Garena is a Singaporean online game developer and publisher of free games. The company distributes game titles on Garena+ in various countries across Southeast and East Asia, 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, which has over 80 million daily active users globally as of May 2020.
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In 2019, Garena announced plans to reorganize its various interests as a conglomerate under Sea Limited. Garena is now one of Sea Limited’s subsidiaries (such as e-commerce company Shopee) and continues to be the umbrella company for Sea Limited’s gaming interests.
Garena was founded in Singapore in 2009.
In 2012, it launched its first product, Garena+, an online game and social platform for people to discover, download and play online games.
In November 2011, Garena announced its publishing rights for the team-based shooter game, Firefall, in Southeast Asia and Taiwan.
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 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 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.
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In 2014, the World Startup Report valued Garena as a US$1 billion internet company and ranked it as the largest internet company in Singapore.
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.
In May 2017, Garena was renamed to Sea Limited. However, Garena was retained as a brand name of Sea Limited (aka Sea Group).
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 39.7% shares. It was followed by Blue Dolphins Venture, established by Garena’s founder Forrest Li, for 15%. Li personally owned 20% shares, and Chief Technology Officer, Gang Ye, 10%.
In January 2020, Garena acquired Vancouver-based Phoenix Labs, the developers of Dauntless. The acquisition did not affect the operations of Phoenix Labs or Dauntless but helped Garena expand its international presence.
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 and TalkTalk.
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.
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.
In November 2014, the Garena e-Sports Stadium, a dedicated venue for esports, opened in Neihu District, Taipei. 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. 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 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.
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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.
|Title||Genre||Developer||Year of launch||Countries||Remarks|
|Black Shot||MMOFPS||Vertigo Games||2009||Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines||Changed Publisher to Papayaplay |
|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|
|Duke of Mount Deer||MMORPG||Changyou.com||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)? (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||111dots Studio (Vietnam)
|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
|2018||Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau,
|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|
|Onmyoji||Visual Novel/ Action||Netease Games||2018||Thailand||Closed 3 April 2019|
|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|
- List of game companies in Singapore
- ^ 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.
- ^ “Sea Limited Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2019 Results”. sec.gov. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 3 March 2020. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
- ^ “TechCrunch”. Tech company Garena raises US$550m, rebrands as Sea. Archived from the original on 16 May 2017. Retrieved 19 February 2020.
- ^ “Yahoo! News”. Garena snags exclusive Firefall distribution rights for US$23 million. Archived from the original on 3 December 2011. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
- ^ “Gamer.com.tw”. Duke of Mount Deer. Archived from the original on 8 January 2012. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
- ^ “PC Home”. Duke of Mount Deer.
- ^ “GameAxis”. Dominion Officially Launched on Garena. Archived from the original on 4 January 2012.
- ^ “Singapore’s Tech Company Garena Valued At USD1 Billion”. Archived from the original on 8 August 2014.
- ^ “Start me up”. Archived from the original on 30 June 2017. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
- ^ “Ontario Teachers Pension Plan bets on Asia with Garena stake”. Financial Times. Archived from the original on 27 June 2018. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
- ^ Chia Yan Min (9 May 2017). “Tech firm Garena gets renamed as Sea”. The Straits Times. Singapore Press Holdings. Retrieved 23 July 2019.
- ^ Lee, Yoolim (8 May 2017). “Garena Rebrands as Sea After Raising $550 Million in New Funding”. Bloomberg. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
- ^ “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.
- ^ Russell, Jon (23 September 2017). “Southeast Asia games firm Sea, formerly Garena, files for $1 billion US IPO”. TechCrunch.com. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
- ^ “Sea Announces Garena’s Acquisition of Phoenix Labs”. www.businesswire.com. 29 January 2020. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
- ^ McAloon, Alissa (28 January 2020). “Dauntless dev Phoenix Labs acquired by Singaporean game company Garena”. Gamasutra. Retrieved 28 January 2020.
- ^ “With 10M users in just four months, Tinder-esque app BeeTalk is buzzing throughout Asia”. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
- ^ “TalkTalk”. intl.garena.com. Archived from the original on 12 February 2015. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
- ^ “Watch the Opening of Garena Premier League 2012 Season”. League Craft. Archived from the original on 14 May 2012. Retrieved 2 January 2013.
- ^ “Garena Premier League”. Garena. Archived from the original on 22 December 2012.
- ^ “【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.
- ^ 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.
- ^ 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.
- ^ Stuart, Keith (4 February 2015). “Pro-gaming tournament attempts to limit gay and transgender players”. The Guardian. ISSN 09568892434. Archived from the original on 16 April 2016. Retrieved 10 April 2016.
- ^ “BlackShot – SoutheastAsia”. PAPAYA PLAY. Retrieved 12 November 2020.
- ^ Chris (2 August 2016). “Concerns related to the Russian merge”. pathofexile.com. Retrieved 11 December 2020.
- Official website
- Official website (Indonesian)
- Official website (Taiwan)
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