Next-gen game development for next-gen professionals


Malaysia is well-positioned to become a major hub for game development in South-East Asia, thanks to continued industry expansion, talent development initiatives and government support.

VIDEO games are one of the world’s fastest-growing industries, and they have developed to become one of the most popular social activities of all time, both socially and culturally.

Advances in technology, such as the emergence of cloud gaming services and the proliferation of smartphones, have broadened the consumer base and enabled gamers to play games anywhere and at any time.

Malaysia is well-positioned to become a major hub for game development in South-East Asia, thanks to continued industry expansion, talent development initiatives and government support.

According to the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation’s Game Industry Report 2021, the country’s game development sector is expected to reach RM1.5bil by 2024, while the global video game market is estimated to be worth USD188.73bil in 2021 and expected to reach USD300bil by 2029.

The report also disclosed that the number of Malaysian gamers is expected to reach 20 million by 2024, with mobile games accounting for 60% of the entire market.

School of Computing head Assoc Prof Dr Tan Chin Ike (third from left) and XR Studio lead/senior lecturer Dr Siti Azreena Mubin (fourth from left)  with APU Students at the XR (Meta) Studio. School of Computing head Assoc Prof Dr Tan Chin Ike (third from left) and XR Studio lead/senior lecturer Dr Siti Azreena Mubin (fourth from left) with APU Students at the XR (Meta) Studio.

Art, code and magic

With a projected compound annual growth rate of 7% per year, video games are set to exceed other forms of entertainment such as movies, streaming and music, and demand for skills and creative talents in game production will only increase in the years ahead.

There are endless opportunities with the ongoing expansion of mobile gaming and the emergence of new technologies such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR).

If you are interested in working in one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing entertainment sectors, Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU) offers numerous opportunities in the field of video game development.

The BSc (Hons) in Computer Games Development programme at APU is among the best in the world, with specialised modules including game art, game technology and game design.

“This world-class industry-focused undergraduate programme provides students with a solid foundation in the areas of game development — including the aesthetics side (game art), the creative side (game design), and the technology side (game programming),” says School of Computing head Assoc Prof Dr Tan Chin Ike.

“Game development is a process that involves a combination of multi-disciplinary sets of knowledge and skills ranging from programming to psychology, and from artistic flair to business acumen.”

APU graduates who have mastered the “art, code and magic” have the opportunity to work in some of Malaysia’s eight international game studios, including Larian Studios (Belgium), Streamline Studios (US), Double Eleven (UK), Bandai Namco (Japan), Sony Playstation Studios (US) and Electronic Arts (US).

APU also offers a state-of-the-art Games Lab equipped with the most recent game production tools and technologies.

Students can benefit from a supportive and collaborative learning environment, as well as opportunities to network with industry professionals and work on real-world game development projects.

The lab features high-performance Alienware desktops, as well as VR headsets, motion capture equipment, 3D software, game engines and game consoles – allowing students to create their own characters, worlds and games.

The XR (Meta) Studio, on the other hand, plays a key role in improving the quality and effectiveness of game development programmes by providing students with a dynamic and immersive learning experience.

This studio offers students an unparalleled chance to explore the realm of extended reality (XR), which includes VR and AR.

“By integrating XR Studio into game development courses, students gain hands-on experience with cutting-edge technologies, enabling them to bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical application,” says XR Studio lead/senior lecturer Dr Siti Azreena Mubin.

“In this studio, students can design, create and test their own XR games, allowing them to understand the unique challenges and possibilities of this emerging field.

“This experiential learning not only hones their technical skills but also fosters critical thinking, problem-solving and collaboration as they navigate the complexities of XR game development.”

As the first eSports Focal Sports Centre Coordinator, APU has hosted several events to promote eSports and nurture eSports pros.  As the first eSports Focal Sports Centre Coordinator, APU has hosted several events to promote eSports and nurture eSports pros.

Home for eSports education

APU is also at the forefront of eSports education as the university was named as the first eSports Focal Sports Centre Coordinator by the Higher Education Ministry in May, thanks to the institution’s active role in promoting eSports and nurturing eSports professionals.

In February, APU hosted the Lv.99 Global Game Jam, a 24-hour event in which students collaborated to build a game from scratch.

The event was part of the inaugural Olympic eSports Week, which aimed to increase grassroots engagement and awareness among game developers and students worldwide.

In August 2023, APU hosted the first season of the Ampro Clash Series Educational Tour, a Malaysian Intercollegiate eSports and Gaming League.

APU also inked a memorandum of understanding with Crit eSports, a South-East Asian gaming and lifestyle media company based in Malaysia that focuses on competitive eSports, digital gaming and youth culture.

The collaboration allows APU to expand its eSports programmes while also providing students with the most current industry expertise and resources.

APU additionally offers Levels 1, 2, and 3 eSports Skills Certificate Programmes in League of Legends (LOL), Defence of the Ancients 2 (DotA2), and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO).

Dedicated spaces in the APU Games Lab can also serve as a training ground for eSports teams and individual players to test out their game strategies.

(From left) Chiah Ming Liang, Chai Yao Yang, Brenden Tan Poh Guan, Chan Hong Wei and Ngan Jun Ming were among the APU students who bagged medals at the hackathon competitions.(From left) Chiah Ming Liang, Chai Yao Yang, Brenden Tan Poh Guan, Chan Hong Wei and Ngan Jun Ming were among the APU students who bagged medals at the hackathon competitions.

Study hard and play hard

APU students can engage in eSports events and grassroots leagues through the APU eSports Club and APU Student Developer Club.

Members of the clubs have previously won various events, including first place in the Universiti Tenaga Nasional Valorant Championship 2022, second place in the Predator Championship 2021, and third place in the Campus eSports Showdown 2020 (Mobile Legends: Bang Bang).

Besides game championships, APU also sends students to compete in the world’s leading hackathons and technological competitions.

Brenden Tan Poh Guan, a Computer Games Development student, won first place in the Tune Protect Hackathon 2023.

He claimed that the hackathon taught him a lot, particularly how to think outside the box to produce unique and valuable solutions.

Tan was able to combine his game development skills with his expertise to design an innovative gamification solution.

Cheng Yi Heng, another Computer Games Development student, earned a gold medal with his team from the Centre for Research and Development of IoT at the International Invention Innovation Competition in Canada 2023.

During the competition, he learned how to integrate digital twins into unity, experiment with flood simulations using compute shaders and design unique and helpful gamification solutions for Rescue AI – a combination of artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), drones and Digital Twin projects.

APU’s purpose-built campus is strategically located in MRANTI Park, Kuala Lumpur.APU’s purpose-built campus is strategically located in MRANTI Park, Kuala Lumpur.

APU also offers the APU-DMU dual degree programme, where students can receive two degree certificates upon graduation, one from APU and another from De Montfort University in the UK, renowned for its 150 years of experience in providing higher education.

This dual degree enhances the employability of graduates, growing their competencies towards maintaining APU’s 100% employability track record.

For more information, please visit www.apu.edu.my.

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