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Marketing Featured APAC

Dentsu launches APAC gaming insight capability with industry-first data fusion

Singapore – Dentsu International has announced the launch of its exclusive dentsu gaming data and insight capability which aims to help brands connect more authentically with consumers and become part of the gaming culture.

For the launch, two specialist sets of data were fused with dentsu’s proprietary Consumer Connection System (CCS) research panel data, including gaming data from GWI Gaming and dentsu’s proprietary Southeast Asian research on gaming attitudes.

GWI’s data is available across 21 markets globally, including nine markets in Asia-Pacific. On the other hand, Dentsu’s data came from six Southeast Asian markets such as Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines. 

The data fusion allows brands to access high-fidelity portraits of gamers that encompass lifestyle and media attitudes, behaviours, and deep-rooted gaming habits. Moreover, the SEA data shows insight into gamers’ willingness to pay for in-game products versus similar real-life products. 

This is expected to open a new depth of insight available for strategy, planning, and activation.

Jamie McConville, dentsu gaming lead for APAC said, “The explosion of gaming genres and ways to play has led to an always-increasing variety of gaming behaviours. Our motivation-based segmentation provides an effective way for brands to identify relevant groups of gamers that consistently translate in every market and provide strong creative and behavioural insights for these audiences.”

This project is also in conjunction with dentsu gaming’s 42-page global report titled “dentsu: For The Game” last October, which includes an in-depth analysis of gaming culture and how brands can value-add to the gaming experience and develop a genuine and effective presence in the gaming ecosystem.

The said report also identified six gaming archetypes for brands to tap into. These archetypes have been named according to their primary motivations, such as “For The Revive”, “For The Hype”, “For The Party”, “For The Win”, “For The Immersion” and “For The Downtime”.

Prerna Mehrotra, CEO of dentsu Media APAC said, “There are an estimated 1.5bn people in Asia Pacific who game. Of these, over 40% are females and a quarter are Gen Z. 25% of them play to be part of a community, while 8% do it For The Win; to develop their skills and be praised.”

She added, “Simply grouping them together as “gamers” isn’t good enough. In the current economic context, marketers need to demonstrate how every dollar counts when building their brand. Therefore, it is critical brands are reaching the right audience and targeting effectively for maximum relevancy and to minimise wasted efforts as they venture into new virtual territory.”

Sunil Naryani, chief product officer for APAC at dentsu international also commented, “By supercharging our CCS data platform with proprietary gaming research data in Southeast Asia, we have built fully media-addressable gamer profiles which our clients can access for holistic insight across gaming preferences, media consumption habits and brand affinities, along with the ability to also activate these profiles today in their marketing campaigns for increased effectiveness.”

CCS and GWI’s fused data and insight are exclusive to dentsu gaming, and are accessible through dentsu’s agencies including Carat, dentsu X, iProspect, DENTSU CREATIVE, Merkle and the dentsu Japan network.

Established last year, dentsu gaming has been providing access to specialist strategy, activation, and original intellectual property (IP) development for brands seeking to connect with and navigate the gaming ecosystem.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

FWD Group appoints ONE Esports to drive gaming, esports vertical of Omne

Singapore – Insurance company FWD Group has appointed ONE Esports to drive the gaming and esports vertical of FWD’s flagship lifestyle app Omne, aiming to change the way the esports community feels about insurance.

The partnership will span across Indonesia, Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam, deepening FWD Group’s reach and engagement within the gaming and esports community in Asia.

Omne is a new mobile app by FWD Group that empowers individuals with a unique set of value propositions centred on personalised goal-based journeys to help bring the best out of them. The app is also designed to help people celebrate living and empower micro-habits for everyday success.

As part of the partnership, ONE Esports will run an integrated marketing campaign aimed at boosting awareness and promoting the download of Omne. The campaign will see collaborations with popular gaming personalities and promotional content that will be amplified through ONE Esports’ digital channels.

In addition, ONE Esports will also produce exclusive experiences and contribute gaming and esports content, such as articles and videos, to be hosted on the app. These experiences include interviews with professional esports athletes, as well as a mini content series that gets up close and personal with esports personalities.

