Sony Interactive Entertainment WWS to set up studio in Malaysia

Gobind (left) and Yoshida shaking hands on stage after announcing that Malaysians will play a part in developing exclusive titles for the PlayStation universe. — SHAARI CHEMAT/The Star

Japanese gaming giant Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios (SIE WWS) will be setting up a studio in Malaysia, and its participation in the local games industry is being incentivised by the government.

The partnership with SIE WWS came about after a year of talks, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo at the closing of the fifth Level Up KL gaming conference.

"It (the studio) will be a part of the Sony family of global studios and be part of the network developing worldwide exclusive titles for the PlayStation universe," he said.

Shuhei Yoshida from SIE also attended the announcement.

Gobind said his ministry and Foreign Trade Ministry were still in talks with SIE WWS on the size of its investment here and how many job opportunities it would create.

To court SIE WWS, it was given a grant though the amount was not disclosed.

When asked if it was given a tax break, Gobind said that the incentives are different for each foreign company.

"We want to make foreign companies look at Malaysia first by showing them we have the infrastructure and talent, with quality Internet at reasonable prices," he said.

Gobind also said that the government must show it has a clear policy on its direction, referring to the Digital Creative Ecosystem (DICE) policy.

The aim of DICE is to strengthen the digital content industry through initiatives that attract investments – both local and foreign – to develop and improve local talent and companies.

The policy, which is scheduled to be rolled out next year, also aims to reinforce the ecosystem by increasing market research, new content development and its export potential.

Gobind revealed that his ministry will make more announcements in the coming months on more collaborations with gaming companies, as discussions are still at a confidential stage.

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