PHL seen to become Asia-Pacific gaming leader


THE Philippines is positioned to become a gaming powerhouse in the Asia-Pacific Region by 2028, according to the Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB).

“The Philippines is strategically positioned towards becoming a leading hub for game development in the Asia-Pacific region by 2028,” DTI-EMB Director Bianca Pearl Sykimte said in a statement on Thursday.

This, she emphasized, after Philippine game development companies reported US$7 million in initial export sales during a three-day trade mission held on August 23 to 25 in Cologne, Germany.

According to DTI-EMB, the Philippine pavilion showcased the “diverse capabilities” of Philippine companies in the gaming industry with 10 featured industry players: Razer Gold, Ranida Games, Taktyl Studios, Fizzbuzz, Inc., Emottoons Animation Studio, Yang Yang Mobile, Pixel Mafia Ltd., Animation Vertigo, Startrace Studios OPC, Buko Studios and GameOps Inc.

Gamescom, a trade fair for video games held annually in Germany, gathered over 1,220 exhibitors spanning 63 countries, DTI-EMB noted.

The export marketing arm of the Trade department said the pavilion did not only turn the spotlight on the “dynamism and creativity” of Philippine gaming, but it also enabled the business delegation to conduct onsite business-to-business (B2B) meetings, and participated in exclusive networking events with key organizations to explore collaboration and partnerships.

Further, DTI-EMB said the event served as a platform that allowed delegates and the international gaming community members to share market insights, trends, and best practices in Europe.

Creatives pull in weight

Meanwhile, Sykimte said the DTI recognizes the contribution of creative services to the Philippine economy in generating high-value revenue as well as in creating employment opportunities for Filipinos.

“We share and support the aspiration of the game development industry to further expand and thrive in international markets including Europe,” the DTI-EMB director added.

To achieve the Philippines’s goal to be a leading hub for game development in the Asia-Pacific region by 2028, Sykimte said “DTI works hand in hand with key partners in enabling Filipino companies achieve their business goals, nurture local talent, create more employment opportunities and contribute to economic development.”

DTI-EMB also revealed a collaboration—a “brainchild” of DTI-EMB and the International Trade Centre (ITC)—“significantly” backed by the Game Developers Association of the Philippines (GDAP) and Cybercraft Philippines Association under the European Union-funded ARISE Plus Philippines Project.

“Filipino [micro, small, and medium enterprises] MSMEs have demonstrated their huge innovative potential in the gaming industry. ITC is honored to work with the DTI, the Game Developers Association of the Philippines [GDAP], Cybercraft Philippines Association, and multitalented Filipino MSMEs in the gaming industry,” said International Trade Centre’s (ITC) Chief of Office for Asia and the Pacific, Ms. Sylvie Bétemps Cochin.

“We hope that this participation will foster stronger business linkages and opportunities for them to tap into the European market and beyond,” Cochin added.

In 2022 alone, the Philippine gaming sector raked in revenues of US$ 75 million, employing a talented pool of 8,000 professionals, DTI-EMB said.

The export marketing arm of DTI said this endeavor at Gamescom is but a “strategic move” in the nation’s master plan under the Philippine Creative Industries Development Act (PCIDA) to bolster its gaming industry.

Earlier this year, DTI said five game development companies from the Philippines secured initial US$1.67 million in actual and potential export sales during the Nordic Game 2023 held in Malmö, Sweden.