Troy Barnes, group chief transformation officer at FWD Insurance, said, “Our flagship mobile app, Omne, reflects our vision of changing the way people feel about insurance by anticipating their lifestyle needs. Asia’s increasingly digital and mobile population is one of the fastest growing regions in terms of esports audiences – a clear sign that esports is pushing into the mainstream. We’re excited by the possibilities to scale up our partnership with ONE Esports and build brand affinity with the passionate esports community in Asia.”

Meanwhile, Carlos Alimurung, CEO at ONE Esports, commented, “ONE Esports and FWD launched a successful partnership last year, and we are thrilled to expand the scope this year. Working with them on their Omne app avails more opportunities for us to create better fan experiences and grow the esports ecosystem across Asia.”

He added, “It is great to see FWD, an internationally renowned brand, doubling down on its focus and investments in esports, and we are honoured to be the platform of choice for their efforts to deepen engagement with the community.”

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

M1 launches cloud gaming service Zolaz

Singapore – M1 Limited (M1), one of Singapore’s leading Mobile Network Operators (MNO), has announced today that it is launching Zolaz, a cloud gaming subscription service that allows customers to play anywhere, anytime and on any device.

Zolaz caters to both mid-core and casual gamers with an ‘all-you-can-play’ on-demand gaming experience. Subscribers will be gaining unlimited access to over 400 high-quality PC and console titles including those by AAA publishers. Similar to Netflix and Spotify’s click-and-play model, games are streamed directly to users’ preferred devices without the need to wait for download and installation. A single account can be shared with up to four other profiles

Games in the catalogue include the BAFTA Games Award nominated first-person shooter, Metro Exodus, action RPG co-op from the Warhammer world, Warhammer: Chaosbane, as well as popular party game, Overcooked. Individual high scores and game history can also be stored directly on the cloud, freeing up device data storage.

“Cloud gaming has always been a possibility but its potential has so far depended on network speeds, data tariff, and latency. M1’s True 5G network resolves this with its high speed and low latency so that graphically intensive games can now be seamlessly played on-the-go and without need for expensive hardware,” said Manjot Singh Mann, CEO of M1. 

“M1 is on track to [roll out] nationwide 5G outdoor coverage by the end of this year. Zolaz is part of our 5G ambitions to develop and launch 5G commercial use cases across consumer, enterprise and government sectors,” Singh Mann added.

M1 customers can sign up for Zolaz online and in ‘My M1’ App. The cloud gaming subscription is priced at SGD14.98 per month with no contract. Customers who sign up now are also offered a one-month free subscription. 

The public will be able to experience Zolaz at M1’s flagship store at Peranakan Place from 2nd September. To celebrate the launch of the platform, M1 customers are invited to participate in their gaming tournament, Zolaz Battle Unlimited. Players must choose between Asphalt 9 or Chicken Invaders 4 to compete and submit their top scores by September 4th. 

The top four scorers of each game will be invited to compete against each other on 10 September. After pitting against each other in the semi-finals, the top scorer of each game will compete against TikTok Creators Alona (@pinoybrownie) and Denise (@denisealexis) from Hepmil Creators’ Network. The winner of each game in the grand final will take home the grand prize of a Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 5G worth SGD2,398.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Game publisher THQ Nordic opens SG office to set roots in SEA

Singapore – Austria-based game publisher THQ Nordic has opened its office in Singapore as part of the company’s expansion to Southeast Asia. The new office will be tasked with serving the region, specifically public relations, marketing, and securing of SEA content creator talent for THQ Nordic and HandyGames’ slate of games in SEA.

The new Singapore office will be lead by Winson Lo as managing director with more than 10 years of experience working in the games industry; and Graeme Ching as the SEA social media manager, where he will be responsible for the digital and integrated advertising expertise for the company.

This is THQ Nordic’s second subsidiary on the Asian continent, following the incorporation of THQ Nordic Japan KK in October 2019.

Philipp Brock, marketing director at THQ Nordic, said, “Building on the success of our Japanese office, the next logical challenge to take on was entering the greater ASEAN region. With almost half of the world’s gamers located here, establishing a footprint poses not only a daunting challenge but a wholly exciting one as well. Plus and as always: our interest is long-term oriented, not just a quick pleasure.”

Meanwhile, Lo commented, “This region is one of big, open hearts and wonderful gaming fans. There is no better time than now to pick up our controllers, warm up our PCs and get to know this avid community.”

