Indonesia’s game development ecosystem is rapidly growing and becoming more established, with a growing talent pool and local game development studios. However, the industry still faces challenges, such as a lack of funding and limited access to the global market. Despite these challenges, the future of Indonesia’s game development ecosystem looks promising, with potential for further growth and recognition in the international gaming market.
What’s the current state of the global and Indonesian game ecosystem?
The global gaming ecosystem is constantly evolving due to market growth and changing trends, especially during the pandemic when people spend more time at home. The industry is closely linked to technology and therefore changes every year. This can be seen in the evolution of platforms that we come to love, from the early years of console games shifted to arcades, and today we witness a plethora of mobile games on our phones.
Additionally, new platforms such as the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series S Console, and cloud streaming have emerged, providing more immersive and realistic gaming experiences and appealing to a broader audience.
In the case of Indonesia, it all depends on how locally-made games are marketed rather than how games evolve along with the current state of technology. In the beginning, many Indonesian developers created mobile games because they were more accessible, and making PC games or buying consoles in Indonesia was still relatively expensive. Even so, the mobile market turned out to be top-heavy, making it difficult for new mobile games to catch up. As a result, Indonesian developers eventually switched to PC and console games, which were then exported because PC and console players were more open to trying new games. In fact, there are many capable Indonesian talents, but they deliberately do not target the local market, so many people don’t realize that Indonesian talents can make good games.
What are the changes in the Indonesian game ecosystem these past few years?
Other than the development change from mobile games to PC and console games, in 2022, there are many investments for the game industry, especially in Web3. This allows developers who used to make small-scale games with their own money to have the opportunity to make large-scale games with their own uniqueness.
What challenges must be faced to grow the game development ecosystem in Indonesia?
In Indonesia, many things must be self-taught as there are still not many professional paths to learn about game development. Also, while there are a few large gaming companies in Indonesia, such as Agate, many people who are hired still have limited experience in game development. Because many things must be self-taught, we don’t have benchmarks, and it also takes a lot of time, energy, and resources because we make a lot of trial and error.
Many Indonesian game developers sell their services abroad, and after finding success, they often choose to relocate overseas. This makes it challenging to retain top talent who want to stay in Indonesia.
How does Agate approach these challenges?
Agate was founded with the dream of becoming a home for Indonesian game developers. To make this happen, Agate has several initiatives, such as creating Agate Academy, working with associations and incubations to create programs, gathering new talents, and providing education and mentoring. These things are done not only to resolve Agate’s talent problems but also to help solve talent problems in Indonesia.
To actively reach for Senior talents, Agate takes the initiative to connect with people abroad, especially the skillful Indonesians who have worked in the game industry abroad. In addition, we also learned from experts such as ByteDance and worked with Activition Blizzard to become our mentors. For example, artists at Agate will discuss and receive input from the Art Director of Zelda Breath of the Wild every few weeks. Although we can’t hire them full-time, the insights or decisions they provide are often those we’ve not considered before.
What are Agate’s reasons for advancing the game development ecosystem?
It’s impossible to realize Agate’s dream of becoming a developer house if the game ecosystem isn’t moving forward. So, growing the ecosystem is not just an ideal; it’s a necessity. We need it to become big and fulfill Agate’s dream of becoming a home for developers. From the development of the ecosystem, Agate can get the best talent, build trust, and gain networks.
What does Agate hope for the game development ecosystem in Indonesia?
Game development is highly digitized, so there are no logistical, geographical, or physical limitations. This is an opportunity for Indonesia to compete with other countries that are far more advanced than us. We hope Indonesia can be on par with other countries that are more advanced in the game industry.
Why does Agate attend various external events?
As a part of the ecosystem, Agate contributes to the game ecosystem in Indonesia by improving as a company. One of the ways is by attending various external events to level up. Attending these events provides a range of benefits, including:
- Provide information about materials related to tech development, games, and other topics related to the game development industry and Agate’s business.
