NewTech Friday: Hidden Singapore – Singapore’s #1 immersive real-world games

Open Finance
15/09/2023 Interview
profile picture of Lim Ye Hung

Lim Ye Hung

Hidden Singapore

Co-Founder

Lim Yee Hung, Co-Founder of Hidden Singapore, an award-winning gaming startup on a mission to uncover the city's hidden stories, has partnered with the SG Mobility Gallery to launch an interactive outdoor adventure game that offers a unique blend of discovery, history and fun. He tells us more about it.

What led to the creation of Hidden Singapore?

The idea came from my previous life as a property developer. I had bought an enormous quarry in the UK, which at the time was leased to HBO for the filming of Game of Thrones.

Because of its dramatic landscape and sheer scale – for reference, the site is more than five times the size of Disneyland in Hong Kong – it had a lot of ‘heritage’, being where many of the noteworthy locations and scenes were filmed. That presented huge logistical challenges and other developers wouldn't touch it with a barge pole. But I saw an opportunity to use technology to enable us to welcome thousands of visitors per day and have them do largely self-guided tours around the site.

So I stumped up my own cash and raised the rest as debt, bought it warts and all, and agreed terms with HBO to turn it into a licensed attraction in 2018. They loved the idea of using technology to power self-guided immersive trails too.

Sadly, the timing could not have been worse because Covid-19 hit less than a year later. All our funding fell away. Dreams crushed, I returned to Singapore and decided to channel all the negative energy into learning how to code, and built Hidden Singapore from the ground up. I already knew exactly what it was going to do, I had been pitching the idea for months to HBO, the government, investors, and everyone I met. So I could just focus on building it myself, and take my mind away from thinking about what could have been.

I have to say, developing software is a lot harder than developing property.

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