Indonesians are known as avid gamers. In fact, 43% of Southeast Asian gamers in 2021 are Indonesians, according to a Liputan 6 interview with Michael Wijaya (Co-Founder & Chief Marketing Officer of EVOS Esports). We’re also known to eagerly spend our money on video games. According to Newzoo (as quoted by Jakarta Post), IDR 16.35 trillion was spent on games in 2018. But what’s less commonly known is that the Indonesian video game industry is steadily making its way to a bright future, thanks to the persistent effort of domestic game developers.
Successful Indonesian Game Developers
Take Digital Happiness, for example, an Indonesian game studio behind the successful DreadOut franchise. Released in 2014, DreadOut gained worldwide recognition after the #1 YouTuber PewDiePie played its early access in 2013. In spite of its rough start, the first game had been 500,000 times as of 2019, earning a gross revenue of US$ 7.4 million despite its relatively affordable price of US$ 14.99. Five years after its release, a movie based on the game was launched in 2019. DreadOut’s outstanding success has allowed the studio to release a sequel in 2020.
Digital Happiness isn’t the only studio which hallmarks its achievement as a successful domestic game developer. Anantarupa Studios, for instance, has also made its way to fame after launching Lokapala, a 5v5 MOBA with heroes from local history and folklore. Before its initial launch, the studio’s ambitious project was greeted by 30,000 pre-registered players. In 2021, Lokapala is the only Indonesian video game that’s included in the 2021 National Sports Week (PON) in Papua, sharing the pedestal with other major mobile games such as Mobile Legends and PUBG Mobile.
Potential Challenges for Indonesian Game Developers
Digital Happiness and Anantarupa Studios are two shining examples of domestic game developers’ great potentials. Nonetheless, while the two developers are giving us great examples of how local game developers can successfully thrive, game developers in Indonesia will find obstacles on their way to success. If not tackled properly, these obstacles may delay release date, obstruct development, and give developers a hard time retaining their users. Some of these potential challenges are including, but not limited to:
• Lag/High Latency
Lag is the bane of every game’s existence. High latency probably causes major headache to a game’s dev team, but it definitely induces rage for gamers (who, in this context, are clients of a game developer). While high latency doesn’t really affect single player games, it’s a crucial factor that can cost a round in competitive games such as FPS and racing games. This is also why esport competitions invest in great cloud infrastructure to make sure that every match runs smoothly.
• Unprepared server
Another possible issue that can pose a significant threat to the development of local game companies is insufficient server capability. Sometimes it can even make the game unplayable. Remember Among Us? The game’s devs at InnerSloth didn’t anticipate the game going viral in 2020. The result? Too many players and too insufficient server. At some point, the devs needed to spend most of their time maintaining the server, neglecting game development and losing momentum.
• Security Issues
Security is an aspect often overlooked in gaming development. Earlier in June 2021, major gaming company EA experienced a massive data breach. Thankfully, the crisis was averted. But imagine if this happened to a growing game developer. That would totally crash their credibility. Aside from user data, in-game security is also an issue that can ruin user gaming experience. Major games such as Team Fortress 2 and PUBG suffer from this issue, resulting in frequent complaints from their users.
Key to Success: Use Reliable Cloud Solutions
What can developers do to overcome these challenges? To answer this question, we can take a look at Tencent, a major entertainment company which incorporates cloud solutions to solve a number of issues ranging from high latency to security risks. They even develop their own cloud solutions to effectively tackle these problems. Since building a cloud solution from scratch can take a lot of time and effort, Indonesian game developers can work with a reliable cloud solution provider such as neuCentriX. By relying on dependable cloud services, game developers can focus on other development aspects and easily pave their way to success.
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