With PGC Helsinki just around the corner, we’re finding out more and more about the startling insights that are set to be unveiled this coming week.
One of our speakers will be Michael Mucci, head of account management at Razer. As part of the team driving Razer’s alternative payments efforts, he has a unique insight into the growth of Razer Gold, their mobile rewards system. Most recently this program has brought on board none other than Finnish giant Supercell. So, with Finland as our focus for the week ahead, we caught up with him to find out more.
Can you start off by telling us a little about what makes the alternative payment market so important for Razer?
At Razer we are gamers ourselves who look at the holistic experience of gaming. Our community of 200 million users worldwide engage with our hardware which offers players ultimate gaming performance, software which optimizes our hardware while also deepening the immersive experience, and our services around payment.
Payments are an important piece of the holistic experience around gaming. As the business model around games has shifted more towards Games as a Service over the past decade - be it season passes or in-game currencies – the ability to purchase online has become more important. This is more evident in the emerging markets who typically do not have large populations adopting online payment methods. These same markets represent some of the largest gaming audiences in the world and the fastest growing players bases worldwide. For us at Razer, it is important to build a product and service for this part of our community - the largest, youngest, and growing.
You've been working with Supercell recently to bring their games onto the Razer Gold programme. Have you seen interest expressed by other Finnish studios?
With Supercell, we are just getting started. Finland is home to some of the best game developers in the world. There are some great partners in Finland we can lend our services to. That is why we’re attending PGC this year.
Are there any talks you're interested in seeing at PGC Helsinki?
I’m very interested in attending the talks around The Regulation of Free-to-Play and Legal Risks of Loot Boxes. These are complex topics being addressed by regulatory bodies worldwide in various ways. The outcomes of these conversations will dynamically shift the way the industry conducts itself today.
What do you think makes events like Pocket Gamer Connects important for educating people on aspects of the game industry, including alternative payment systems?
It takes a village to build, ship, and maintain a game successfully. There are people with great business ideas and great concepts out there without a village around them. The breadth of industries gathered and the depth of experience from those participating at PCG create an environment akin to such a village. For those aspiring and involved in the gaming industry, PCG offers a place to participate in leveling up the quality of one’s games. That is what excites me as a gamer with such events. They raise the overall quality of the industry. Both for my personal consumption, but also in giving back to the next generation of gamers. So that they might be as impacted as I have been by gaming in my lifetime.
Is there anything new in the pipeline for Razer that you can tell us about?
Our partnership with Sega will start this month with launching payments for Hatsune Miku: Colourful Stage! Meanwhile we are always launching new content through our partnerships with Tencent, miHoYo, and many others. Watch this space for more news to come on Razer Gold.