The popular method for starting an online gaming company in the Philippines is that you talk to a developer in Korea and then you pay for the license of their game for a specific locality. You set-up the servers here and form the various departments needed to keep the game running. However, due to the high capital needed and operational costs involved in this type of business, companies are now making themselves payment gateways for international games instead of localizing.
Mobius recently announced that their local cards can be used to buy game time for Eve Online. Eve Online is a popular international sci-fi MMORPG brand that has a huge following in China and in the United States. Level-up Games also has the same deal with Silkroad Online. Local gamers can now buy in-game currency for the item mall using Level-up Top-up cards. Why the sudden move?
As I said earlier, it is really expensive to run an online gaming company. You will need a massive sales force that has to cover the entire Philippines. You will also need a very competent marketing and operations teams. Management will also have to come up with various support departments like Creatives and Marketing Services in order to fully promote their products. Companies will even have to pay for hosting their servers here, and let’s not even talk about how expensive the hardware is.
When you do a payment gateway scheme, you will just have to pay royalty for your card sales and the rest of the profit goes to your company. The servers will be international and even the events will be run by the international GM Team. Marketing promos and the like will be driven by the developer, and all you have to do is to constantly roll-out when there is a new major patch or update for your game. The bad thing about this is that you won’t have much of a say in the in-game marketing efforts and the development of the product. Your success will be limited to the capability of your developer to deliver good in-game events and promotions.
Payment Gateways are a sign of things to come. I strongly believe that the online gaming industry will boom, especially if the internet infrastructure matures and more people start hooking their houses up with broadband DSL connections. Let’s also take into consideration the sudden boom in the internet cafe business. Right now we have more than 10,000 internet cafes in the Philippines, and the numbers are climbing constantly, especially with more games coming in. If the growth of the industry continues, it is really not that surprising if a local company snags a payment gateway deal with Blizzard for World of Warcraft. When that happens, we’ll be seeing Taurens and Night Elves screaming “ASA!” all over the place, hehe.
About the PTB Guest Blogger:
Carlo “œWauks” Ople currently works as the Brand Manager for Ragnarok Online for Level-up Games. He maintains a blog, Waukster Online, which aims to give readers a glimpse of how life is working for an online gaming company.