High Energy and Passion For Games in Manila and The Philippines

The Big Asia Tour by GameFounders continued onwards with its fourth stop in Manila, capital of the Philippines.

The Philippines should be fertile ground for game developers with the largest share of under-14 people amongst Southeast Asian countries at 33.7%. Internet traffic is growing at a tremendous rate, in particular mobile usage. Between 2004 and 2014, Internet traffic grew more than 800%, the fastest rate in Southeast Asia, due to the sizable growth of the mobile market.

The Philippines already has a large game development community, centered on Manila. Three out of four Philippine Game Jams are located in and around Metro Manila, and most of the Universities with Game Design courses are also in that area.

They also have their own trade organization, the Game Developer Association of the Philippines or GDAP for short. GDAP runs the annual Philippines Game Development Festival held in October, which is a 2-day event where thousands of students, developers, enthusiasts and designers gather to discuss the fun of bringing game ideas to life. The IGDA Manila group is also very active bringing as many as 50 people to monthly meetups primarily indie developers, and membership is growing steadily.

Game development in the Philippines has typically focused on outsourcing and work-for-hire, finding it difficult to get partners and capital for original IP development. Even locally relevant content has been difficult to monetize, and many developers have found it challenging to find global partners and there is limited help from local VC firms.

However this is changing and there are success stories in the community such as Altitude Games. We talked to Gabby Dizon, CEO of Altitude Games about how we could the local community and he had these kind words to say:
“GameFounders is a big deal and I am really excited for this to happen in this region. There has been an explosion of game developers in the Philippines over the last ten years. Everyone thinks that they can make a game and when they ship it, the reality hits you, that it’s a business. So having a successful game accelerator set up in Southeast Asia through the Malaysian government and come to the Philippines to take the best pitches and help them become successful studios is something that has never been available before.”

Our Big Asia Tour event in Manila was amazing. The audience was highly engaged and we enjoyed a great location at A Space Manila. We had around 60 people attend, most of whom were indie game developers. We enjoyed their company greatly and had many lively discussions as part of the evening.

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The speakers for the event were by Siow Aik Wee of MDec, Sho Sato, Chief Analyst at Media Create, Gabby Dizon, CEO and Founder, Altitude Games and Andrew Walker, COO and Partner at GameFounders.

Local developers gave 5 high quality pitches ranging from a visual interactive novel to a fantasy RPG. The team behind the beat-em-up, Warstache won the big prize, which was again a professional licence of Unity3D!

We hope to see lots of applications from the Philippines as it’s obvious that there is great passion and potential in the game development community. The deadline is June 20th, so keep those applications coming!

PHOTOS from the event

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