One day before the official opening, fans drove to SM North EDSA from different parts of the metro to get in line and to be the first people to catch the first day opening of #RazerStorePH in the country. Razer‘s first Philippine store opened on Aug. 15, 2015.
Razer is an American company that specializes in top-shelf gaming laptops, peripherals, and related products.
We had the chance to meet and have an exclusive interview with Razer’s co-founder and CEO Min-Liang Tan on the pre-opening day. Here’s what Min have to say about coming to Manila.
We held a poll, a voting poll, right after the opening of Taiwan store. We asked “where would you like us to open the next store?”, and the Pinoy gamers came together and we were surprised with a whole lot of voting metrics go up. And here we are. It’s in line with our philosophy of following what the community tells us what to do. And here we are in RazerStore Manila.
How did you organize the poll survey?
We did it online. We did it on Facebook and the result was stunning. We saw a lot of interests from Pinoy gamers. But will definitely put up another poll for the next RazerStore.
What do you expect from Pinoy gamers in terms of sales?
That’s an interesting question. From the time that the poll’s closed to the time we’ve finally decided, we didn’t do any financial projections. We didn’t make any financial decisions and we just decided from the poll itself. It’s less of our expectations from a sales perspective because this isn’t a financial decision, this isn’t an irrational decision. But I think more importantly is we like to give back to the community. We want this to be a great place for gamers to gather, to hangout and have great time. In fact, the gamers over here aren’t expected to buy anything. We’ve realized that we got a huge number of fans, that may not be necessarily be our customers at this point in time.
What was your impression in the local gaming scenes, the e-sports, and gaming developments here in the Philippines?
I think the fans here are crazy, passionate; which is very cool crazy in a good way. That’s one reason why we are here today, because of the passion of the fans. I will be candid that I’m not so familiar with the game development scene over here but one of the things that I’ve realized is that virtual reality hasn’t really been brought over here in the Philippines. One of the things that we want to do (because we are the founding members of OSVR – Open Source Virtual Reality), is to get in touch with leading technology universities over here (the game developing studios) and work with them set a VR lab. That’s the kind of stuff that we want to do. And I’m hoping that somebody from the university will reach out to me and say “Hey I want a VR lab in Manila or in the Philippines!”
We are absolutely excited to start supporting that.
How about on Android games development?
We will be definitely interested in Android TV. At some point it’s not difficult for us to move from Android TV to mobile phone platform. That’s also one of the most popular questions I’m getting for the past 2 to 3 years like, “When do I get a Razer phone?”
For us, every time we design a product, we make sure that we spent a lot time to making sure it’s perfect and it wont lose things that we wont to be able to give, the best experience, for the gamers.
What is your favorite Razer product?
That’s another popular question. Honestly, me and my team spent a lot of time making sure that every single product meets the Razer standards. I can’t tell you which is my favorite because all of them are just so much part of us.
How about naming at least 3 of your favorite games?
I like the Civilization series. Fundamentally, I like Quake because that is one of the first game I played relatively, back in the day.
I like Ultima IV, which is really an old-school kind of game but it’s probably the precursor to the MMOs (massively multiplayer online) that I enjoyed playing like Warcraft and stuff like that. It was one of those first games that, you know, it wasn’t just for hacking and slashing all the time.
Is Razer considering to explore the lifestyle market?
One of the most popular questions I get is “when is Razer gonna go mainstream?” And that’s a cool part, right? And I say, we’ll never go mainstream. We’re just happy with what we’re doing. I mean, if wanted to be a company 10x the size of Razer today, we will make budget line and stuff like that. we could do that tomorrow. But. It’s that what we truly want? In life? There’s more to life than money.
But with that much said, while Razer is never gonna go mainstream, what we’ll gonna do is bring mainstream to Razer. We’re gonna try to get as many gamers out there, sponsored. I think we are just really focused on people who like to have fun. I think there’s more to life than… a lot of people are getting a little bit too serious, I think. That’s our philosophy in life.
Being listed among the “Top 10 Most Influential Leaders in Tech” in 2015 by Juniper Research, what is your mantra in leading a successful company?
I think, it’s a huge honor to be listed among the ‘most influential leaders in tech’, but I think one of the most important for myself is the validation of what we’ve done for the gamers out there that it’s a real representation of how gaming has become so important as part of entertainment. And from us, I think it’s all about focus – For gamers. By gamers.
I think that has been the mantra. Focus on the gamers, and that’s what we do.
Advise to the gamers especially to the younger generations?
Everything is about moderation. You know, I’m passionate about gaming. It’s like TV in the past, right? Too much TV and stuff like that. I think technology is so pervasive that it has to be at some level part of life. But if you’re constantly obsessed with… And don’t get me wrong. I suffered from it myself. Being attached to my mobile phone all the time or playing games all the time. But I think it’s more on moderation and that’s also one of the reasons why we set up a Razer store because we think it’s a great place for gamers to gather. You know, have fun, go to the mall, gonna hangout play games but have some face-to-face interaction rather than hiding behind, being toxic for example.
We really hope that one thing that people can do is just incredible lot of fun.
With an invitation to the Philippines‘ large gaming community to “Touch, Play, Stay“, the RazerStore Manila is outfitted with 6 gaming stations for public use, consisting of 5 Razer Blade gaming laptops, one NZXTH440 – designed by Razercase house PC and a selection of professional-grade Razer peripherals.
The RazerStore Manila is located at RazerStore Level 4, Cyberzone, The Annex, SM City North EDSA.
For more information about the RazerStore Manila, visit www.facebook.com/events/496666860492880/
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