Razer is summoning a giant gun because it bids to develop its cell gaming technique. The Hong Kong-listed firm — which sells laptops, smartphones and gaming peripherals — stated immediately it’s working with Tencent on a raft of initiatives associated to smartphone-based video games.
The collaboration will cowl , software program and companies. A number of the goals embrace optimizing Tencent video games — which embrace megahit PUBG and Fortnite — for Razer’s smartphones, cell controllers and its Cortex Android launcher app. The duo additionally stated they could “discover extra monetization alternatives for cell gaming” which may see Tencent combine Razer’s companies, which embrace a rewards/loyalty program, in some areas.
The information comes on the identical day as Razer’s latest earnings, which noticed annual income develop 38 % to succeed in $712.four million. Razer recorded a internet lack of $97 million for the yr, up from $164 million in 2017.
The large identify partnership announcement comes at an opportune time for Razer, which has struggled to persuade traders of its enterprise. The corporate was amongst a wave of much-championed tech firms to go public in Hong Kong — Razer’s listing raised over $500 million in late 2017 — however its share worth has struggled. Razer presently trades at HK$1.44, which is a way down from a HK$three.88 checklist worth and HK$four.58 on the finish of its buying and selling day debut. Razer CEO Min Liang Tan has previously lamented a lack of tech savviness within Hong Kong’s public markets regardless of a flurry of IPOs, which have included names like native companies large Meituan.
Nabbing Tencent, which is one among (if not the) greatest video games firms on the planet, is a PR coup, however it stays to be seen simply what influence the connection can have at this stage. Subsequent tie-ins, and probably an investor, could be notable developments and maybe constructive indicators that the market is searching for.
Nonetheless, Razer CEO Min Liang Tan is bullish concerning the firm’s prospects on cell.
The corporate’s Razer smartphones had been by no means designed to be ‘iPhone-killers’ that bought on quantity, however there’s nonetheless uncertainty across the unit with recent reports suggesting the third-generation cellphone could have been canceled following some layoffs. (Tan declined to touch upon that.)
Cellular is hard — simply ask previous giants like LG and HTC about that… — and Razer’s cellphone and gaming-focus was rapidly copied by others, together with a fairly brazen clone effort from Xiaomi, to make gross sales significantly difficult. However Liang maintains that, in doing so, Razer created a cell gaming cellphone market that didn’t exist earlier than, and finally that’s extra essential than shifting its personal smartphones.
“Nobody was speaking about gaming smartphones [before the Razer phone], with out us doing that, the style would nonetheless be perceived as informal gaming,” Tan instructed TechCrunch in an interview. “Even from day one, it was about creating this new class… we don’t see others as competitors.”
With that in thoughts, he stated that this yr is about specializing in the software program aspect of Razer’s cell gaming enterprise.
Tan stated Razer “won’t ever” publish video games as Tencent and others do, as an alternative, he stated that the concentrate on serving to discovery, making a extra immersive expertise and tying in different companies, which embrace its Razer Gold loyalty factors.
Outdoors of gaming, Razer can also be making a push into funds via a service that operates in Southeast Asia. Fuelled by the acquisition of MOL one year ago, Razer has moved from permitting folks to purchase credit score over-the-counter to launch an e-wallet in two international locations, Malaysia and Singapore, because it goes after a slice Southeast Asia’s fintech increase which has attracted non-traditional gamers that embrace AirAsia, Seize and Go-Jek amongst others.