Online game publishers
eyeing Philippine market
By Erwin Lemuel G. Oliva

FOREIGN online game publishers are considering the Philippines as another Asian market to launch massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) following the success of a South Korean game called "Ragnarok" in the country, a local game publisher said.

"A lot of (South) Korean content providers have contacted us offering their product," said Maria Java, Mobius director for corporate communications.

Mobius acquired the exclusive license to offer Webzen Inc.'s MU Online, a popular South Korean-born MMORPG, in the Philippines.

"Webzen Inc., is a publicly traded company in both the Korean stock market and Nasdaq. They're one of the leaders in Korea's gaming industry. So when the giant chose us, all these other game developers followed suit. A couple of them have actually flown over here to present their products to us," Java said.

Mobius, however, turned down offers to introduce other online games to the Philippines, and decided to focus on MU Online, she said.

She disclosed that Vivendi Universal Games was among the foreign game publishers that had done "some shopping" in the country.

Vivendi was looking at offering "World of Warcraft" through existing game publishers in the Philippines.

Java said that Vivendi was "tight-lipped" about anyone bagging the exclusive license to offer the popular online game in the country.

Filipino game developer Anino Entertainment is also looking at developing a local online game, one of its developers told

Anino developed the PC adventure game "Anito," which eventually bagged the best audio award in the Independent Games Festival in the US early this year.

Gabby Dizon, game developer for Anino, said that the local startup was thinking of developing a Filipino online game that would be different from existing games offered by South Koreans.

MMORPGs are computer games played by thousands of online players simultaneously. They usually feature sprawling environments, where players can interact, trade and even engage in duels, tournaments

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