EA bets on mobile for Asia, with eyes on the Philippines

·Contributor
·2-min read
In this photo illustration an Electronic Arts Inc. logo seen displayed on a smartphone with the stock market information of Electronic Arts Inc in the background. (Photo: Illustration by Thiago Prudêncio/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
In this photo illustration an Electronic Arts Inc. logo seen displayed on a smartphone with the stock market information of Electronic Arts Inc in the background. (Photo: Illustration by Thiago Prudêncio/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Electronic Arts, one of the world's biggest game developers, is taking a more mobile centric approach for Asia.

This is especially so for markets such as the Philippines and India, which have a huge number of mobile gamers. Liam McClure, EA's Head of Creative Strategy and Player Engagement Asia, noted that these markets were great to leverage on for testing, such as its newest Apex Legends Mobile game.

"It's a great way of understanding how the games will play, what we need to tweak, what we need to change, and scale is a big part of it. And of course, there are a lot of English speakers in India and the Philippines as well," said McClure at a fireside chat at gamescom Asia 2021, which took place last week.

This also helps with localisation efforts, since EA can quickly soft launch games without needing to fully localise, McClure said, adding that the company also has an easier time of collecting feedback.

Another way of engaging its Asian audience that EA is doing is by having boots on the ground. That meant hiring locals who understood their market, said McClure. 

He pointed out places such as Indonesia and Thailand that the company has hired in, so as to be "part of the community and culture" of the country.

Listening, too, is something that McClure said EA does. Whether it's social listening, or listening to feedback, EA then uses these opportunities to engage with its gaming audience, he told the audience.

"It's understanding the players, the culture, thinking beyond gaming, and understanding the social-economic stuff as well," said McClure.

"If you're going to build a game that's not suitable for the region, you need to be aware of where you're heading into and how that product will fit within the market."

Finally, McClure pointed out that while Thailand as a games market was already very developed, he called out the potential of the Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam as great opportunities that EA is looking at.

"They are culturally diverse, they have a young and really engaged audience, and they love mobile games. It's a real opportunity for us to take the time now to understand how to show up, how to engage, and that's where we are looking to work first."

Aloysius Low is an ex-CNET editor with more than 15 years of experience. He's really into cats and is currently reviewing products at canbuyornot.com

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