Tinker Games – trying to make its mark in the Indonesian mobile game industry
If someone tells children the story of a Cat-God who is mad at humans who are always littering in the sea and he destroys the human ships to save the sea, they will be amused. What about the story of a soccer girl, who is discriminated by boys who think that a girl doesn’t have the ability to play soccer but she tries her best to prove them wrong? How can you teach children about their country’s culture in a fun way? Muhammad Ajie S. thinks by giving children the power to be the Cat-God, to be the soccer girl and giving them options to explore this culture can be a fun experience which teaches invaluable lessons to them.
Ajie is the co-founder of Tinker Games whose seed was sown in November 2011 by him, Panji Prakoso and Karunia Ramadhan to enter a local mobile gaming developer competition in Bandung, Indonesia. After 2 years, they are a team of 15 with a game studio. For Ajie, a marketing management graduate from School Business and Management Bandung Technology Institute (SBM ITB) and CEO Tinker Games, it is a dream come true.
He says, “I started Tinker a year after my graduation and starting this company is my childhood dream coming true and becoming a reality. The main motivation behind starting up was the love for video games. We create memorable characters and stories, excite players through mobile games, and want to improve the quality of Indonesian creative industry. We want to be the best mobile game developer in South East Asia.”
They develop games for kids, focusing on children under the age of 13 year, and on the iOS platform. Their revenues mainly come from the games but to have a stable income, they also provide services in the field of design and music and make advergames for brands in Indonesia. They are funded by Systec Group located in Jakarta and Ajie says that they help them to develop and strengthen the company.
Ajie shares that it is tough to start a company in the digital creative industry in Indonesia as the business models on which they are built are not very familiar to people. Gaining the startup capital and human resource management are common challenges for startups here in Indonesia and they faced the same in the start up phase. Insufficient funds and lack of people interested in joining a startup makes things difficult. He adds, “The ecosystem for creative industry especially for digital creative startups is still in the starting phase and is in the process of evolving and growing. Interest from investors is also not very positive.”
Talking of gaming habits and industry in Indonesia Ajie says that the Japanese game industry has a very big impact on the society, not only in their gaming sense but also their behavior and sometimes also reflects on their daily lives. Now, there are quite a few big game studios in Indonesia such as Agate, Nightspade, Garuda Games, Digital Happiness, and Alegrium. Due to many factors combined, most of the people still play PC games in Indonesia but the mobile gaming industry is rising. He believes that Indonesian gaming market has a very high potential despite the existing high rate of piracy.
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