September 23, 2021

Andreas Betsche

Project PIGI is a locally-driven initiative to create and promote original Philippine-made games

September 23, 2021 | Andreas Betsche

Philippine indie game developers are taking matters into their own hands by launching a new locally-driven IP creation and mentorship initiative called Project PIGI (Philippine Indie Games Initiative). Initiated by independent game development studios Ranida Games, Squeaky Wheel, and Yangyang Mobile, their goal is to bridge the gap between Philippine game developers and publishers to open up funding opportunities and stimulate new IPs.

Project PIGI will run for ten months from August 2021 until April 2022 and pass through three stages.

Call for Entries and Game Dev Panels

The first stage of the process will take six months and include a project submission phase and monthly game development panels. 

The submission phase runs from August 2021 to January 2022 and is open for digital video games made by Philippine studios that are not yet published or released. 

The panels will be held by renowned Philippine and Southeast Asian game development community members and cover topics providing essential information to anyone who might want to create a game. The first panel was about conceptualizing games, and the next issue (happening September 25!) will dive deeper into making a prototype. Registration for the online seminars is free.

Finalist Selection and Mentoring

In the second stage, up to 10 of the most promising game entries will be selected from the pool of candidates to receive additional support from an all-Filipino roster of mentors. Games will be chosen according to their originality, visuals, gameplay, and the implied business model. Mentors will advise the finalists for three months so they can polish their prototypes and create pitch decks.

The Pitch Day

The final stage of the initiative is an online pitch day event wherein the finalists will present their games to an audience of local and international viewers, including publishers and platform holders. A panel of judges will critique their pitches, and along with the audience, will vote for a Judges’ choice and an Audience’s choice award for their favourite game pitches. After the pitch day, the Project PIGI will help finalists reach out to partners and publishers to help them secure publishing and possibly funding for their games.

An Opportunity for Philippine Game Developers

Overall, Project PIGI sounds like a great initiative to boost the Philippine indie game development scene, primarily because of the project’s community-based structure and the expertise of its founding member. Ranida Games, Squeaky Wheel, and Yangyang Mobile are pioneers of the indie community in the Philippines. They have successfully released several games in the past, including Bayani, Academia: School Simulator, or Perfect Gold. Drawing from a pool of experienced veteran game makers from the Philippines, chances are high that we will see some fantastic new IPs and games coming out of this project soon. We are excited to see what they will be!

A Push for the Whole Region

While Project PIGI is limited to the Philippines, we firmly believe that an initiative like this one not only benefits a local development scene but the whole Southeast Asian indie games market itself. Project PIGI can explore new perspectives for indie game developers and create networks that may expand and serve as role models in other regional countries. This impression is reinforced by the recent launch of similar projects in Indonesia, such as the Toge Game Fund Initiative or the Agate SkyLab

For more information about Project PIGI, including registration, visit their official website and Facebook page.

Transparency: Virtual SEA is the official media partner of Project PIGI.

Andreas Betsche

Andreas Betsche founded Virtual SEA in early 2016 after researching Cambodian mobile games for his Master’s thesis. He has a background in Southeast Asia studies and has worked and lived in Cambodia, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Since he has been actively playing games since the early 90s, combing both worlds in Virtual SEA brought together both of his passions.

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