The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA, www.ida.gov.sg), a statutory board of the Singapore Government, announced the Games Bazaar, a regional hosting platform for game makers and publishers to deploy their titles. Launched in partnership with the country’s leading telecommunication and technology providers SingTel and Hewlett Packard Singapore, the Games Bazaar seeks to attract game companies contemplating on entering the Asian market. To make the offer more attractive, the Singaporean government, in conjunction with SingTel and HP Singapore, will help companies defray up to 80 percent of the hosting costs during the first six months of their participation in the Games Bazaar. Many of the companies have been reluctant to plunge into the Asian market due to a lack of understanding of regional politics, bureaucracy, or infrastructure. Thomas Lin, IDA’s director of Games and Entertainment, pointed out that IDA, being a government entity, has more leverages than commercial entities and is well-positioned to help negotiate contractual agreements with regional authorities if necessary. The IDA delegation of Singaporean firms that appeared at GDC 2004 included:
Mikoishi (www.mikoishi.com), a MMORPG developer;
Pacific Wireless Solutions (www.pwsasia.com), a mobile game platform provider;
SingTel (www.singtel.com), a telecommunication infrastructure provider;
Teckwah Online (www.edenii.com), an online game distributor.
According to the IDA blueprint for infocomm development, the IDA is also responsible for maintaining Singapore’s network readiness and extending its broadband capabilities. IDA’s long term strategies, its Digital Exchange initiatives, aim to position the country as the global hub for processing, managing, and distributing digital assets.
South Korea, already a notable player in the game market, benefits from having a population largely equipped with broadband connection and a generation that likes to participate in the simulated social interactions made possible by MMORPGs.
MMORPG titles are popular among Asian game players since they emulate the type of epic storylines the public is already familiar with in the form of serialized comic books. Fung Wan Online, an MMORPG developed by the Malaysian developer Phoenix Games Studios and launched by the Singaporean distributor Techwah Online this February, is based on a popular martial-art comic book series.
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Singapore Games Bazaar Now Open
The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA, www.ida.gov.sg), a statutory board of the Singapore Government, a...