Singtel, AIS and SK together for gaming JV
SK Telecom has joined forces with Thailand's AIS and Singapore's Singtel to launch a new partnership to develop new gaming-related revenue streams.
The investment in a regional joint venture builds on an earlier Memorandum of Understanding with the intention of pursuing riches in the increasingly popular gaming sector. Designed to be a venture relevant across the South-east Asian region, the trio will partner with various international partners to leverage their presence in various markets.
"Gaming is growing in popularity as digital entertainment for our customers in the region," said Arthur Lang, CEO of Singtel's International Group. "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."
Although gaming is already incredibly popular in some markets around the world, improvements in connectivity and mobile devices have opened this segment up to new audiences, new experiences and new ways to make money. 5G is also touted to bring new elements to this segment, thanks to higher download speeds and improved latency.
"The games market in Thailand is showing remarkable growth," said Alistair David Johnston, MD of New Business at AIS. "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."
While AIS will bring experience in esports and digital content to the partnership, SK Telecom is bringing expertise from the hugely successful Korean entertainment and gaming industry, and Singtel's is said to bring deep regional knowledge, digital and telco assets. With 800 million gamers across the region, it certainly does look like an attractive proposition.