- Maintain the existence of Agate representatives’ public presence.
Showcasing our products
- Help increase product and brand awareness.
- As a place to provide free trial products to the target market and get feedback from players.
Networking and business matching
- Find and build relationships related to business development, such as investors, publishers, clients, and other game developers.
- Looking for and building relationships related to brand awareness, such as with TV, media, and Key Opinion Leaders (KOL).
- Sharing insights from attendees about the development of the tech world and its market demands to help get a more realistic picture in the marketplace.
Research & Development
- Exploring trends and market in their respective roles. in their respective roles.
Why does Agate do Merger & Aquisition? What were Agate’s reasons for M&A with Ekuator and Freemergeny?
Agate recognizes that progress cannot be made on its own and therefore opts for M&A to acquire top talent and improve the standard of local games. M&A is a growth strategy for Agate as it introduces diversity and fresh perspectives. It also facilitates a quicker path to goal realization for industry associates who were previously operating independently. The decision to merge with Ekuator and Freemergency was made because they bring the specialized skills that Agate requires and have the potential for a successful collaboration.
Ekuator Games, the studio behind the hit title Celestian Tales, gained recognition among gamers through its successful crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. With Ekuator’s integration, Agate started making console games and utilizing the latest Unreal Engine. In 2023, Agate is particularly focusing on using Unreal Engine for both PC and console games.
Freemergency made its debut with the award-winning twin-stick shooter with online multiplayer capabilities, Retograde Arena. Its expertise in developing and operating online multiplayer games is considered to be a factor behind the partnership with Agate.
Ekuator Games, the studio behind the hit title Celestian Tales, gained recognition among gamers through its successful crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. Ekuator joined forces with Agate due to their capability to develop console and PC games. With Ekuator’s integration, Agate started making console games and utilizing the latest Unreal Engine. In 2023, Agate is particularly focusing on using Unreal Engine for both PC and console games.
Freemergency made its debut with the award-winning twin-stick shooter with online multiplayer capabilities, Retograde Arena. Its expertise in developing and operating online multiplayer games is considered to be a factor behind the partnership with Agate. Currently, Freemergency plays a crucial role in the development of Mythic Protocol, a subsidiary of Agate.
Agate Collaborations with Local Studios in 2022
Agate Collaborations with Local Studios in 2022
In 2022, Agate also spread its wings by collaborating with several local studios. These collaborations aim to advance the game development ecosystem in Indonesia further. Here are some of our collaboration partners:
Agate collaborated with Digital Happiness to reveal their newest game, DreadHaunt, at a following event after its recent teaser on June 11, 2022. We signed a deal with Digital Happiness to co-develop DreadHaunt and started pre-production with lots of iterations to fine-tune the balance of fun and horror.
Eizper Chain is the first blockchain-based ARPG (Action Role Playing Game) in Indonesia to carry the F2P/PNE (Free-to-Play/Play-and-Earn) concept created by Stellar Null. We took part in the collaboration to develop the mobile version of the game.
Rudi Harli Setiawan – Chief Executive Officer of Eizper Chain
“(We’re) very happy to get an MOU or deal with Agate because they are very professional, (we’re) very happy and excited to see our product collaboration with Agate.”
Satriver Studio is a Malang based game studio that was born in 2014. The studio’s main focus are games development and animation. Besides creating their own Intellectual Property, they also provide services for creating games and collaborating. Satriver plays an important role in helping Agate for VAHSS2 project.
Dede – Founder & CEO Satriver
“The working experience with agate itself is exciting, we have gained a lot of experience since joining agate in all aspects, and most importantly the knowledge that we learned throughout the process.”
In conclusion, the Indonesian game development industry still has room for improvement, offering ample growth potential for the future. As a part of the ecosystem, we strive to do our parts and contribute to the growth. Here’s to more progress and a promising future for the game ecosystem in Indonesia!
Want to contribute to the Indonesian game ecosystem? Check out the vacancy list below!