Level up KL 2020 Opens Its Virtual Doors This Week

LEVEL UP KL is back this year for its 6th edition, running from October 10 until November 22. The nearly two-month long event, which will be conducted virtually this year, promises to reiterate why it will always be known as Southeast Asia’s premier digital games festival. A brainchild of the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), LEVEL UP KL is expected to attract more than 50,000 gamers, developers, distributors and visitors from across 30 countries. 

The fully virtual games conference and showcase will have a very packed schedule, featuring activities that cater to businesses within the video games industry and the public alike. Kicking things off is the Southeast Asia (SEA) Game Jam Online, a first for this platform, featuring 100 game developers from across the Southeast Asian region. Like previous iterations, it will still be a 36-hour hackathon, in which participants will compete for a chance to win RM6,000 in cash prizes. 

Right after is one of the main events for LEVEL UP KL 2020 – the Business Connection. Now virtualised, this online meeting platform will provide a more immersive and interactive discussion and networking environment as it connects top industry experts, Southeast Asian games studios and aspiring video game developers.

The extravaganza then continues with the two-day Industry Conference, featuring a wide swath of ecosystem players. This includes the likes of Steam, Roblox, Larian Studios and Ubisoft Singapore, all of whom will be speaking on game development, technology and commercialisation. Taking place concurrently is the Business Expo, an online games industry trade event for local and regional video games studios to promote their product and services. There will also be masterclass workshops and a Virtual Career Fair for those keen on joining the industry. 

Surina Shukri, CEO, MDEC expressed her excitement for the event, now one of Southeast Asia’s must go-to video games developers conference and showcase. More so this year, the digital games market has been an outlier within the global economy as it far surpasses previous and current expectations, as the pandemic forced many to spend more time at home.

“In 2015, there were only 372 attendees and last year, that number more than quadrupled to 1,791. This is a strong indication that the video games industry in Southeast Asia is on an unstoppable growth trajectory. With the pandemic forcing many to work from the comforts of their homes, we are also witnessing a spike in the popularity of video games that are primarily an at-home type activity. Therefore, we are positive that this trend will be reflected in this edition of LEVEL UP KL as we are expecting to reach 5,000,000 people via social media and record 50,000 registered visitors for its first-ever virtualised event,” she added. 

The most anticipated games festival in the region will not be complete without the SEA Game Showcase, another main event that will run from October 19 until November 15 2020, featuring exclusive promotions, video game demos and special deals for the top games that were developed in region. This will then culminate in the SEA Game Awards, another highly anticipated event that recognises the best and latest games developed within Southeast Asia and its neighbouring regions. There will also be an esports webinar and several e-sports tournaments that offer budding and seasoned professional gamers a chance to get part of the prize pool that is worth RM120,000. 

“The explosive growth of esports worldwide is a clarion call for Malaysia to heed. Over the past few years, we have witnessed the success of home-grown talent on the esports international stage for a variety of games including Blizzard’s Hearthstone, League of Legends, CS:GO, and DoTA 2. Of course, there’s more to check out and experience – as the saying goes, it’s not all fun and games. LEVEL UP KL 2020 is a chance for budding and seasoned esports talents, and from the digital games industry at large, to meet, interact and together, seek ways to improve the local esports space,” added Mohan Low, Head of Interactive Media, Digital Creative Content, MDEC. 

Globally, the video games market is projected to be worth US$159 billion in 2020, around four times more than box office revenues (US$43 billion in 2019) and almost three times higher than what the music industry makes in revenue (US$57 billion in 2019). The biggest market, by industry revenue gains alone, is the Asia-Pacific. On it own, it represent almost 50% of the digital games sector by value.

To find out more about LEVEL UP KL 2020 and register for its events, log onto www.levelupkl.com.  

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