Italian animation studio sets up Asian headquarters in Singapore


Mumbai: Singapore’s animation and gaming industry looks set to brighten with Italy’s animation studio Rainbow S.p.A. setting up its global headquarters for its video gaming business in Singapore.

The new gaming arm of Rainbow S.p.A., Rainbow Media, will spice up Singapore’s creative landscape with its experience as a leading producer of 3D CGI graphics and animation.

Rainbow S.p.A. founder and CEO Iginio Straffi says, "By expanding Rainbow’s operations into Singapore, we hope to help position Singapore at the forefront of the interactive and digital media industry not just in Asia, but globally." Headquartered in Italy, Rainbow S.p.A. is an animation production house for both cinema and television, and is the largest award winning studio in Europe with offices in Holland and the United States of America.

With animated creations such as Winx Club, Tommy & Oscar and Monster Allergy under its belt, Rainbow S.p.A. has a portfolio, which includes animation and CGI, where all stages of cartoon production are handled in-house, TV sales and distribution as well as licensing and merchandising.

The new venture by Rainbow S.p.A. into Singapore receives strong support from Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), as part of the government’s efforts to grow the local Interactive and Digital Media industry into a dynamic part of the Singapore economy.

Commenting on the key role Rainbow Media will play in contributing to the local animation scene, EDB assistant managing director Manohar Khiatani says, "Rainbow S.p.A. has the international experience and network to provide the necessary foundation to build and strengthen Singapore’s capabilities in the up-and coming field of animation and gaming. The setting-up of Rainbow Media in Singapore will not only add colour to the local animation and gaming industry, it translates to career opportunities for the hundreds of highly-skilled IT and media-trained graduates in Singapore. It will also provide an essential avenue for us to nurture the country’s top creative talent and push Singapore into the limelight in the field of animation and gaming."

The international animation industry expected to grow to $80 billion in 2010 and the worldwide video game and interactive entertainment industry to be worth an estimated $44 billion in 2011. The establishment of Rainbow Media in Singapore will contribute to the government’s plans to create 10,000 new jobs and increase the animation industry’s value-added contribution of S$10 billion.

As part of its expansion plans into Asia, Rainbow S.p.A. plans to invest more than S$25 million in its global gaming division global headquarters in Singapore.

"Singapore has an excellent telecommunications infrastructure and widespread IT network. So it was a natural choice for us to pick Singapore as the global headquarters of Rainbow Media. Another strong pull factor is Singapore’s top ranking in Asia in terms of intellectual property (IP) rights. Particularly where animation creation is concerned, it is important we choose a base where IP rights are closely monitored," says, Rainbow S.p.A executive vice-president of animation & licensing Joanne Lee.