Southeast Asia (SEA) is a quickly growing region where many publishers and game companies are growing and expanding their publishing efforts. With so many available, this creates strong competition for game developers in licensing or finding a publishing partner in SEA. In a session during Casual Connect Asia, Robin Ng, Director of International Business and Strategic Development for ASiasoft, addressed the many factors publishers look at in a game which makes them ideal for publishing in SEA. Robin also explained what kind of games that are appealing in the SEA region. Robin explained, “Licensing of a game is more like a marriage between two parties so it is not a customer and client relationship. It is more like a marriage relationship.” For publishers, they have to be choosey and careful. Learn more about how they choose.
Robin Ng is the Director of International Business & Strategic Development of Asiasoft. One of their key duties is sourcing and acquisition of games for publishing in the Asia Pacific region. Robin loves doing this, saying they, “get to see and play new games before they are released.”
“The other responsibilities are the usual corporate roles where I deal with strategic partnerships, corporate business strategies and internal advisory,” detailed Robin. “How I landed at Asiasoft is through a headhunting company. They needed someone who has the experience, domain knowledge and expertise in the gaming and mobile field. Guess I fit the bill at that time.”
Robin’s past experience ranges over various mobile, gaming and social initiatives with a focus on the South East Asia (SEA) region. They say that their experiences in those different roles lets them plan from different angles in the organization.
The hardest part of Robin’s job is finding the right game that works across the whole of the SEA region. For reference, SEA covers 11 countries with at least as many languages and major cultures, with over 650 million people. Asiasoft has teams in key SEA cities to test the game, using feedback both internally and from local users to help decide what to publish.
passion for games
Robin claims that working in the gaming industry was something that only happened by chance. They were with a start-up in the early days of aggregating Java mobile games mobile operators in SEA. It was a position that evolved from there to where it is today.
Finding their way into this career was, in part, a matter of their passion for games. Robin advises that those interested in the field also be open to meeting people and learning new things. They note that having a sense of satisfaction with their career is very important.
“The tough part about this career is that it is a 24/7 role and the personnel will be constantly on the road, where one can expect to be away from home for more than 50 percent of the time, facing jet lags, waking up in different cities every week and working non-stop due to time difference,” said Robin. “These are the difficulties that deter many after a while and something for someone new to note.”
Virtual reality and augmented reality devices have been hyped pretty vigorously over the past year. The way Robin sees it, VR/AR might be a huge part of the market in about three to five years.
“There are still many things that need to be ironed out so that it can be a common-use device or tool,” said Robin. “Right now, there is much that needs to be researched, improved and developed to become a mass market product. We are definitely looking into how this can be incorporated into our business, but it is still in early stages.”
“In three to five years time, there will be many more game companies that will be devoting their development in VR games,” they added. “If all things goes the same way as mobile games, it will spark another wave of M&As of game companies, as many would want to enter the market fast or consolidate the market. Many VCs, investment companies and investors will be fighting for a piece of the market and trying to find the unicorns within the masses.”
Robin has been a gamer for a very long time, claiming to have loved such classics as Super Mario Bros., Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Street Fighter II and Pokemon Yellow, while playing in a very device agnostic way. While these are all Japanese developed games of a certain era, they have given him a broad knowledge of which games work.
While the quality of a game developer is obviously paramount in producing a great game, Robin also considers how suitable a game is for the SEA region and how it matches up with other games in SEA. A game’s depth, quality of gameplay, and it’s monetization values like acquisition, retention and replay value are also important.
When asked to name a game that had really caught their attention, Robin said Clash Royale from Supercell. “They have developed something that will move the market into a new direction,” said Robin. “eSports on mobile – they are getting it right. [They’re close] but not there yet. Keep an eye on it!”
the future lies in our hands
Robin is incredibly excited for the potential of the gaming industry, especially in the mobile sphere. They love to bring new entertainment to the people of the SEA region, with the satisfaction they derive pushing them to further this career path.
When asked what they wanted to talk about for the gaming industry but were never asked, Robin replied, “For people in the gaming industry, what we are doing has more significance than what many may see. We are a bunch of crazy people trying to bring entertainment, joy, fun and enjoyment to the masses.”
“Games are a way that we unite people of different cultures, religion, and languages together. We are doing something very important that helps shape the future of the world. The world can be at harmony through games as people can come as one to engage each other for common virtual targets and objectives. On the other hand, we can destroy the world by creating virtual hatred in the games that we develop.”
“To all the game companies, we need to instill goodness in the games that we develop and publish, we are steering the future of the people and the world through our creations. Be proud and be excited! We are a part of the future and future lies in our hands!” they concluded.
David Radd is a staff writer for GameSauce.biz. David loves playing video games about as much as he enjoys writing about them, martial arts and composing his own novels.