Justin Yuan, co-founder and chief executive of Moonton spoke at the World Conference on Creative Economy (WCCE) in Nusa Dua, Bali. on Thursday. (Photo courtesy of Bekraf)

Game Developers Should Focus on Each Country's Unique Culture: Moonton Chief Executive


NOVEMBER 09, 2018

Nusa Dua. Justin Yuan, co-founder and chief executive of Moonton, developer and publisher of the famous multiplayer online game Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, said now is a great time for startup companies to venture into the gaming industry.

Speaking on the sidelines of the World Conference on Creative Economy (WCCE) on Thursday, Yuan also said that such endeavors should focus on the unique cultures in different countries.


“Different countries have different cultures, so games can be based on those unique aspects. Startup companies can make a variety of games and rely on the global market like Google Play or App Store, launch their game easily and publish it across the world,” Yuan told reporters in Nusa Dua, Bali.

On its initial launch in 2016, Mobile Legends attracted around three million daily users in Indonesia. However, the number has grown exponentially to almost 10 million per day by now, Yuan said.

He explained that focusing on improving the gamers’ experience has been key, alluding to the integration of the Indonesian language to the game and addition of  heroes from local folklore, Gatot Kaca and Kadita, which was derived from feedback from Indonesian gamers themselves.

Mobile Legends collaborated with comic artist Is Yuniarto to develop the Gatot Kaca character, and also recruited actress Jessica Iskandar to fill in the voice of one of the other characters in the game.

Yuan emphasized on “starting first and perfecting it later” strategy, highlighting how Mobile Legends grew to have 70 heroes from only 10.

Moonton has paid close attention to ensure that even poorly-configured mobile devices can still play the game with ease and that the game installation package has a low enough size to attract users who play with mobile network.

The company said that in Southeast Asia and South America, more than 75 percent of players play games with 4G network instead of WiFi.

The gaming industry has seen a sharp rise in recent years, with global income of the industry reaching nearly $140 billion this year, compared to around $70 billion in 2012, according to market research company Newzoo.

Mobile games itself increased to more than $70 billion dollars this year from only $5.6 billion in 2012, with Asia-Pacific having the highest growth rate in the market – 16.8 percent annually – and Indonesia being the biggest market in Southeast Asia.

Danny Wirianto, chief marketing officer at GDP Venture, said that the ecosystem for game developers in Indonesia is fragmented.

“Sometimes we have good creativity, but the scriptwriting is handled by another company, so there’s this significant divide,” Danny said.

He said game developers in Indonesia should cooperate to create a game that incorporate all necessary elements, including good graphics and story.