Andi Taru Nugroho used to work as a programmer in an Indonesian game development company. Andi was developing ‘casual games’ at this job but he always wanted to create games which added some value to the players. As Andi tells us, his eternal desire was to create education games which are beneficial for players and to help better the quality of education in Indonesia using these games.
After three years, Andi could not do it anymore and resigned. He started looking out for partners to start Educa Studios, a game development company focused on educational games, but most of the people thought that starting a game development company was not a promising business. He put all his savings to rent a small office space, got himself a computer and started it all alone.
Because of lack of capital and resources, he had to take up some additional projects to keep his business running. “It was very hard when I had to do some other projects on one hand and on the other hand I was creating and designing my own products. I could not hire people because my budget was very tight,” says Andi. Luckily he found a few people with the same passion and vision as his.
Starting with desktop based game development in 2011, he moved to mobile game and application development by late 2012. Today they are a team of 9 and have developed more than 80 games. Seventy of their products are the MARBEL Series. MARBEL stands for ‘Mari Belajar Sambil Bermain’, the concept of learning while playing. Knowing that children (their target market which is preschools kids) get bored very easily while studying, Educa studios created these games.
Andi feels that gaming market in Indonesia is getting better. However, there’s no doubt that overseas game companies still triumph in the market via online games, be it casual or education games. The two main reasons for this being less awareness about local players in the market and a little lower quality of Indonesian products as compared to overseas companies. “These two main problems are our task as developers to make it better. We have a lot of competitors in Indonesia and internationally but what makes us differ from others is our games’ concept of learning while playing,” shares Andi.
All of their products are free and they get their revenues from advertisements. The payment from advertisements is sometimes not really enough to fulfill the needs of business. But Andi opines, “It doesn’t really matter. We need some special treatment for education to make it better. We produce free apps and games in order to develop our nation, especially in education. If we don’t have enough revenues, we create games for other companies. But the education games will always be for free.”