|Key people||Forrest Li (CEO)|
Garena is an online gaming services provider and distributor.
The company entered the competitive online gaming industry in 2007 and created the largest online game platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, Garena+. Through Garena+, gamers are able to play multiplayer online games with each other. The program includes a social element where players can meet, chat, share tips and strategies, etc.
Garena also exclusively distributes game titles in various countries across Southeast Asia and Taiwan, such as the multiplayer online battle arena games Defense of the Ancients, League of Legends and Heroes of Newerth, action role-playing game Path of Exile and the first-person shooter game Black Shot.
In 2007, Garena evolved as an e-sports community. In 2009, Forrest Li and his friends incorporated Garena in Singapore. In 2010, Garena expanded its presence to include Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia and the CIS. In 2012, Tencent acquired majority stake of Garena.
Garena+ is a game platform that can be downloaded for free and it has an interface similar to instant messaging platforms. Garena+ features allows gamers to develop buddy lists, chat with friends online and check on game progress and achievements. Gamers are also able to form groups or clans, and chat with multiple gamers simultaneously through public or private channels through Garena+. Additional to the G+, Garena has provided a GTalk platform which is useful for gamers to interact in a better way.
According to the company, Garena+ surpassed 1 million monthly active users within the first year of its launch in 2010.[unreliable source?]
Like other online game service providers, Garena+ users use a virtual currency, Shells. Gamers can create their own unique identity by customizing their avatar or changing their names. Users can also use the Shells to purchase Gold memberships for instant access to the platform anytime, to create clans, or just to get themselves “unbanned”.
Garena provides a platform for game titles such as Defense of the Ancients and Age of Empires, and also publishes premium game titles, including multiplayer online battle arena games League of Legends, Heroes of Newerth and Black Shot for players in the region.
|Title||Genre||Developer||Year of launch||Countries|
|Black Shot||MMOFPS||Vertigo Games||2009||Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines|
|League of Legends||MOBA||Riot Games||2010||Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia|
|Heroes of Newerth||MOBA||S2 Games||2010||Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia|
|Duke of Mount Deer||MMORPG||Changyou.com||2011||Taiwan|
|Perfect World||MMORPG||WanMei Games||2012||Malaysia, Singapore and other countries|
|Mstar||Music||Nurien||2012||Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore|
|FIFA Online 3||Sports/Soccer||Electronic Arts||2013||Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia|
|Path of Exile||MMORPG||Grinding Gear Games||2013||Malaysia and Singapore|
|Firefall||Team Shooter/ FPS||Red 5||TBA||Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Hong Kong and the Philippines|
In November 2011, Garena announced that it had publishing rights for the anticipated team-based shooter game, Firefall, in Southeast Asia and Taiwan. Firefall claims to be the first team-shooter game and was recently awarded Anticipated MMO of 2012 in TenTonHammer’s Readers Choice contest. Firefall recently unveiled a new cosplay development video featuring former American Gladiator Lee Reherman and well-known cosplayer Crystal Graziano.
In December 2011, Garena announced their first collaboration with online games developer Changyou to publish and operate the popular 3D martial arts game Duke of Mount Deer in Taiwan. The game is the first MMORPG game available through Garena+. The game combines a classic Chinese story with the latest 3D rendering technology and cinematic quality graphics. Duke of Mount Deer was created by several top online-gaming experts from China and South Korea and has gained much popularity in China.
Also, in December 2011, Garena released the “Dominion” game mode for Garena’s League of Legends players in Singapore and Malaysia.
In November 2012, Garena was announced as a winner in the 2012 Red Herring Top 100 Asia Award and eventually the Red Herring Top 100 Global Award. In the same month, Garena was also ranked number 15 in the Deloitte Technology Fast 500™ Asia Pacific 2012.
Events and tournaments
Garena has been a strong advocate for the development of e-sports and regularly organizes local and regional tournaments to provide platforms for gamers to compete and realize their dream of playing professionally.
Besides competitive tournaments, Garena also organizes events to cater to users to meet and connect offline. This includes the annual Garena Carnival held in both Singapore and Malaysia.
In one of the most well-known competitive game events worldwide,WCG, League of Legends has been added as one of the official game titles. For the past two years, Garena has participated at the WCG Asian legs held in Singapore. In 2011, the top Heroes of Newerth teams from Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines were sponsored by Garena to represent their countries and compete in the WCG Asian qualifiers in Singapore.
In May 2012, Garena officially launched the Garena Premier League (GPL), a six-month long online professional gaming league with more than 100 matches to be played. The first season of GPL is a League of Legends competition which comprises six professional teams. The teams are: the Bangkok Titans, KL Hunters, Manila Eagles, Saigon Jokers, Taipei Assassins and Singapore Sentinels, which represent top players from respective countries. GPL matches are captured and broadcast online along with commentaries, which are available for viewers to watch on the GPL official website.
In October 2012, Taiwan-based eSports team, the Taipei Assassins (TPA) won the League of Legends Season Two Championships held at Galen Center in Los Angeles. The Assassins — Stanley, Lilballz, Toyz, Bebe, MiSTakE, colalin, NeXAbc and their manager Erica — beat their contenders South Korean team Azubu Frost three games to one in a best-of-five to secure the US$1,000,000 cash prize and coveted handcrafted Summoner's Cup. The competition was watched live by nearly 20,000 people at the center while more than a million people watched via the livestream and TV. The competition had 12 teams from around the world competing for total prize money of US$2 million.
In January 2013, Garena announced the second season of the Garena Premier League would start on 4 Jan 2013. Garena Premier League 2013 includes two new teams from Taiwan and Vietnam bringing the total number of teams to eight. The teams are: AHQ, Saigon Fantastic Five (SF5), Bangkok Titans, KL Hunters, Manila Eagles, Saigon Jokers, Taipei Assassins and Singapore Sentinels.
Two USA-made games have their South East Asian versions hosted by Garena, namely League of Legends and Heroes of Newerth. Garena has made agreements with the publishers of these two games (Riot Games for LoL and S2 Games for HoN) to prevent Southeast Asian gamers from accessing the North American and European game servers via IP blocking. The rationale given was that this was a common practice among game publishers. This initially led to public outrage even among the North American gamers. In 2010, Southeast Asian gamers complained of finding it hard to play the game as the SEA player base of these two games are too small. Conversely, it was recently announced that League of Legends had surpassed 1 million players in Taiwan alone.
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