How Game Level One keeps leveling up amid slew of problems.


The Indonesian gaming industry's market value is expected to reach Rp 24.4 trillion in 2021, signifying that during the COVID-19 pandemic, the gaming industry developed positively when other business sectors were sluggish. 

There is an evident reason behind the trend. In 2019 — before the pandemic sets in — 62.1 million people actively played games in the country, according to the Indonesia Esports Premier League (IESPL). The figure illustrated the size of the gaming market in the country, which most likely has increased since thanks to the lockdowns.

Felix Ramli capitalized on this opportunity by establishing Game Level One (GLO), a company that teaches people — even young children — how to make games.

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"GLO teaches numerous areas of video games, such as logic, arithmetic, programming, game engines, and how to build video games," Felix said.

"In addition to our more than 16 years of video game experience, we offer a library of more than 150 titles from which clients can choose when they have limited time and resources," he said.

GLO now serves more than 30 companies and partners, with over two million users. "In addition, we are developing a gamification platform that can be readily used by training and event venues so that GLO may be recognized by the public, including other firms," Felix explained.

Startup syndrome

According to Felix, this enterprise began in his garage at home. GLO was founded with the goal of inspiring future generations about the boundless potential that may be realized through quality, integrity, and confidence.

The Digipen Institute of Technology alumni teaches numerous parts of video games for children, students, and university students, ranging from logic, mathematics, programming, and the use of game engines.

His expertise working in a variety of companies in the multimedia industry has aided the growth of this company. GLO succeeded in generating games released on the Playstore and Appstore a year after its inception. 

"In 2016, we produced … a title in collaboration with UK game producers for the Southeast Asian market, including Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, and Malaysia," he said.

GLO, Felix said, faced several problems during its early days due to a lack of business management experience. 

"When we started this business, we didn't conduct any research and had no experience," he explained. Felix dubbed the problem "startup syndrome".

"In addition to the issues that any new company would have in terms of human resources and cash, we also had the startup syndrome. At the time, we wanted to do a lot of things, and as a result, we couldn't focus on prioritizing the crucial things," he explained.

Fortunately, he had a mentor to show him the way. "Having a mentor who can see things from a different perspective actually helps us to see things in a different light," he said.

Monetization and the way ahead

According to Felix, this startup is monetized by GLO through specialized game development. GLO's products range in price from tens of millions to hundreds of millions of rupiah. 

"Each of our products has a fairly broad pricing range, ranging from hundreds of thousands for the use of our games at training events and events to hundreds of millions for unique video game production," he explained.

Felix said while the pandemic has adversely impacted his business, he and his team are still strong.

"We are quite grateful because, amid this pandemic, we do not need to downsize our workforce or employee compensation. Rather, the pandemic has provided us the opportunity to rest and refocus on key business initiatives that need to be developed," he said.

Presently, Felix has several collaborative initiatives in the works with other developers. "We're starting to build a gamification platform that businesses can utilize for customer engagement and retention," said Felix. GLO is also expanding its horizons by developing a gamification platform that can be simply used by training facilities and events.






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