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Garena is a digital entertainment platform, developing and publishing online PC and mobile digital content in Southeast Asia and Taiwan. It was founded in Singapore in 2009, by current Chairman and Group CEO, Forrest Li.
|Forrest Li (CEO)|
|Parent||Sea (NYSE: SE)|
Garena's first self-developed title, Free Fire, is one of the world’s most popular mobile battle royale games. Free Fire was the second most downloaded game on the Google Play store in Q4 2018, and was the fourth most-downloaded game worldwide in 2018 on the iOS and Google Play Store combined. Also known as Garena Free Fire, it received approximately 182 million downloads in 2018, making it the year's second most-downloaded mobile battle royale game (above Fortnite and behind only PUBG Mobile), and grosses approximately $19.3 million in monthly revenue as of December 2018.
Garena distributes game titles on Garena+ in various countries across Southeast Asia, Taiwan, and Latin America. They include the multiplayer online battle arena games League of Legends and Heroes of Newerth, the online soccer game FIFA Online 3, and mobile racing game Speed Drifters.
In 2014, Garena was valued at $1 billion until the investment of the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan in the company on March 2015 increased its value to $2.5 billion.
Garena (a portmanteau of the phrase "global arena") was founded in Singapore in 2009. Its first product, launched in 2010 was Garena+, an online game and social platform for people to discover, download and play online games.
In November 2011, Garena announced that it had publishing rights for the anticipated team-based shooter game, Firefall, in Southeast Asia and Taiwan. Firefall claims to be the first team-shooter game and was awarded Anticipated MMO of 2012 in TenTonHammer's Readers Choice contest.
In December 2011, Garena announced their collaboration with online games developer, Changyou, to publish and operate the popular 3D martial arts game, Duke of Mount Deer, in Taiwan. The game is the first MMORPG game available through Garena+. The game combines a classic Chinese story with the latest 3D rendering technology and cinematic quality graphics. Duke of Mount Deer was created by several top online-gaming experts from China and South Korea and has gained much popularity in China.
Also in December 2011, Garena CEO Forrest Li released the "Dominion" game mode for Garena's League of Legends players in Singapore and Malaysia.
In August 2015, Garena announced that BlackShot Online would be shut down at midnight on 1 September, having been unable to renew the distribution license. As a result, all game distribution rights were returned to Vertigo Games, which set up PlayOne Asia to handle the game distribution. Later, Garena published another FPS called Alliance of Valiant Arms.
Garena+ is an online game and social platform. It has an interface similar to instant messaging platforms. Garena+ features allows gamers to develop buddy lists, chat with friends online and check on game progress and achievements. Gamers can create their own unique identity by customizing their avatar or changing their names. Gamers are also able to form groups or clans, and chat with multiple gamers simultaneously through public or private channels through Garena+. Garena+ users use a virtual currency, Shells.
Garena provides a platform for game titles such as Defense of the Ancients and Age of Empires, and also publishes premium game titles, including multiplayer online battle arena games League of Legends, Heroes of Newerth and Black Shot for players in the region.
|Title||Genre||Developer||Year of launch||Countries||Remarks|
|Black Shot||MMOFPS||Vertigo Games||2009||Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines||Closed 31 August 2015|
|Mstar||MMODance||Nurien||2009||Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore|
|League of Legends||MOBA||Riot Games||2010||Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, Philippines, Taiwan/Hong Kong/Macau, Thailand, Vietnam|
|GKART||Racing Game||Tencent||2010||Singapore||Closed 31 March 2012|
|Heroes of Newerth||MOBA||Frostburn Studios||2010||Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, CIS|
|Duke of Mount Deer||MMORPG||Changyou.com||2011||Taiwan|
|Point Blank||MMOFPS||Zepetto||2012||Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia||Closed 28 June 2017|
|Path of Exile||ARPG||Grinding Gear Games||2013||Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, CIS, Thailand||Closed 14 November 2016|
|Elsword||MMORPG||KOG Studios||2013||Philippines||Closed 2 December 2015|
|Firefall||Team Shooter/ FPS||Red 5||2014||Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and the Philippines|
|Lost Saga||Casual||IO Entertainment||2015||Thailand, Taiwan||Closed 3 December 2017|
|Thunder Strike||Vertical Scroller||sunmosh||2015||Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam||Closed|
|Alliance of Valiant Arms||Team Shooter/ FPS||Red Duck Inc.||2015||Singapore, Malaysia||Closed 3 July 2018|
|Vindictus||MMORPG||devCAT||2015||Thailand||Closed 31 August 2018|
|Arena of Valor (AOV)||MOBA||Tencent TIMI - L1 Studio||2016||Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines|
|Free Fire||Battle Royale||111dots/HCO Studio (Vietnam)||2017||Global|
|Blade & Soul||MMORPG||Team Bloodlust||2017||Thailand, Vietnam|
|Garena Free Fire||Battle royale||111dots Studio||2017||India, Brazil, Mexico, Southeast Asia|
|FIFA Online 4||Sports/Soccer||Electronic Arts||2018||Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam|
|Ring of Elysium||Battle Royale||Tencent||2018||Taiwan, HongKong, Macau|
|FIFA Online 3||Sports/Soccer||Electronic Arts||2018||Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam||Closed|
|Contra: Return||Run and gun||Konami||2018||Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia|
|Onmyoji||Visual Novel/ Action||Netease Games||2018||Thailand|
|Rising Force Online||MMORPGs||CCR International||Thailand|
|SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy||Fighting||SNK||2018||Japan, China, Korea, Thailand|
|Speed Drifters||Racing||Tencent||2019||Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines|
Events and tournamentsEdit
In May 2012, Garena launched the Garena Premier League (GPL), a six-month-long online professional gaming league with more than 100 matches to be played. The first season of GPL is a League of Legends competition which comprises six professional teams. The teams are: the Bangkok Titans, KL Hunters, Manila Eagles, Saigon Jokers, Taipei Assassins and Singapore Sentinels, which represent top players from respective countries. GPL matches are captured and broadcast online along with commentaries, which are available for viewers to watch on the GPL official website.
In January 2013, Garena announced the second season of the Garena Premier League would start on 4 Jan 2013. Garena Premier League 2013 includes two new teams from Taiwan and Vietnam, bringing the total number of teams to eight. The teams are: AHQ, Saigon Fantastic Five (SF5), Bangkok Titans, KL Hunters, Manila Eagles, Saigon Jokers, Taipei Assassins and Singapore Sentinels.
In November 2014 the Garena e-Sports Stadium, a dedicated venue for esports, opened in Neihu District, Taipei. The studios was built partially to accommodate the beginning of the League of Legends Masters Series, the top-level Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau LoL league that was spun-off of the GPL.
In January 2015, Garena launched Iron Solari League, a women's League of Legends tournament in the Philippines. It is a monthly event organized in the second half of each month. It aims to encourage participation by under-represented groups and is open to all those who self-identify as female.
Besides competitive tournaments, Garena also organizes events to cater to users to meet and connect offline. This includes the annual Garena Carnival held in Singapore and Malaysia.
On February 3, 2015, Garena eSports announced limitations on the number of gay and transgender people participating in a women-only League of Legends tournament, due to concerns that LGBT participants may have an "unfair advantage". This led to gamers questioning the decision, while League of Legends developer Riot Games responded that "LGBT players are welcome at official LoL tourneys". On February 4, 2015, Garena apologized and subsequently removed the restrictions.
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