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Tencent teams up with SOOS OIO to level up healthy gaming in SG

Singapore – Multinational tech giant Tencent has partnered with local social enterprise SOOS OIO to organise a series of parenting webinars, workshops and community gaming tournaments to serve the fast-growing gaming community in Singapore that has been growing at an unprecedented rate.

Both companies will embark on the partnership at this year’s Digital For Life Festival, a two-weekend event hosted by Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) between 21 to 22 May and 28 to 29 May this year.

Through the various activities planned for the event, Tencent and SOOS OIO will work to demystify gaming for parents, engage youths to form healthy gaming habits, foster healthy familial relationships through gaming, and help them realise the benefits of games for everyone.

Stanley Sun, head of publishing technology services of Interactive Entertainment Group (IEG) at Tencent, said, “We are proud to be part of the Digital For Life Festival to drive greater awareness about the importance of digital wellness, and how the digital sphere, including online gaming, enables new possibilities and empowers the digital society. As a game publisher, we continuously work to build a healthy and inclusive gaming ecosystem, in close collaboration with organisations like SOOS OIO in Singapore.”

Meanwhile, Pauline Phoon, founder of SOOS OIO, commented, “Play is an integral part of learning and we believe that video gaming constitutes play on a different playground. It offers development for every youth across cognitive, emotional and social aspects.”

She added, “Misconceptions around gaming often arise from a lack of understanding about the nature of games and the benefits it can bring. Together with Tencent, we hope to bring awareness among parents and community in Singapore about the various ways gaming can be leveraged for digital wellness, social and cognitive skills, and most importantly – as a means of connecting with children.”

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Platforms Featured East Asia

Blockchain gaming Catheon Gaming announces appointment of board of advisors

Hong Kong – Integrated blockchain gaming and entertainment company Catheon Gaming has appointed a roster of board of advisors, composed of industry-leading veterans who collectively bring over a century of experience from some well-known gaming and entertainment enterprises globally, including Activision Blizzard, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Viacom, and King Digital.

The new board of advisor members are namely Philip Earl, Nainan Shah, Marcus Jacobs, Alex Xu, Daniel Yang, and Jason Hung.

With 14 years of global gaming and over 30 years of extensive corporate management experience, Earl was formerly the executive vice president at Activision Blizzard for over a decade and held roles including global leadership of the Call of Duty, Destiny and Skylanders franchises in Santa Monica, head of APAC in Shanghai and Sydney, as well as head of the international division in London, and chairman of the European Video Games Industry Association.

Meanwhile, Shah is a senior industry executive and advisor with over 25 years of experience in the video game industry. He was formerly the senior vice president for corporate strategy and development at Sony Interactive Entertainment, where he was responsible for merger and acquisitions, strategy, and the securing of new content for the platform. 

In addition, Jacobs brings with him over 20 years of experience across the gaming and online casino industries, half of which were spent at an executive level. He was a standing member of the executive management team at King Digital from 2012 to 2019.

Xu is the current CEO at top Chinese animation group and Aotu World IP-owner MultiMetaverse Inc. Having previously held the position of CEO at Leyou Technologies up until its US$1.5n acquisition by Tencent, and formerly served as chief business officer at Perfect World.

Hung has more than 20 years of experience as a serial entrepreneur in mobile technology and blockchain. He has advised more than 50 blockchain companies including Catheon Gaming, Evveland Metaverse, SoundofThings, Debond Protocol, and over 30 ICOs.

Lastly, Yang joins the advisory board with over 20 years of experience in driving growth and as a deal maker across blue chip gaming and media enterprises. He is currently the chief strategy officer at Aristocrat, a global gaming content and technology provider, where he leads their group strategy, long range planning, and corporate development efforts.

William Wu, chief executive officer at Catheon Gaming, commented, “We are pleased to welcome Philip, Nainan, Jason, Daniel, Marcus, and Alex to Catheon Gaming’s Advisory Board. Their expertise and proven track records in driving value creation across businesses will be critical in helping Catheon solidify its position as the leading blockchain gaming and entertainment company, and further accelerate the tremendous growth that Catheon has already seen to date.”

