Razer CEO Tan Min-Liang said in a Facebook post yesterday that the company will be committing SGD 10 million (USD 7.24 million) over the next 12 months to support Singapore’s gaming industry.
The money will go toward supporting Singapore’s national team in the upcoming 2019 Southeast Asian Games, where e-sports will be recognized as a medal sport for the first time. Other Singapore-based e-sports teams are also eligible for this support.
The gaming hardware maker will also invest in gaming and e-sports companies in Singapore, as well as those founded by Singaporeans.
According to Tan, the decision came as a response to comments made last week by the Singaporean minister of trade and industry Chan Chun Sing. During a parliament session, Chan outlined the various measures Singapore has taken to nurture the local gaming industry, such as a Startup SG initiative that offers financial and non-financial support to local companies, as well as the Infocomm Media Development Authority’s Pixel innovation space, a co-working and incubation space for digital startups.
Other initiatives include building a talent pipeline by offering relevant courses to groom game designers in schools, as well as partnering with internationally known companies to provide a learning platform for entrepreneurs before they set up their own studio.
As a Singaporean, Tan felt indebted to the public backing that is available in Singapore, saying, “I’m incredibly grateful for all the support we’ve had from the Singapore government and Singaporeans alike all these years.”
“Following Minister Chan’s comments, I’d like to be able to give back and do more for gaming in Singapore,” he added.
Razer was founded in the United States in 2005. The company went public in 2017. The gaming hardware maker is currently building its Southeast Asia headquarters in Singapore, which will be completed in 2020.
E-sports is a relatively new industry in Singapore. Many believe that it should not be considered a sport. Just last week, local news outlet The Straits Times received and published a letter sent to the ST Forum titled “E-sports is not a sports by definition.” Razer’s USD 7.24 commitment was in part also triggered by this letter, said Tan.
Aside from reshaping Singapore as a fintech hub, the city-state also aspires to become an e-sports hub in the region, especially given the industry’s potential. The video game and e-sports sectors generated more than USD 140 billion globally last year, almost half of which came from the Asia Pacific region.
Singapore is home to several accomplished players in the industry like Sea, Razer, and Secretlab—the latter two are hardware makers—signifying the presence of a robust talent pool.