Fri, Aug 14, 2009 - Page 12 News List

Game developers seeking support from government

By Elizabeth Tchii  /  STAFF REPORTER

Local game developers and digital content providers urged the Taipei County Government yesterday to seek funding from the central government to create a digital entertainment industrial hub before Chinese rivals catch up.

“Because of the Chinese government’s protectionist policies, it was able to fend off foreign competition and allow Chinese game developers to create their own content for the vast mainland market,” Wang Chin-po (王俊博), chairman of Soft-World International Corp (智冠科技), said on the second day of the Digital Entertainment Summit 2009 in Banciao (板橋), Taipei County.

Soft-World International is the nation’s largest developer and distributor of online games.

The county has budgeted NT$2 trillion (US$60.81 billion) to nurture the dynamic random access memory (DRAM) and digital entertainment industries. It has also promised to build an industrial park in Sinjhuang (新莊) over the next two years.

“However, without a firm commitment to the digital entertainment industry and the will to make it Taiwan’s next trillion-dollar enterprise, we’ll simply end up with a real park with a lot of trees,” said Aaron Hsu (許金龍), chief executive officer and chairman of XPEC Entertainment Inc (樂陞科技).

If local officials do not pay attention to the industry within the next five years, the industry will soon be dominated by foreign companies, said Albert Liu (劉柏園), chief executive officer at Gamania Digital Entertainment Co (遊戲橘子).

“Singapore, for instance, has been very aggressive in luring foreign investment to their gaming industry through subsidies and tax incentives. What is our government doing to attract international capital? What do our officials offer to foreign investors? Are they even trying?” Liu asked.

Taiwan has already missed the boat on the gaming industry twice, a senior UserJoy Technology Co (宇峻奧汀科技) officer said.

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