Monday, February 19, 2007

Bring it on :)

Thanks to everyone who voted on the poll! It looks like this post will be about Level-up's competitors (^^;). Anyway, for the sake of keeping my job and protecting myself from libel, I won't bother giving away names. Hopefully you guys will be able to figure out which one is which. Lastly, this is my personal take on it, and this is not the official stand of Level-up Games or ePLDT.

In all honesty, we should all welcome competition. This forces Level-up and other companies to provide better services and promotions. This is definitely a good thing for the Philippine community because they will get a better gaming experience than what they got before. Companies will have to innovate and re-invent themselves in order to keep a good share of the market. Not only does this benefit the existing community, it also grows the industry itself. New titles means new marketing budgets - more money to burn on raising awareness and converting people into gamers.

However, what bugs me is the audacity of some companies to claim that they are the leading local publisher and that they have the leading games in the country. The sad thing about the online gaming industry is that there is no third party entity that monitors the progress and growth of each company. With this in mind, no one can actually claim the mantle of leadership. Unfortunately we have to rely on PR - something that these companies feed the media. It all boils down to how loud each company is shouting that they are number 1 (which is kinda funny).

What is the basis for saying that you're number one? Concurrent users? Revenue? Unique Users? Registered Users? Number of cafes covered? Screen shares in cafes?

There are a lot of factors and definitely a lot of views and arguements. However, it is with firm conviction that I say that Level-up Games remains to be the King of the Hill. Obviously I can't disclose exact numbers but I've managed games that are subscription and free-to-play. Right now I'm even handling a Hybrid (Ragnarok). From all the experience I have... I can pretty much say that you will always get a lot of players with a free-to-play business model but you will never make as much as subscription or hybrid models. If the day comes that a third party entity steps in and allows us to disclose numbers, you will know what I mean.

I know there will always be people who hold different views - and I respect all of your opinons. It is a challenge for myself and Level-up to assure and prove without a shadow of a doubt that we are still the market leader. That's why I keep saying 2007 will be a big year. Because this year everyone will bring out the big guns.

I've been at both ends - being the player who hated the company and being the company trying to reach out to the player. I feel like I've been put in a position that I have to heal old wounds and keep on reaching out. You know what's comforting? I look around now at Level-up and I see people just like me. People who share a passion for gaming, for improving service and protecting the community. A lot of managers that I worked with in netGames are here now because of the merger. These people have the same vision and conviction as I have.

People ask me a lot these days what I think about the new games and companies coming in. How will this affect Level-up? How will this affect Ragnarok Online? How will this affect the gaming community at-large? What will happen this 2007? I just have three words - BRING IT ON.

Before I end this post, let me thank you the Philippine gaming community for making the industry grow. Cheers to a wonderful 2007!



kiven said...

parang radio stations ah =)

Mike Abundo said...

Yes, this will be an interesting year. Gamers are becoming more demanding, more sophisticated, more aware of their choices. They won't take bullshit from game publishers anymore.

GM Tristan III said...

Ahh...yes... I can vouch for Wauks. He used to be a Jedi. Now I have converted him to the Dark Side of the Sith. Together, we will rule the...

But seriously, the Pinoy gaming industry is still at its infancy. It's good that it grows. There's a difference between friendly (and beneficial) business competition vs. mud-slinging and dirty laundry tactics.

The key here for growth is not be content with stealing each other's userbase but continually adding new blood into the system.

Now, Wauks... why rule the industry when we can rule the Galaxy! Wakokoko

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