Garena is a Singaporean game developer and publisher of free online games. [1] It is the digital entertainment arm of parent company Sea Ltd,[2] which was formerly named Garena.[3]

  • Garena
TypeSubsidiary of sea Ltd.
IndustryVideo Games
Founded2009; 13 years ago (2009)
FounderForrest Li
Key people
Forrest Li (Founder)
Terry Zhao (President)
OwnerSea Ltd

The company distributes game titles on Garena+ in various countries across Southeast Asia and Taiwan, including the multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games League of Legends and Heroes of Newerth, the online football (soccer) game FIFA Online 3, the first-person shooter game Point Blank, the mobile MOBA game Arena of Valor and the mobile racing game Speed Drifters.

In 2017, it released Garena Free Fire[4], which had over 80 million daily active users globally as of May 2020.[5]


Game developments

In November 2011, Garena announced its publishing rights for the team-based shooter game, Firefall, in Southeast Asia and Taiwan.[6]

In December 2011, Garena announced their collaboration[7] with online games developer, Changyou, to publish and operate the popular 3D martial arts game, Duke of Mount Deer, in Taiwan. The game was 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[8] was created by several top online-gaming experts from China and South Korea and has gained much popularity in China. The same month, the "Dominion" game mode for Garena's League of Legends players in Singapore and Malaysia.[9]

In 2012, it launched its first product, Garena+, an online game and social platform for people to discover, download and play online games.

In 2014, the World Startup Report valued Garena as a US$1 billion internet company[10] and ranked it as the largest internet company in Singapore.[11]

Recent updates

In March 2015, the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan (OTPP), one of the largest pension funds in the world, invested in Garena, valuing the company at over US$2.5 billion.[12]

In May 2017, Garena was renamed to Sea Limited.[13][14] However, Garena was retained as a brand name of Sea Limited (aka Sea Group).[15]

In October 2017, Sea Limited filed for an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and aimed to raise US$1 billion. Before the IPO, Tencent was the major shareholder of Sea Limited, for around 20% of outstanding shares and is currently at 18.7%.[16][17] It was followed by Blue Dolphins Venture, established by Forrest Li, for 15%. Li personally owned 20% shares, and Chief Technology Officer, Gang Ye, 10%.[18]

In January 2021, Garena acquired Vancouver-based Phoenix Labs, the developers of Dauntless.[19] The acquisition did not affect the operations of Phoenix Labs or Dauntless, but helped Garena expand its international presence.[20]

As of the second quarter of 2021, Garena recorded 725 million active users, 45% more than the year prior, while the number of paid users grew 85% year-on-year, reaching 92 million. The outlook for Garena is expected to decline in 2022, after reports in March 2022 suggested that Garena will post US$2.9 to US$3.1 billion in bookings for the year, down from US$4.6 billion in 2021. The muted forecast would be Garena's first decline in business ever. The ban imposed on its Free Fire title in India across both Google Play and Apple app stores has been cited as a contributory factor.[21][22][23]


Garena+ is an online game and social platform that has an interface similar to instant messaging platforms. Garena+ 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.

Other products include BeeTalk[24] and TalkTalk.[25]

Events and tournaments

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.[26]

In January 2013, Garena announced the second season of the Garena Premier League, which would start on 4 January 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.[27]

In November 2014, the Garena e-Sports Stadium, a dedicated venue for esports, opened in Neihu District, Taipei.[28] The studio 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 spin-off of the GPL.

In January 2015, Garena launched Iron Solari League, a women's League of Legends tournament in the Philippines.[29] 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.[30]


On 3 February 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 might 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 4 February 2015, Garena apologized and subsequently removed the restrictions.[31]

Published games

Garena provides a platform for game titles such as Defense of the Ancients and Age of Empires, and also publishes games, like multiplayer online battle arena games League of Legends, Heroes of Newerth, Free Fire, Call Of Duty and Black Shot for players in the region.

Garena-published games:

Title Genre Developer Year of launch Countries Remarks
BlackShot MMOFPS Vertigo Games 2009 Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines Changed Publisher to Papayaplay [32]
Mstar MMODance Nurien


2009 Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore Closed 26 August 2019
League of Legends MOBA Riot Games 2010 Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, Philippines, Taiwan/Hong Kong/Macau, Thailand, Vietnam Closed (Indonesia only)
Heroes of Newerth MOBA Frostburn Studios 2010 Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, CIS Closed on 20 June 2022
Duke of Mount Deer MMORPG 2011 Taiwan Closed 24 March 2014
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 2016 (CIS)?[33] (Thailand), ? (Singapore, Malaysia)
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 6 October 2017
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
Garena Free Fire Battle Royale Garena 2017 Global [34]
Blade & Soul MMORPG Team Bloodlust 2017 Thailand, Vietnam
FIFA Online 4 Sports/Soccer Electronic Arts 2018 Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam
Ring of Elysium Battle Royale Tencent

Aurora Studio

2018 Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau,

Thailand, Indonesia

Closed 21 January 2022
FIFA Online 3 Sports/Soccer Electronic Arts 2018 Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam Closed
Contra: Return Run and gun Tencent


