2018 was another fruitful year for Acer. In the entire Asia-Pacific, the Taiwanese technology company shared that its revenue doubled compared to that of 2017 – that is equivalent to a 100% growth. Acer was also identified as number one in the gaming notebook category in six countries as well as in the gaming desktop category in four countries in APAC. Recently, the company successfully staged the Predator League Asia-Pacific Finals 2019 in Thailand this month, a major opening salvo by Acer for the region.
For some, the event was simply perceived as an instrument for Acer to sell more. But for Andrew Hou, President of Acer’s Pan Asia Pacific Regional Operations, it goes beyond that. “We don’t only want to sell devices. We also want to perform and share our social responsibility,” he said. “Today, gaming is not only about the devices or game titles – it is now an ecosystem.”
Without a doubt, gaming still leaves a negative impression among people, but Hou is looking at the brighter side. “Nowadays, a lot of parents are still concerned about their children playing too many games. As parents ourselves, we want to make sure that gaming, as an ecosystem, can be a career path for those kids,” he said.
“Many young people can join the ecosystem to find their long-term career. As you can see in eSports events, there are eSports athletes, coaches, managers, livestreamers, YouTubers, and judges. So there’s an ecosystem where people can find their long-term career plan. In this case, we want to make sure that when young people join this industry, they will go to the right direction and not the wrong one,” Hou added.
In order to achieve this, Acer has started talking with educational institutions. “When universities learn about the gaming ecosystem, they do not know where to go. So we do consultation and explain to them what the gaming ecosystem looks like. In many countries like in the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, and India, we worked with universities, colleges, or institutes to build a gaming class, society, or a department. Then we help them build the classroom and see the next step they would want to take. When young talents have an interest, they can join in and get to know what is in the gaming industry, find out their area of interest, and decide on their long-term career right from the beginning,” he explained.
“Let me use Taiwan as an example. In Taiwan, we are now working with 13 universities, and this year, we’ll have an additional seven to eight. There are actually two universities that created a department for game designing, in which we sponsored by providing them with PCs. We also hosted the Predator League in Taiwan. Partner universities became stations where people go and compete there for the Predator League Campus Cup,” he added.
Emphasizing Acer’s strong presence in the Philippine education segment, Manuel Wong, Managing Director of Acer Philippines, shared that the company is already in talks with local universities as well.
“Universities are more active in looking for possibilities now unlike before. Gaming has really become a new talent creation source for some of them. In addition to gamers, we hope that in the future that we’ll have more game designers, considering that we have lots of talents in graphics creation and other related disciplines. We also encourage the universities to include eSports as a sporting event in UAAP and NCAA,” Wong said.
“Once we worked with the educational institutions, we proceed on working with the government, because every country has a different policy. We want to work with the local government to help them build a local infrastructure. The government can actually help in growing this ecosystem,” Hou concluded.