Amid News of Gaming Studios Entering the Philippines, Industry Heads Worry Over the Country’s Internet Infrastructure

03:54 PM October 13, 2015

As the global video games industry grows, major studios are eyeing the Philippines in order to setup shop. Alvin Juban, President of GDAP (Game Developers Association Of The Philippines), told eSports Inquirer, that local industry heads are working closely with government agencies to bring large video game firms into the country.

While the identity of game studios interested in creating a hub in the Philippines are still under strict confidentiality, Juban said that they are currently at the legal stage  and that he is “fairly confident” that at least one major game studio will push through.

According to Juban, the implications for such a move would be tremendous for the gaming community in the Philippines — a country that has a large gaming subculture — in terms of both artistic output and job demands.


In order to lure these gaming studios into the country, Juban said that the GDAP worked closely with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to create the GAMEDEV Philippines campaign.


“GAMEDEV Philippines Create More campaign has really reached a global audience,” Juban clarifies, before launching into a brief explanation how it came to be:

This “brand” was created for us by CITEM (Center for International Trade Expositions and Missionsunder the auspices of the Department of Trade and Industry. With the combined efforts of DTI and the ICT ( Information and Communications Technology) Office we have been able to carve out a niche of attention since GDAP has started to really get exposed in many of the major gaming conferences around the world.


Juban stressed that the role of GAMEDEV Philippines played a pivotal role in even engaging major studios to consider the Philippines. An initiative that aims to showcase the culture of gaming in the Philippines as well as to envision a scenario where it would help the local industry, it is showcased with such events as Gamefest, an annual game conference that serves “as venue for the Philippine game developers community, game industry and education to discuss relevant topics that will further the development of the game industry.”



Last May 2014, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Ponciano Manalo said they were looking to develop the local animation and gaming sector, stating that the animation and video game creation industry in the country is a strong cottage industry that needed support.

Despite the interest given by gaming studios however, Juban was quick to point out the necessities of supporting an incoming growth market like gaming, saying that:

…we are in a good place and now have a good chance for this industry – if only we had better internet!

It’s About Time

The issue about the internet speed in the Philippines has been around for a while, but it’s only recently that it’s receiving more coverage, due to the rapid spread of gaming over the last couple of years. However, while the gaming subculture of the Philippines has grown, our internet speeds remain more or less the same. A Senate hearing by the Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship held August 18 found that our internet is lagging behind our Asian neighbors, and that the “advertised internet speeds never match the actual internet speed we really have.”

A screengrab taken from an earlier report last year about the internet speeds in Southeast Asia.

With such a competitive market on the way that will bring a new market for jobs and careers, it may be time to take these issues seriously. Fortunately, there have been some strides in that area as of late: the recent formation of the Philippine eSports Association (PeSPA), the official governing body of eSports in the country. This coupled with the very vocal support of  Senator Benigno Paolo “Bam” Aquino, who sees the gaming industry as a “huge potential for employment and enterprise development.”

And amidst all this, the Filipino love and passion for gaming has only grown more evident with each new trend, game and development. A recent report shows how much Filipinos support the MOBA Dota 2, and the competition for hosting the Hearthstone World Championships – SEA Regional Finals came to a close battle between Malaysia and the Philippines for the privilege of hosting it. And with this latest development, the need for better internet has only intensified.

Hopefully, this impending entrance of major gaming studios in the country can push our direction forward in the gaming industry – perhaps, allowing us to finally make games more than just play them.

Related Links:

Bam on Lack Of Unified eSports Body: “All Stakeholders Must Work Together”


Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved