Singtel, together with its Thai associate AIS and South Korea’s SK Telecom, have announced a Series A investment in a regional gaming joint venture to reinforce their presence in the sector and develop new gaming-related revenue streams. The investment also marks the next step in the partnership between Singtel and SK Telecom, following an earlier Memorandum of Understanding inked to develop the region’s gaming and esports ecosystem.
The joint venture will partner with leading international game developers, and leverage the partners’ Korean and Southeast Asian gaming and entertainment content offering to engage the 800 million gamers in the region. It will benefit from Singtel’s deep regional knowledge, digital and telco assets, SK Telecom’s expertise as a pioneer in Korean entertainment and gaming, and AIS’ experience in esports and digital content.
Mr Arthur Lang, CEO of Singtel’s International Group, said, “Gaming is growing in popularity as digital entertainment for our customers in the region. There are some 200 million gamers in our markets, and the numbers continue to grow. In the past two years, we’ve worked with various partners in the gaming ecosystem on regional esports efforts, such as PVP Esports, to connect with Gen Z and millennial audiences. This has received strong support from the community and spurred us to deepen our engagement beyond esports into gaming content distribution. We’ve built a team of technology and gaming veterans to lead the charge as we take our next big step. By combining our strengths with SK Telecom and AIS, both pioneers in entertainment, esports and gaming, we can contribute significantly to the gaming scene – from offering local community engagement solutions to content and payment channels, which are often regarded by game developers as challenges to enter Asian markets. We look forward to launching our new initiative later this year.”
“SK Telecom is delighted to participate in the joint venture with Singtel and AIS,” said Mr Charles Huh, Vice President and Head of Private Placement Group at SK Telecom. “Building on our extensive experience in the area of gaming, which includes the successful establishment of T1, a global esports joint venture with Comcast Spectator, and long-standing leadership in mobile game distribution in Korea, SK Telecom will help create a new level of gaming experience by providing popular Korean gaming content throughout the Asia-Pacific region.”
Mr Alistair David Johnston, Managing Director of New Business at AIS, said, “The games market in Thailand is showing remarkable growth. There are over 27 million active gamers across all platforms, with revenue in 2019 exceeding 23 billion baht, and expected to increase to 27 billion baht in 2020. AIS has been a pioneer in the Thai esports space, hosting several successful tournaments. AIS’ industry-leading fixed and mobile networks also provide a great gaming experience to our customers. We are very excited to be joining forces with Singtel and SK Telecom in developing this new venture. We aim to provide a great experience to all gamers in Thailand and across the region.”
The joint venture is not expected to have a material impact on Singtel Group’s financials.