Let’s see what Square Enix Smileworks is working on in Indonesia
Hendy Wijaya | On September 18, 2013 at 10:00 am
We recently wrote about Square Enix coming to Indonesia, and now we can see what it’s working on. Square Enix has permanently settled down in Indonesia along with Smile Lab and Gotanda Denshi with its Indonesian branch, Square Enix Smileworks.
Square Enix Smileworks’ goals
Square Enix Smileworks was established in Surabaya this April, at which point the shareholder companies realized that game industry growth in Indonesia has grown rapidly within the past five years. “Making the entire world smile by the best entertainment service based on harmony between Indonesia and Japan” is the philosophy, the driving force, and the ultimate goal of the company.
During the writing of this article, Square Enix Smileworks is working on converting a game from Square Enix called Nirvaana Genesis (no, it’s not a typo) from Japan to Indonesia. Nirvaana Genesis is a trading card game which features storylines and other interesting stuffs. The game’s style is heavily reminiscent of Japanese anime, judging by its illustrations. This element alone already makes this game a good choice to be ported, as a huge anime fanbase resides in Indonesia.
Trading card games, while not extremely popular, have loyal fans in Indonesia as well. There are offline trading card stores and play zones that dot the landscape. At present there are no online trading card games made or published in Indonesia, so Smileworks has first mover advantage in this space.
2D & 3D contest
Square Enix Smileworks is currently hosting a contest called “2D & 3D Contest”, in which participants must submit pictures that they draw themselves, divided into three categories: Environment, Humanoids, and Monsters. Mahdi Bashroni, as game producer of Square Enix Smileworks, claims that this contest is held in order to find skilled illustrators that are waiting to be discovered. The company believes that Indonesia actually possesses a lot of skilled illustrators, but there isn’t much demand for illustrators in Indonesia right now. As a young company, Square Enix Smileworks is on the lookout for new talent, and with this event, they hope to add a team skilled illustrators to their ranks. As the moment there are no plans for the company to develop its own games, but the possibility of doing so in the future remains open.
Currently Square Enix Smileworks is owned by three major shareholders, all based in Japan. They are Square Enix, Gotanda Denshi, and Smile Lab. Square Enix is known for popular games like Final Fantasy, Hitman and Kingdom Hearts. This is all very good news for the Indonesian gaming community and industry as a whole. It seems that Indonesia is no longer an unmapped territory for the gaming industry, and maybe we will see more gaming industry giants coming to Indonesia soon.
(Update: Apparently Square Enix Smileworks is currently not converting Nirvaana Genesis to Indonesia, just assisting Square Enix to develop Nirvaana Genesis (which explains the need of illustrators)).
(Editing by Josh Horwitz and Steven Millward)