KUALA LUMPUR, March 8 (Bernama) -- Malaysia is among six countries in Southeast Asia to contribute to more than 98 per cent of eSports fans in the region.
Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak said the number of local Esports fans was expected to increase from 1.8 million in 2016 to 2.4 million by year end.
"This shows that the digital sports game industry is on a solid footing and will continue to be the rage among the youths in the country," he said here today.
He said this at the signing of a memorandum of cooperation between Kitamen Entertainment Sdn Bhd, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), and Malaysia Felda Youth Council (MBFM) to develop the Esports industry, in conjunction with the launch of the Kitamen Equity Crowdfunding Campaign.
He said the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of Southeast Asia's Esports market was expected to be 36.1 per cent between 2015 and 2019, or up to 19.8 million fans.
Salleh described the growth as the fastest within the period at global level involving Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, also known as the "Big 6".
He said Newzoo, a firm that specifically studies the Esports industry, reported that the global Esports economy or global digital games market was targeted to increase to US$905.6 million with global Esports audience reaching 380 million.
On today's programme, he said the campaign was aimed at promoting the positive aspect of digital games.
"I believe with campaigns such as this, our children or teenagers will play digital games with a responsible and healthy attitude."
"This is a good starting point towards forming a dynamic Esports community ecosystem, in line with the establishment of a more sustainable framework and digital game sector," he said.
To this end, he said, young people should be given support and acknowledgement by the government and private companies so that such idea could be underlined and brought to the fore.
The minister added, it was the best example for the young people who responded to the challenge of working with MDEC, to complement the Digital Game Development ecosystem more effectively and systematically.
He said MDEC through the Creative Content and Technology programme would oversee and continue to support relevant new initiatives and ideas in effectively developing the electronic and digital sports industry nationwide.
Looking at the cooperation, programme and response towards the industry, he believes the initiatives would indirectly boost the country's tourism industry in promoting Malaysia to the world.
"In future, we might also see development of the Esports Tourism industry," he said.
Salleh said MDEC would also give its cooperation in the implementation of the digital game application system, Digital Game Competition, and Prime Digital & Electronic Expo (PEX) to be held in Kuala Lumpur in November this year.