2018 Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia
TalesRunner Sports Rhaon 2018 Indonesia Closed
Onmyoji Visual Novel/ Action Netease Games 2018 Thailand Closed 3 April 2019
DD tank Artillery

2018 Thailand Most Successful Player (DDtank 337 Turkey Server "Forlove" Labor 26.1 Million)
Rising Force Online MMORPGs CCR International Thailand
SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy Fighting SNK 2018 Japan, China, Korea, Thailand
Call of Duty: Mobile Battle Royale, Multiplayer Activision 2019 Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, Philippines

See also


  1. ^ a b "Garena Online Pvt Ltd". Bloomberg. 29 April 2022.
  2. ^ "Sea Limited Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2019 Results". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 3 March 2020. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  3. ^ "TechCrunch". Tech company Garena raises US$550m, rebrands as Sea. Archived from the original on 16 May 2017. Retrieved 19 February 2020.
  4. ^ "What is Free Fire in Hindi". India Sikho. 30 August 2022.
  5. ^ Takahashi, Dean (18 May 2020). "Free Fire sets record with 80 million daily players for free-to-play mobile battle royale". VentureBeat. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  6. ^ "Yahoo! News". Garena snags exclusive Firefall distribution rights for US$23 million. Archived from the original on 3 December 2011. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
  7. ^ "". Duke of Mount Deer. Archived from the original on 8 January 2012. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
  8. ^ "PC Home". Duke of Mount Deer.
  9. ^ "GameAxis". Dominion Officially Launched on Garena. Archived from the original on 4 January 2012.
  10. ^ "Singapore's Tech Company Garena Valued At USD1 Billion". Archived from the original on 8 August 2014.
  11. ^ "Start me up". The Economist. Archived from the original on 30 June 2017. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
  12. ^ "Ontario Teachers Pension Plan bets on Asia with Garena stake". Financial Times. Archived from the original on 27 June 2018. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  13. ^ Chia Yan Min (9 May 2017). "Tech firm Garena gets renamed as Sea". The Straits Times. Singapore Press Holdings. Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  14. ^ Lee, Yoolim (8 May 2017). "Garena Rebrands as Sea After Raising $550 Million in New Funding". Bloomberg. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  15. ^ "Garena rebrands to Sea and raises $550 million more to focus on Indonesian e-commerce". Retrieved 7 August 2020. Garena was founded in 2009 as an online gaming platform and its games business will retain that name.
  16. ^ "The World's Hottest Stock Is a Money-Losing Tech Giant Soaring 880%". Bloomberg. 5 August 2020.
  17. ^ "Tencent divests 2.6% of equity interest in Sea Limited". Tencent. 4 January 2022.
  18. ^ Russell, Jon (23 September 2017). "Southeast Asia games firm Sea, formerly Garena, files for $1 billion US IPO". Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  19. ^ "Sea Announces Garena's Acquisition of Phoenix Labs". 29 January 2020. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  20. ^ McAloon, Alissa (28 January 2021). "Dauntless dev Phoenix Labs acquired by Singaporean game company Garena". Gamasutra. Retrieved 28 January 2021.
  21. ^ Poh, Olivia; Yoolim, Lee (2 March 2022). "Sea's Market Decline Hits $132 Billion as Stock Tumbles Again". Bloomberg. Retrieved 27 March 2022.
  22. ^ Iwamoto, Kentaro (2 March 2022). "Singapore's Sea expects 'headwind' after COVID-driven boom". Nikkei Asia. Retrieved 27 March 2022.
  23. ^ "Singapore's Sea expects 'headwinds' after COVID-driven boom". KrASIA. 2 March 2022. Retrieved 27 March 2022.
  24. ^ "With 10M users in just four months, Tinder-esque app BeeTalk is buzzing throughout Asia". Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  25. ^ "TalkTalk". Archived from the original on 12 February 2015. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
  26. ^ "Watch the Opening of Garena Premier League 2012 Season". League Craft. Archived from the original on 14 May 2012. Retrieved 2 January 2013.
  27. ^ "Garena Premier League". Garena. Archived from the original on 22 December 2012.
  28. ^ "【活動】台灣史上第一座『Garena 電子競技館』隆重登場!". Garena. 29 October 2014. Archived from the original on 17 November 2015. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  29. ^ Mitchell, Ferguson (3 February 2015). "All-female League of Legends tournament in the Philippines to limit LGBT participation". The Daily Dot. Archived from the original on 17 November 2015. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  30. ^ Putra, Ade (12 May 2015). "Garena Carnival 2015 Will Be at Suntec on 13–14 June [Updated]". GameAxis. Archived from the original on 17 November 2015. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  31. ^ Stuart, Keith (4 February 2015). "Pro-gaming tournament attempts to limit gay and transgender players". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on 16 April 2016. Retrieved 10 April 2016.
  32. ^ "BlackShot - SoutheastAsia". PAPAYA PLAY. Retrieved 12 November 2020.
  33. ^ Chris (2 August 2016). "Concerns related to the Russian merge". Retrieved 11 December 2020.
  34. ^ "FORM 20-F". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 31 December 2017.

External links