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Garena explores Indonesian folklore with new farming game

Localization has become an important aspect for Garena, the company says.

Singapore’s Garena has launched a new farming game called “Fantasy Town”, the SEA Group-owned company announced this week. The game features characters from Indonesian folklore: Quirky and funny couples from West Java, Kabayan, and Nyi Iteung, as well as the Indonesian goddess of the sea Nyi Roro Kidul, from the Javanese mythology.

The Fantasy Town producer believes that presenting folklore characters through a game is an effective way of introducing classic Indonesian culture to modern kids. The game also received a positive response from the Ministry of Tourism and the creative industry.

“We hope more game developers will feature Indonesian folklore and characters as this is in line with the government campaign “Bangga Buatan Indonesia” (proud of Indonesian products),” said Tourism Minister Wishnutama in a statement.

The importance of localization

Localization has always been an area of focus for Garena. In March, the company created a character called “Jota” based on Indonesian action star Joe Taslim for the battle royale online mobile game “Free Fire”. The character proved to be very popular as more than half of Free Fire players have played Jota since then, a Garena spokesperson told KrASIA. Free Fire itself is the highest-grossing mobile game in Latin America and Southeast Asia in the first quarter of 2020, according to Sea Group’s Q1 results.

Garena has also collaborated with Taslim and Indonesian director Timo Tjahjanto for a short film adaptation of the game. The film quickly went viral and earned positive feedback from the gaming community. Its first video titled “Jota vs Dewi Dangdut” received nearly 5 million views in just two weeks while the second video “Joe Taslim was slaughtered! Dewi Dangdut revealed!” achieved 1.2 million views within 24 hours after launching on Youtube.

Besides Indonesia, the company also works with local talents in major markets like Brazil, Colombia, and India.