Brunei gaming companies out to secure leads at Korea’s biggest game fair

Pixelated, Quembara, ITSYBYTES and Game On representing Brunei at G-Star Global Game Exhibition in Busan

L to R: Co-founder and team manager of Quembara Rabiatul Adawiyah, Pixelated CEO Mohd Izzuddin, Game On founder Amar and ITSYBYTES founder and CEO Ikmalina Hakimah.

Bruneian gaming companies Pixelated Enterprise, Quembara Interactive Enterprise, ITSYBYTES and Game On Business Management & Services are out to secure project and sales leads at South Korea’s largest gaming fair G-Star Global Game Exhibition.

G-Star kicked off on November 14 at the Busan Exhibition and Convention Center with 690 companies from 36 countries. Brunei’s participation was facilitated through the ASEAN-Korea Centre who sponsored 33 companies from nine ASEAN countries.

The youth-led Bruneian gaming companies shared they would be using G-Star to market their portfolio, build brand awareness regionally and ultimately generate sales for their services in developing games.

ITSYBYTES founder and CEO Ikmalina Hakimah Hj Md Yunos – who is attending G-Star for the third time – said previous editions, along with participating in the Tokyo Game Show, have landed them clients from Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

“Through the gaming shows we’ve been able to secure gaming projects where we are doing development, animation, graphic design and virtual reality work,” said Ikmalina, whose company’s biggest coup has been developing an oil discovery mobile game based in Brunei called Black Gold which was picked up by Capcom for their e-learning platform in 2013.

She added that ISTYBYTES are currently working on their newest game Digital Bomber, which allows users to virtually draw art on physical murals and walls in their surrounding community.

Pixelated are looking to promote their portfolio of six mobile games – three which were released in the past month: Climb Monkey Climb, Eat Bunny Eat and Last Note.

“These games are currently available for free on iOS and android, which is part of our strategy to build awareness,” said CEO of Pixelated Enterprise Mohd Izzuddin Hj Md Hussin. “Through this, we’ll be able to gain more traction and secure clients for our gaming and app development services. But our ultimate goal is to be able to monetize directly from creating and selling our own games.”

Mohd Izzuddin added that the murder mystery game Last Note was their most ambitious yet, made in 3D by their team of seven youth.

“With Last Note, players can pick a male or female character as they navigate through a mansion under the scenario of a party gone wrong where murder takes place and they need to solve puzzles to exit (the location) as fast as possible,” he added. “We’re proud of this game and we’re keen to show the international players what we are capable of doing as a small startup.”

Quembara are in a much earlier stage of gaming development, having only recently formed in August after finishing as runner up at Startup Weekend Brunei’s Creative Tech edition. Co-founder and team manager Rabiatul Adawiyah Mudim Hj Amran said G-Star would be an invaluable learning and networking experience.

“Right now we are working on making mobile games out of traditional Bruneian games such as congkak, pasang and catur,” said the 24-year-old. “We are also working on a pixel art game under the incubation of Universiti Brunei Darussalam.”

Meanwhile gaming event company Game On are in the midst of preparing for their flagship event, Brunei Esports Tournament (BEST), which takes place next month. Founder Amar Hj Mohd Agus Din said they were joining G-Star to seek out more international collaborations.

“We’ve hosted internationally affiliated events such as the Brunei qualifiers for Hyperplay (ASEAN’s first integrated esports and music festival) and we want to do more to draw international attention to Bruneian gamers,” said Amar.

With Brunei setting up an esports association earlier this year, Amar said GameOn would also be hosting more casual gaming events that can broaden the appeal of esports to the wider community.

These include hosting an esports community cup, esports events which also include tabletop games and a marathon where runners dress up as game characters.