia for aspiring game developers. Developers pitched their games in front of a jury consisting of Kepler Interactive’s Chew, Plug In Digital APAC head Zheren Gao, Global Top Round publisher relations head Jan Halwe, Lightspeed Studios senior concept artist Kaichen Yan and Kepler Interactive investment & strategy manager Jason Ying.
With 70 exhibitors and brands in the Trade Zone, visitors could check out exhibits and pavilions from countries and regions such as Thailand, Spain, Germany, Indonesia and Malaysia. The all-new Indie Wavemakers area also drew crowds with games exhibited by ten indie developers from Laos, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, India, South Korea and Singapore. This included India’s Ogre Head Studio which has developed Asura in the past.
The physical Trade Zone was open from 19 to 20 October 2023. The Entertainment Zone opened from 20 October afternoon, and on 21 and 22 October for the public.
The first day of Gamescom Asia 2023 successfully concluded with the Developers-Publishers-Investors Speed Networking session moderated by Joanie Kraut of Women in Games International with over 170 participants, followed by a VIP mixer event.