Minister Of Communications and Multimedia Malaysia, Gobind Singh Deo (centre) and CEO Of MDEC, Surina Shukri (left) during press conferences Announcement Of Level Up KL 2019 at Plenary Theatre Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. NSTP/Intan Nur Elliana

KUALA LUMPUR: The Communications and Multimedia Ministry is working with the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) to establish a new Digital Content Ecosystem (DICE) Policy by the end of the year.

Minister Gobind Singh Deo said the policy was to strengthen the local digital content industry and ultimately position Malaysia as the leader in digital content creation and production in the region.

“In order to accelerate the growth of this industry, my ministry is leading the work towards the DICE Policy to further support and strengthen Malaysia’s regional leadership in digital content where our ambition is to firmly establish the country as the regional hub for a digital content ecosystem that is conducive, inclusive and globally competitive.

“Actually, we are ready but we have to formalise certain things. So, hopefully, the establishment of the DICE Policy can be seen by the end of this year ... but, if we can do it earlier, we will do so,” he said after the announcement of the fifth edition of the LEVEL UP KL 2019 event here today.

LEVEL UP KL 2019, to take place from Nov 6 to 10, is an annual Southeast Asian game festival which will be the platform for the region that brings together the local, regional and international community of games developers, publishers and technology providers to gather, learn and share the latest information of content development technologies and business trends in the industry.

Earlier, in his speech, Gobind said the DICE policy will focus on attracting investments, building local talent and companies as well as strengthening the ecosystem through government and private sector partnerships.

“It also aims to advance research, IP creation, commercialisation, branding and marketing capabilities in order to improve its export potential.

“Equally important, this policy will also look at best practices in order to promote a healthy animation and gaming environment for all users,” he said.

Gobind said that in order to develop the DICE policy, the government has decided to take a collaborative approach where MDEC will be organising town hall and focus group discussions with the industry, academia and those related to and interested in this industry.

“Besides the ability to generate billions of ringgit for the national economy, the gaming industry can also create job opportunities, especially for the young. The government is always sensitive to the needs and requirements of the young, including by way of more extensive support for the diversification of e-sports programmes in the country,” he said.

Gobind said Malaysia was attractive to digital content and creative tech studios due to its youth demographics, access to talent with cultural influences from both the east and west and a higher education system that has a focused tech-track.

“Today, the demand for creative tech talent is jointly being addressed by16 Premier Digital Tech Institutions identified by MDEC and the tech ecosystem.

These institutions offer industry-endorsed programmes related to virtual reality, augmented reality, visual effects and other creative tech skills,” he said.

Gobind also said that Malaysia should tap the opportunity to compete in sports meets including the Olympics if e-sports will be in these games.

“It’s a good idea. The Ministry of Youth and Sports should look at it seriously because we have plenty of opportunities in the future and we can use the sports stage such as the Olympics, for example.

“My ministry’s role is to provide infrastructure. We have to provide the infrastructure so that we can attract foreign investment and every other country can see that Malaysia has the expertise and is an investment destination that has good infrastructure,” he said.

Gobind also witnessed Metronomik, a local animation studio, sign a landmark global publishing deal for its game, No Straight Roads, with London-based Sold Out Games, as well as the official launch of Re:Legend, a cooperative multiplayer JRPG (Japanese role-playing game) game developed by Malaysia-based Magnus Games. - Bernama