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Platforms Featured APAC

Star Atlas unveils partnership with The Sandbox

Hong Kong – Star Atlas, a next-gen metaverse with triple-a game design and Unreal Engine 5 graphics built on the Solana blockchain, and The Sandbox, a leading decentralized gaming metaverse and subsidiary of Animoca Brands, today announced a partnership that aims to revolutionize gaming interoperability between the Ethereum and Solana blockchains. The relationship between the two metaverse environments launches with the Star Atlas VoxEdit contest which opens for submissions from 2 May until 15 May. 

The Star Atlas VoxEdit Contest gives players the opportunity to act as an envoy from The Sandbox with the task of visiting one of the three main galactic factions in the Star Atlas metaverse – the ONI, Ustur, and MUD. Envoys are then tasked with creating a report on what they find by designing a portrait of one of the faction’s inhabitants using The Sandbox’s free VoxEdit software. 

Winners will be voted on by the teams of both The Sandbox and Star Atlas with the results being announced on June 11. The top four winners will split 50,000 in SAND, The Sandbox’s in-game currency, and a fleet of coveted Star Atlas spaceship NFTs. 

The VoxEdit Contest is also joined by BLOND:ISH, the renowned producer, DJ, and sustainability activist, who has an existing presence in both metaverse ecosystems. Envoys exploring the Star Atlas metaverse are invited to get inspired by the cosmic sounds and create a headpiece for an intergalactic Star Atlas faction member by designing it with VoxEdit. The entry that can best immerse and entertain a space traveller will be selected by BLOND:ISH and receive lustrous Star Atlas spaceships when the Contest concludes on June 11. 

“We’re excited to announce the first of many cross-platform integrations, connecting the ecosystems of Star Atlas and The Sandbox,” said Michael Wagner, co-founder and CEO of ATMTA, Inc., the principal development studio of Star Atlas. 

“We share ambitious goals with respect to our developments within the broader metaverse, and we see this relationship as a pivotal moment to demonstrate the potential of interoperability of both game environments and blockchain protocols. The bridges we build today will serve as infrastructure of the future in seamless exploration of the infinite experiences digital world builders will create in the years to follow,” added Wagner. 

Star Atlas is a next-gen metaverse that looks to take the best of blockchain technology and real-time graphics technology to build an innovative gaming experience. Since last year, the company has brought many unique NFT products to market, including playable spaceships, that have allowed Star Atlas to generate nearly $200 million in revenue to date. 

As the metaverse’s leading decentralized gaming virtual world, The Sandbox fully embraces the idea of the metaverse as a continuous shared digital space where worlds and brands collide to make magic and create real utility and economies. StarAtlas joins over 200 existing partnerships including Paris Hilton, Snoop Dogg, Adidas, Gucci, Warner Music Group, Ledger, HSBC, and Ubisoft, among others. 

“We are proud to be partnering with Star Atlas and are excited to develop new projects with the franchise,” said Sebastien Borget, COO of The Sandbox. 

“This contest is the beginning of a new bridge linking metaverses to each other, with the goal to bring more content and cross-platform integration to both of our audiences. We can’t wait to see the amazing assets that our communities will create!” added Borget. 

Meanwhile, BLOND:ISH commented, “The coming together of metaverse ecosystems opens up a new world of possibilities for artistic expression. This innovative and collaborative Star Atlas and The Sandbox partnership is exactly what web3 is about and has the potential to create fully sustainable NFT future experiences while rallying the worldwide community around a message of creativity, curiosity and boldness to dream of what we might become. I am thrilled to activate my entire community and see what fantastic creations this contest will bring. LFG!” 

BLOND:ISH is a Canadian producer, and DJ solo act, and has collaborated with Star Atlas on augmented reality NFT experiences as well as with The Sandbox on bringing her brand to the metaverse. Her music collaboration acts include Depeche Mode, Pete Tong, and playing at festivals such as Coachella, Burning Man, and Ultra Music Festival.

Star Atlas shared that for 2022, it will be launching several major feature releases including a web-based mini-game and a full production release known as the Volant Studio Showroom, which will present cinematic quality video game visuals using Unreal Engine 5’s Nanite technology. 

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

MetaBomb launches IDO offering

Hanoi, Vietnam – MetaBomb, a play-to-earn game, is launching its IDO in April and dropping a few bombs on the GameFi market in Q2 of 2022. 

