Special Report: Emerge Gaming’s joint venture with South African telecommunications giant MTN Group has gone live, and with it, the ASX-listed gaming heavyweight has opened up on its plans for grabbing casual gaming audiences in emerging markets.

Last week Emerge Gaming, which operates a platform to facilitate online esports and casual gaming tournaments, revealed it had landed a deal with MTN to bring its platform to 29 million subscribers across South Africa.

The platform, dubbed MTN Arena, is a white-labelled, integrated version of Emerge’s ArcadeX platform, which allows players to enter competitions and win prizes while playing casual games with incorporated social elements.

With MTN Arena’s official launch today, Emerge Gaming has detailed its go-to-market strategy for the platform as the Company looks to tap into the $68.5 billion mobile gaming market.

The first port of call: how does MTN Arena make money?

As part of the agreement, MTN will directly bill subscribers a daily subscription fee of R3, or ~A$0.26, to participate in online gaming competitions. Emerge Gaming expects the platform to start generating revenue in the current quarter (FY21 July – September).

To sign up new gamers, MTN will send out bulk SMSs to its 29 million South African subscribers targeting their personal interests. MTN will also push out marketing through its digital channels, including its 1.5 million Facebooker followers, 1 million Twitter followers and via its own traffic driven subscriber portal for media distribution.

As for marketing, the launch is backed by an “intensive” go-to-market strategy backed by Emerge Gaming and MTN. The telco has tapped an international specialist creative digital agency to deliver a paid media campaign, backed by Emerge Gaming and MTN’s dedicated marketing teams.

A 2.4 billion mass market worldwide

Emerge Gaming is looking to capitalise on the growing gaming population in emerging markets like Africa, and as such, MTN Arena will be a key pillar of that strategy going forward. There are an estimated 2.4 billion mobile gamers worldwide, and with the emergence of 5G networks across the globe, mobile gaming has become more accessible than ever.

MTN Arena’s launch even coincides with the availability of MTN’s 5G network in South Africa, incentivising gamers even more to check out the hype around the capabilities of mobile gaming.

Emerge Gaming CEO Greg Stevens told Stockhead that there are a handful of partnerships in the works consistent with this global expansion strategy, and the Company is in discussions with other international telcos to bring its gaming platform to new markets.

MTN Arena’s launch marks the second major milestone for Emerge Gaming in as many weeks. Last week, Emerge Gaming laid claim to being the first in the Southern Hemisphere to stream a AAA game to a standard mobile device using its cloud platform.

This story was developed in collaboration with Emerge Gaming, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This story does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.