Forging future frontlines: Ammobox builds IPs to showase regional stories


(l-r) Adam Hodgson, Ammobox lead developer, and concept artists Amirul Zameer and Mark Teo have sought to sharpen their skills through the implementation of new game technologies. — Photos: Ammobox Studios

Founded in 2008, indie game development studio Ammobox Studios’ niche lies in end-to-end game development with Unreal Engine.

By primarily producing games for Windows, Ammobox has sought to sharpen its skills through exploration, adaptation and implementation of new game technologies.

Ammobox consists of 50 developers, 80% of whom work out of its Bandar Sunway, Selangor headquarters, dedicated to producing internal and external full-cycle intellectual property (IP) game titles, spearheaded by chief executive officer and game director Jeremy Choo.

“Getting Malaysia to move up the value chain in the video game industry through building IPs is our main goal. However, this is challenging as we are in a predominantly outsource-heavy region,” says the self-taught game enthusiast from Penang.

“With that in mind, Ammobox was created to build IPs and bring our region’s stories and talents to the global marketplace.”

‘By having personnel dedicated to exploring and training others on new innovations, we actively foster the dissemination of new knowledge within our team,’ says Choo.‘By having personnel dedicated to exploring and training others on new innovations, we actively foster the dissemination of new knowledge within our team,’ says Choo.

With over 15 years of operational experience in game development, Ammobox has achieved promising success with Eximius: Seize The Frontline.

Launched in 2021, the first-person shooter and real-time strategy hybrid multiplayer PC game has gone on to amass over 300,000 downloads on Steam and the Epic Games Store, with an overall positive rating across the board.

Eximius was the first flagship title of Ammobox. We wanted to balance what was new with what was innovative. We took a genre that’s hugely popular and familiar – first-person shooter (FPS) – and made it highly strategic.

“While there are already a lot of FPS games on the market, we wanted to present a twist to the usual action-oriented shooters. We believe this uniqueness gives the game a different feel,” explains Choo, adding that most team-based FPS are about shooting your way out of every problem, where accuracy and agility are the deciding factors of how an encounter turns out.

With over 15 years of operational experience in game development, Ammobox has achieved promising success with ‘Eximius: Seize The Frontline’.With over 15 years of operational experience in game development, Ammobox has achieved promising success with ‘Eximius: Seize The Frontline’.

“In Eximius, you work together with a small-scale army, and this results in a highly dynamic battle featuring infantry, vehicles, structures and air support units. You shoot your way out of some problems, but you have to be strategic enough to outmanoeuvre your opponents in other situations.”

Like most other local game developers, Ammobox has had to deal with challenges that include talent and capital acquisition.

“As we strive to build a team capable of competing with AAA and AA development, significant investment in human capital is essential. However, this is not a task that can be accomplished in isolation. The necessary experiences must be gained through our active involvement in end-to-end product development, either through our internal projects or external co-development ventures,” Choo explains.

“Addressing the capital challenge revolves around regional confidence. Collaborating with larger publishers demands their trust in our team’s execution capabilities and confidence in our region’s capacity to deliver high-quality IPs.”

Launched in 2021, the first-person shooter and real-time strategy hybrid multiplayer PC game has gone on to amass over 300,000 downloads on Steam and the Epic Games Store, with an overall positive rating across the board.Launched in 2021, the first-person shooter and real-time strategy hybrid multiplayer PC game has gone on to amass over 300,000 downloads on Steam and the Epic Games Store, with an overall positive rating across the board.

Unfortunately, Choo says, our region isn’t yet very well known for making highly successful or high-budget AA/AAA titles. Nonetheless, Ammobox has tried to stay ahead of the curve by staying true to its production philosophy of efficiency in development.

“Ammobox is first and foremost a technology-focused company. We believe in using the most cutting-edge technology available to make production more efficient. Whenever possible, we also spend time examining how we can improve our pipeline.

“By having personnel dedicated to exploring and training others on new innovations, we actively foster the dissemination of new knowledge within our team.”

Unreal Engine, a video game development tool that has been around for multiple decades, has been Ammobox’s choice of ecosystem to develop games since its inception because of its core founder’s skillset.

Like most other local game developers, Ammobox has had to deal with challenges that include talent and capital acquisition.Like most other local game developers, Ammobox has had to deal with challenges that include talent and capital acquisition.

Choo says: “I have been personally using it since the first generation in a hobbyist capacity before getting serious about commercial work. Today, at the 5th iteration of Unreal Engine, there is a massive amount of diversity in the tools that fall under the umbrella of Unreal Engine’s ecosystem. Some of the recent technologies within Unreal Engine that we are incredibly excited about are MetaHuman, Gameplay Ability Systems and Chaos Physics.”

Looking ahead to this year, what specific initiatives or projects does Ammobox have in place, and how does it plan to engage with its community?

Choo says, “We’re currently building our next flagship title. This isn’t something we have announced yet because we’re still very much in the early stages.”

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