Garena

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Garena
Private
Founded 2009
Headquarters Singapore
Key people
Forrest Li (Chief Operating Officer)
Website http://www.garena.com

Garena is a consumer Internet platform provider based in Asia.[1] It was founded in Singapore in 2009.

Garena exclusively distributes game titles on Garena+ in various countries across Southeast Asia and Taiwan, such as the multiplayer online battle arena games League of Legends and Heroes of Newerth, the online soccer game FIFA Online 3 and the first-person shooter games, Point Blank and Alliance of Valiant Arms.

In 2014, Garena was valued at $1 billion until the investment of the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan in the company on March 2015 increased its value to $2.5 billion.[2]

History[edit]

Garena (a portmanteau of the phrase "global arena") was founded in Singapore in 2009. Its first product, launched in 2010 was Garena+, an online game and social platform for people to discover, download and play online games.

In November 2011, Garena announced that it had publishing rights[3] for the anticipated team-based shooter game, Firefall, in Southeast Asia and Taiwan. Firefall claims to be the first team-shooter game and was awarded Anticipated MMO of 2012 in TenTonHammer’s Readers Choice contest.

In December 2011, Garena announced their collaboration[4] 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[5] 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[6] the "Dominion" game mode for Garena’s League of Legends players in Singapore and Malaysia.

In 2014, the World Startup Report valued Garena as an US$1 billion internet company [7] and ranked it as the largest internet company in Singapore.[8]

In March 2015, the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan (OTPP), one of the largest pension funds in the world, invested in Garena, valuing the company at over USD 2.5 billion.[9]

In August 2015, Garena announced that BlackShot Online will be shut down on midnight 1 September, being unable to renew the distribution license, as a result, all game distribution rights were returned to Vertigo Games, in which set up PlayOne Asia to handle the game distribution.

Products[edit]

Garena+ is an online game and social platform. 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 can create their own unique identity by customizing their avatar or changing their names. Gamers are also able to form groups or clans, and chat with multiple gamers simultaneously through public or private channels through Garena+. Garena+ users use a virtual currency, Shells.

Other products include BeeTalk, TalkTalk,[10] BeeTalk,[11] Shopee.[12]

Published games[edit]

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.

Garena-published games:

Title Genre Developer Year of launch Countries Remarks
Black Shot MMOFPS Vertigo Games 2009 Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines Service ended 31 August
Lost Saga Casual IO Entertainment 2015 Thailand, Taiwan
Point Blank MMOFPS Zepetto 2012 Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia
League of Legends MOBA Riot Games 2010 Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Russia
Heroes of Newerth MOBA Frostburn Studios 2010 Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, CIS
Duke of Mount Deer MMORPG Changyou.com 2011 Taiwan
Mstar MMODance Nurien 2009 Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore
FIFA Online 3 Sports/Soccer Electronic Arts 2013 Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Korea and Indonesia
Path of Exile ARPG Grinding Gear Games 2013 Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, CIS, Thailand
Elsword MMORPG KOG Studios 2013 Philippines Service ended 2nd of December 2015
Firefall Team Shooter/ FPS Red 5 2014 Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong and the Philippines
Alliance of Valiant Arms Team Shooter/ FPS Red Duck Inc. 2015 Singapore, Malaysia
Vindictus MMORPG devCAT 2015 Thailand
Thunder Strike Vertical Scroller sunmosh 2015 Thailand, Taiwan

Events and tournaments[edit]

In May 2012, Garena 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.[13]

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.[14]

In November 2014 the Garena e-Sports Stadium, a dedicated venue for esports, opened in Neihu District, Taipei.[15] The studios was built partially to accommodate the beginning of the League of Legends Masters Series, the top-level Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau LoL league that was spun-off of the GPL.

In January 2015, Garena launched Iron Solari League, a women's League of Legends tournament in the Philippines.[16] It is a monthly event organized in the second half of each month. It aims to encourage participation by under-represented groups and is open to all those who self-identify as female.

Besides competitive tournaments, Garena also organizes events to cater to users to meet and connect offline. This includes the annual Garena Carnival held in Singapore and Malaysia.[17]

Controversies[edit]

On February 3, 2015, Garena eSports announced limitations on the number of gay and transgender people participating in a women-only League of Legends tournament, due to concerns that LGBT participants may have an "unfair advantage". This led to gamers questioning the decision, while League of Legends developer Riot Games responded that "LGBT players are welcome at official LoL tourneys". On February 4, 2015, Garena apologized and subsequently removed the restrictions.[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lee, Terence. "Garena raises money from Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, reaches $200M in revenue". Tech in Asia. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  2. ^ http://www.forbes.com/sites/lisachanson/2015/03/27/garena-and-tencent-shine-a-light-on-southeast-asias-booming-digital-games-market/
  3. ^ "Yahoo! News". Garena snags exclusive Firefall distribution rights for US$23 million. 
  4. ^ "Gamer.com.tw". Duke of Mount Deer. 
  5. ^ "PC Home". Duke of Mount Deer. 
  6. ^ "GameAxis". Dominion Officially Launched on Garena. 
  7. ^ http://www.businessinsider.sg/singapores-tech-company-garena-valued-usd1-billion/#.VNwhl_mUcoc
  8. ^ http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2014/07/daily-chart-6
  9. ^ http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/3f6ba438-bfff-11e4-9708-00144feab7de.html#axzz3TBsGG8Rp
  10. ^ http://intl.garena.com/talktalk/
  11. ^ "Garena - The Official Site". www.garena.sg. Retrieved 2016-07-04. 
  12. ^ "Shopee: Buy and sell on mobile". www.shopee.sg. Retrieved 2016-07-04. 
  13. ^ "Watch the Opening of Garena Premier League 2012 Season". League Craft. 
  14. ^ "Garena Premier League". Garena. 
  15. ^ "【活動】台灣史上第一座『Garena 電子競技館』隆重登場!". Garena. 2014-10-29. Retrieved 2015-11-13. 
  16. ^ Mitchell, Ferguson (February 3, 2015). "All-female League of Legends tournament in the Philippines to limit LGBT participation". The Daily Dot. Retrieved November 13, 2015. 
  17. ^ Putra, Ade (May 12, 2015). "Garena Carnival 2015 Will Be at Suntec on 13–14 June [Updated]". GameAxis. Retrieved November 13, 2015. 
  18. ^ Stuart, Keith (2015-02-04). "Pro-gaming tournament attempts to limit gay and transgender players". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-04-10. 

External links[edit]