Netopia Woos Gamers Anew with CyberLeague Gaming Tournament Relaunch

CyberLeague 2010

Netopia is now the biggest Internet cafe chain in the Philippines, catering mostly to mainstream Internet users in malls — but it wasn’t always so. Back in the bad old days of 56kbps dial-up Internet, most of Netopia’s business came from PC gamers.

As the Internet became more mainstream, and mallgoers started emailing and chatting and social networking, gaming at Netopia dwindled to the point that it made up only 25% of their business. Independent Internet cafes, with their low prices and cozy atmosphere and late-night operating hours, currently hold a huge chunk the Filipino gaming market.

Ambiance Versus Infrastructure

During the mid-2000s, Netopia experimented with a luxurious gaming lounge they called the “Extreme Gaming Grounds” or EGG. While I very much enjoyed playing in such a well-appointed gaming arena, EGG cost three times as much to build as a regular Netopia branch. The economics were unsustainable.

Clearly, Netopia couldn’t win back gamers with ambiance alone. Intrepid Filipino gamers can still find two smaller EGGs operating today, but the gaming lounges simply aren’t a huge part of Netopia’s business.

While a nationwide network of mall branches filled with mainstream Internet users doesn’t provide the coziness of a gaming lounge, it does provide the infrastructure for nationwide gaming tournaments. Netopia now hopes to leverage that infrastructure in a bid to win back gamers, by relaunching its annual gaming tournament. Dormant since 2005, Netopia’s CyberLeague tournament returns with a vengeance in 2010. Click here to continue reading “Netopia Woos Gamers Anew with CyberLeague Gaming Tournament Relaunch”…

Alodia Fans Day Videos

Ashley Gosiengfiao sings.

Event organizer Azrael Coladilla posts videos from Alodia Fans Day. Check out Filipina gamer sisters Alodia and Ashley Gosiengfiao as they perform live on stage, in full costume. Ashley is an experienced vocalist, while Alodia sings live for the first time ever — and in Japanese, at that. Click here to continue reading “Alodia Fans Day Videos”…