Last year, Malaysian game designer, director, and producer Sophie Azlan had been inducted into The Game Awards’ Future Class. She had been the first and only Malaysian highlighted at the time by the prestigious annual award.
For context, The Game Awards’ Future Class is kind of like Forbes’ 30 Under 30, but for the gaming industry.
It’s a programme designed to honour individuals around the world who represent the “bright, bold, and inclusive future of gaming”, its website states.
Since 2020, the programme has been selecting 50 individuals every year. This year’s cohort includes not one, not two, but three Malaysians.
Here’s who they are.
Saqina Latif, Managing Director at Persona Theory Games
Empowered to highlight Southeast Asian stories, Persona Theory’s games often take cultural cues from the region. Its dark fantasy title Kabaret (which we have reviewed) explores a lot of the regional folklore and tales.
Samantha Low, freelance games journalist
A freelance games journalist, marketing consultant, and streamer, Samantha has a full portfolio of games-related experiences. Her work has been featured in Tokyo Weekender, The AU Review, Broadsheet Sydney, and Flavours Malaysia.
She is also the co-founder of 20m Podcast, a platform that explores games as well as the people behind them with a Southeast Asian lens.
Besides that, she streams under the name Rinoaskyes and has amassed over 2,000 followers on Twitch.
According to The Game Awards, she is passionate about representation for underserved communities. Currently based in Japan, Samantha’s goal with her work is to build bridges between Japan, Southeast Asia, and the world.
Jonathan Tang Ziyi, community leader
Not only that, he is also Malaysia’s lead coordinator for IGDA, the International Game Developers Association. He’s an active voice in the local games scene and often organises community events.
His goal is to see the Malaysian industry mature, which also means making the game development career one that is more accessible and feasible.
We’re glad to see more Malaysians being recognised on the global platform that is The Game Awards. It’s a testament to the growth of the local gaming industry and its relevance in putting Malaysia on the map.
With this encouragement, we hope to see more names being highlighted and more growth from the industry.
- Read other articles we’ve written about gaming here.
Featured Image Credit: Samantha Low / Saqina Latif / Jonathan Tang Ziyi