According to Binance Academy, IDO is a crypto token offering run on a Decentralized Exchange (DEX). Liquidity pools (LP) play an essential role in IDO’s by creating liquidity post-sale. A typical IDO lets users lock funds in exchange for new tokens during the token generation event. 

MetaBomb is coming closer to the final production stage and with the ideas of GameFi 2.0 in mind, this play to earn game will be the place where players can be immersed in the true potential of a metaverse.

Stepping into the GameFi market in its infancy, MetaBomb Founder Cuong Vu has experienced all its ups and downs. “It is the blooming time of GameFi and blockchain when several big names enter this space.” said Cuong Vu, CEO of MetaBomb.

MTB token is the main in-game currency. It will be used to buy Hero Box, fusion and upgrade Hero level, mainly in the first phase. The player’s income level will change naturally which requires the player to continuously reinvest in the game if they want to keep the income steady.

“The way it operates will unfold soon and promises to amaze many players,” said Vu.

He supplemented that the in-game activities and upgrading systems are tools to ensure steady funding to a balanced and healthy game economy, assuring the sustainable development of the project.

According to MetaBomb, they are currently developing and soon to launch an NFT system that has the ability to store values of assets and resist inflation just like ‘gold’ in the real world. 

The game is designed with a variety of game modes, many types of fee arising from game activities and upgrading items that will help keep the player’s pool reward stable and healthy.

Southeast Asia and South America are the go-to-markets for MetaBomb to acquire established play-to-earn game lovers. MetaBomb would later expand its marketing activities to North America, Europe, and East Asia.

The game’s Testnet version will be released on the BNB chain in April 2022.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

vivo Malaysia partners with Razer, PUBG for upcoming gaming-focused series

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Smartphone brand vivo in Malaysia has recently announced a special partnership with premiere gaming brands Razer and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG)  as they launch a brand-new smartphone series, vivo T1 series, with gaming at its heart.  

The tech company shared that the series model will be available in two colours, Turbo Black and Turbo Cyan. “Get. Set. Turbo!” is the official slogan accompanying the new T1 series, which conveys vivo Malaysia’s commitment to offering its gaming series to Malaysia soon. 

According to vivo, the partnership with Razer aims to deliver an ‘elevated gaming experience’  on a smartphone, while the tie-up with PUBG is slated to organise an upcoming campaign for Malaysians. 

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Platforms Featured Global

Riot Games announces equity investment in ‘Arcane’ animation studio Fortiche Production

Paris, France – Video game developer Riot Games, known for its online game ‘League of Legends’ has announced an equity investment to animation studio Fortiche Production, who animated the animated series ‘Arcane’, which is based on the lore of League of Legends.

Through the equity investment, Riot Games now holds a significant non-controlling stake in Fortiche. Brian Wright, chief content officer at Riot Games and Brendan Mulligan, director of corporate development at Riot Games have also joined Fortiche’s board of directors.

Riot Games and Fortiche have long worked together in creating media projects, the first one being for the music video of ‘Get Jinxed’ to promote the character Jinx on League of Legends. Other collaborations included music videos ‘WARRIORS’ and ‘Enemy’, both of which are sung by American band Imagine Dragons. Furthermore, the two companies have also worked together in music videos for ‘Seconds’, ‘RISE’, and ‘POP/STARS’, which is performed by their virtual band K/DA.

Nicolo Laurent, CEO of Riot Games, said, “Fortiche has been an integral partner for a long time, but this agreement ensures we’ll be working closely for decades to come. We hold a high bar for everyone we work with and insist they understand players deeply and focus on them relentlessly, and from day one, Fortiche has exemplified player experience first.” 

He added, “In working with Fortiche, we collaborate to push the boundaries of what’s possible and raise expectations for how games can be represented in the media. As proud as we are of Arcane, we know the best is yet to come.”

Meanwhile, Pascal Charrue, Jérôme Combe, and Arnaud Delord, co-founders of Fortiche, commented, “The various collaborations with Riot Games, and especially Arcane, have made Fortiche Production a new major player on the international animation scene. Riot Games, by trusting us, has given us the means to achieve our common ambitions and has shown that it is possible to offer new content that can reach a large audience. In 2023, we will celebrate ten years of collaboration: there is no better way to symbolise the trust and ambitions of our two companies than this association.”