Hi All Singapore Stuff,
I am a Singaporean working in an international gaming company in the United States and happened to visit Games Com in Cologne, Germany, this year as an exhibitor. This was between 21st - 26th August, fairly recently.
For those not in the know, Games Com is one of the biggest gaming events of the year where hundreds of gaming hardware manufacturers, game developers and distributors showcase their stuff to the multitudes of gamers that come visit the event.
Being Singaporean, I was naturally delighted to learn that there would be a Singapore pavilion showcasing local games. But that delight quickly turned into disappointment after I visited it on one of the days.
Sloppy Attendance - At 11.15am, gamers were already swarming around but the Singapore pavilion was empty, except for a company showcasing their VR game to a decent crowd. Are you kidding me? I counted about 8 Singapore company booths but only 1 of them had people present and working hard to showcase their game? Where were the rest of the companies? Almost all the other exhibits were already bustling with activity except for Singapore's. What was the government unit leading the event doing? Does it not care how sloppy Singapore looks to the rest of the world?
I came back again in the afternoon at 2pm to check on the booths and I noticed that apart from Mixed Realms (the one present since morning), Kaiju Den, Gentle Bros and Daylight Studios, the rest of the companies are mostly empty. Namely One Animation, Zengami, Translink and GToken. Why put up an empty booth if you can't be be bothered coming and putting somebody up at the booths? Are these people getting grants from the Singapore government to pretend that they are in Europe to exhibit and do the country proud, but in fact just using the money to go on a holiday?
Sloppy Designs - The Singapore pavilion and its individual booths were very poorly designed and dreadfully small in comparison to pavilions from other countries like Korea, China, UK, Finland and even Spain which is supposed to be much poorer than Singapore! Look at the pictures for a good comparison. No effort was put into the design of the Singapore banner and booths at all. It was bare bone, boring and lackluster. I just cannot understand why the government 'helps' the Singapore game companies come all the way to look bad and poor. My colleagues and friends from other countries were literally laughing at how stingy our government is!
To the companies - If you don't have the heart to exhibit, do not 'chope' a spot and don't turn up. You are wasting the tax payers' heart earned money if you are going on grants. You are making Singapore look bad.
To the government agency leading the companies - If you cannot be bothered to put up a decent looking booth when Singapore is obviously not strapped for cash, why bother booking a pavilion and making Singapore companies look cheap? If you cannot be bothered to make sure that your booths are occupied by the companies who say they will turn up but don't, you are not doing your job and should be ashamed of yourself for wasting taxpayers money!
I sincerely hope that the government wakes up its idea and put in more heart into promoting its industry players, and also penalize those companies that leave their booths empty. It is Singapore's face and taxpayers' money you are throwing away!
Ashamed Singaporean Working Aboard In The Gaming Industry