OMG the new Street Fighter game is out ugaizzz! For those of us who aren’t gamers, Street Fighter is probably one of the most iconic fighting (if not THE most iconic) fighting game franchises in the world. And the latest game in the franchise was launched a little over a week ago. Check out the trailer below!
And while some of you may have already like Hadouken‘ed in your pants, did you also know that parts of this game was actually developed by a video game studio in Malaysia?? Like double Hadouken right???
Well that obviously awoke the sleeping geek within some of us at the CILISOS office. And you know what we did next? We called up this video game studio and asked them whether we could come by and talk to them! And imagine our delight when they said yes! Hadouken sampai KO weiii.
So we headed over to the office of Streamline Studios to have a chat with them. We ended up speaking to 2 people, Stefan Baier, one of the co-founders of the studio, and Nur Iman, the lead 2D artist for Streamline Studios on the Street Fighter V project. (But we mention Stefan a lot more because Iman only joined later into the interview.)
And we have to admit that while it was cool that there was a Malaysian studio involved, we thought maybe just a small part ni la. But we were wrong, their involvement wasn’t just a bit. They were involved in some pretty major things.
They designed many things in the game, including the CHARACTERS!
So if you’re wondering what exactly did Streamline Studios contribute to the game, here’s one of the things they did.
Yeap, that whole stage (where them characters fight) right there, was made by them. And according to Stefan, they did more than just stages.
“We’ve been working with the guys in Osaka (where Capcom is based in Japan) for over a year, helping them in producing several fighting stages, costumes, character designs, a lot of that” – Stefan Baier, co-founder of Streamline Studios
Sadly, at the moment they are not allowed to reveal which characters they actually designed due to agreements they have with Capcom.
Iman on the other hand, adds that they were actually involved in stuff like the art and technology of the game. Very technical stuff, but basically they weren’t just doing stuff for Capcom, they were actually PLANNING stuff with Capcom! Iman (who said that he is among the first Malaysians to see the Street Fighter V trailer) told us that they would do the concepts for the characters for Capcom and the feedback would just go back and forth until Capcom approved of the designs.
“A lot of the characters in Street Fighter are Japanese. And imagine you’re asking a Malaysian to describe to a Japanese, on how Japanese culture would look like.” – Nur Iman
Stefan himself flew to Japan to meet the game directors and producers to get a better understanding of what they actually wanted. And in all this, they were able to build a good relationship with Capcom, which is something that Stefan says they’ve been doing with many other companies.
“We are the trusted partner that these big studios turn to, to help them with complicated projects.” – Stefan Baier
And you know what, Street Fighter V isn’t even the first big game they’ve worked on. Ever heard of games like Bioshock Infinite and Gears of War? Yeap, they worked on these too. (If you’re not a gamer, these are pretty big names. Bioshock Infinite has won some pretty big gaming awards.) Check out more of their work in the video below!
Wah a Malaysian company so terror wan meh?
Wellllll technically they aren’t a Malaysian company per se la. Streamline Studios is actually a company that has its roots in the Netherlands.
Well because while they do have an office in the US, their studio is here in Malaysia (which they refer to as their R&D and production office). In the midst of the conversation, they explained to us how they left the Netherlands.
“Netherlands doesn’t have the funding anymore. They have a lot bureaucracy that really prevents support by the government for the creative industries.” – Stefan Baier
They eventually moved to the US but he adds that in America, it was all about the money, and the gomen there rarely got involved in the industry. And all that eventually led to them coming to Malaysia.
But why the heck would they choose Malaysia of all places??
Well, 2 reason la.
1. Our gomen sayang the animation industry very much
No really. Here’s how Malaysia actually became a choice for them.
“In 2009, the gomen invited us to what was called the Kre8tif! conference. They flew us out to give a talk.” – Stefan Baier
The conference they are referring to was organised by the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) of Malaysia back in November 2009. At the time, Streamline Studios was based in the US, but Stefan tells us that the conference allowed them to gain a better understanding of what Malaysia is all about. And one thing they liked about our country was how the gomen actually has a long term vision for the things that they were doing!
“The government here (Malaysia) is actually quite supportive of promoting the industry. The MDeC has been doing a really good job in putting Malaysia on the map, talking about what Malaysia can do, and pushing especially the animation industry over the decade, and now they’re also focusing on the games’ side.” – Stefan Baier
2. Malaysia is a good place for…nerds?
“It was warm, and the country actually appreciates artistry and creativity. You might think that every country is like this, but not at all. I come from Germany and they think games are weird, games are something kids do, and you should be an accountant or doctor.” – Stefan Baier
According to Stefan, the nerdy culture is very welcomed here. (Not saying there’s anything wrong with that btw.) We have things like anime, Harry Potter, and everything else you can think of la. He said we’re also very diverse culturally, and we’re a people that likes to enjoy themselves. And that’s actually not hard to believe because articles like this, this, and this, indicate that Malaysians are pretty big on their fandom.
Ironically, we couldn’t resist being a bit kiasu and asking why didn’t they choose Singapore instead. This was Stefan’s response.
“Singapore doesn’t actually have a country. There’s something about being in a place where I can drive to the beach, I can drive to the mountains, I can drive to other towns and not have to cross a border check every time I do that.” – Stefan Baier
Besides that, he said they did check out Singapore, but when they spoke to people there, they were told that most of the talent came from Malaysia anyway!
So Malaysia not doing too bad eh?
If other people are choosing Malaysia, why shouldn’t you?
So if there are any of you reading this and going “Hey I want to be involved in this industry, but no future wan in Malaysia.” Well Streamline Studios would probably disagree with you.
“The creative industry is thriving (in Malaysia). There’s a lot of talent here, it’s only going to get better. It’s time to focus on what Malaysia is doing because Malaysia is doing a lot.” – Stefan Baier
Iman also added that the very presence of Streamline Studios itself pushes the limits of the video games industry in Malaysia. And if you consider all the things that they’ve done, it’s hard to disagree with them.
They also said that yes, the video game industry is very, very competitive. But both Stefan and Iman added that success is possible with teamwork.
“It’s easy to be in the industry and not make money, like sit at home and be by yourself. But I think if you have a good team and the team works really well together, you can do amazing things.” – Stefan Baier
And if they’ve done it, Shoryuken too! 😉
P.S. Streamline Studios is actually hiring! So if you’re interested to find out more about the jobs they offer, click here, and who knows, you might be working on the next big video game!
Be sure to thank CILISOS k?