Southeast Asia


Mobius Launches EVE Online in Southeast Asia

2007 will be a year of big-name games for the Philippines: AMDG with Lineage II and Level Up with Ragnarok 2. For a while, I thought Mobius was out of the gaming game, what with the opening of their online music store and the loss of their gaming guru blogger. Then, out of the blue, Mobius President Jojo Anonuevo tells me they’re launching EVE Online in Southeast Asia.

Dime-a-dozen no-name token-effort games have flooded the Philippines over the last three years. Good to see tide turn this year. Where the big boys go, the little boys will follow: expect even smaller game publishers to start offering bigger titles. With bigger games will come the maturation of the Philippine game market, perhaps to the point where it could support World of Warcraft.

On a side note, EVE Online holds the record for the biggest in-game heist in MMORPG history, to the tune of $16,500 in virtual goods — and it’s all legal within game rules, too. I bet Filipino creativity can top that.

AMDG Acquires SEA License for Lineage II

After almost a year of courtship, South Korean game development giant NCsoft and Philippine publisher Asian Media Development Group have closed a $5.5-M deal to distribute Lineage II not just in the Philippines, but across Southeast Asia.

The exclusive $5.5-million marketing and distribution deal with the South Korean company marks the first time that NCsoft has signed a non-subsidiary to distribute its game. It will also be the first time for AMDG to expand its operations outside the Philippines.

In an interview with hackenslash, AMDG chief operating officer Ronald Allan Aquino said that under the partnership, all NCsoft products, primarily Lineage II, would be solely distributed in the region, which will start in the Philippines, followed by Singapore and Malaysia.

“While we will distribute Lineage II in the Philippines, we’ll be looking for partners who will distribute it in other countries,” Aquino said.

Likewise, Aquino said they are preparing the buildup of their server facilities in the Philippines to host the local Lineage II players.

“We’ll be launching the game in the next half of the year, simultaneously in the Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia,” Aquino said.

Lineage II, including its predecessor Lineage I, is a major success among the massively online game triple-A titles that have come out of South Korea, with an estimated 14 million subscribers globally. It is currently being played in Taiwan, Japan, China, Thailand, and the United States, among others.

Asian Media Development Group (AMDG) locally distributes one of my favorite games: NCsoft’s Guild Wars. They powered through weak initial Philippine sales of Guild Wars Prophecies, reaping dividends when slow-burn word of mouth sold out Guild Wars Nightfall over a year later. The four-year-old Philippine online game market is flooded with smaller titles; AMDG is betting we’re ready for bigger brands. In terms of global subscriptions and recognition, the Lineage series is right up there with World of Warcraft; this deal brings the Philippines one step closer to WoW.

The only other MMORPG sequel announced for the Philippines this year is Ragnarok 2, and I sincerely doubt that deal went anywhere near $5.5 million. This Lineage II deal is probably the biggest in Philippine online gaming history.


Personally, I’ve been waiting for Lineage II to come to the Philippines since its stunning visuals first caught my eye two years ago. I’m definitely putting some Xfire hours into this one.

(Story by Alex Villafania. Interview video by Joey Alarilla.)