Razer CEO visits the Philippines

Razer Inc. CEO Min-Liang Tan visited the Philippines to open a Razer Store at SM North in Quezon City on August 14, 2015.

Hundreds of young Filipinos spent the night outside SM North Edsa shopping mall to attend the store’s opening.

Tan, who obtained a law degree from the National University of Singapore, left a lucrative job in Singapore’s Supreme Court more than a decade ago to pursue his passion for computer gaming.  The 37-year-old lawyer is the co-founder, CEO and creative director of high-performance gaming hardware and software company Razer Inc., which has a cult-like following among computer gaming aficionados worldwide, including the Philippines.

Razer, which is based in San Francisco, has more than 600 employees who design and build hardware and software for the e-gaming community. 

The private company, valued at $1 billion by Fortune magazine with estimated annual revenues of $250 million to $300 million, is the one behind such products as the computer gaming mouse Boomslang, the handheld gaming device Razer Switchblade, Razer Blade laptops, Deathstalker Chroma gaming keyboards, Kraken headsets, gamepads, audio devices and other peripherals.

“I am a gamer myself and I said I don’t care if you don’t want our product.  I want it for myself.  That’s how we grew.  We did the first ever gaming mouse and then we made the first gaming keyboard.  This whole … entire industry was created by us,” Tan said.

Tan, who was born in Singapore in 1977 and practiced law before he co-founded Razer with Robert Krakoff, was named  among the 10 most influential leaders in tech in 2015 by Juniper Research and one of the 25 most creative people in tech by Business Insider. Razer, established in 2005, is backed by Intel Capital, IDG-Accel and Heliconia Capital Management, a unit of Temasek of Singapore.

“I was a gamer before I became a lawyer,” Tan  said.

The said the Razer business is guided by a simple principle—which is to design products that he wants for himself.  “We focus on the gamers.  We are probably the only ones that are focused on gaming population.  Our fans tend to be a bit more passionate,” he says.

Gamers, he said, no longer refer to a bunch of children playing computer games.  “The gamers have changed.  In the past, it used to be younger in terms of generation and very focused.  But it has changed dramatically.  I am seeing gamers everywhere.  In the Philippines, there are tons of gamers. In every age group, there are gamers.  You see younger gamers, you see older gamers,” he said.

On his decision to open Razer’s second Asian concept store in the Philippines, after Taipei, Tan said it is all about the passion of Filipino gamers.  The first Asian Razer store opened at Syntrend Creative Park in Taipei in May 2015.

The Razer concept store at Level 4, Cyberzone of SM North’s Annex building, puts on display gaming products, systems, peripherals, audio products, software, apparel and gear and promises to provide gamers an immersive experience.  It features six gaming stations including five Razer Blade gaming laptops and one NZXTH440.

Around 6,000 Filipino gamers registered online to come for the opening of the store. 

Tan said Razer won the loyalty of gamers by listening to them. “How does Razer get such a passionate fan base to the extent they tattoo Razer logos on themselves.  How do we do that? I think we really listen to our consumers.  What I do is talk constantly to the gamers themselves.  
My Facebook page and Twitter feed, I am the one doing it myself.  I don’t have a team of people who handle it and be tactful on how to respond. I do it all by myself.  That also allows me to talk directly to consumers, instead of being high somewhere in the office.  I love doing that.”

Razer’s headset sells for P3,000 to P4,000 while its gaming mouse fetches as high as P7,500.  A keyboard is sold for more than P7,000.  A gaming laptop costs more than P120,000.

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