Having fun together, apart

With the world on lockdown due to the pandemic, video games offered players a way to cope with stress and anxiety albeit virtually. But what happens next to this billion-dollar industry? An insider from the game developer of Mobile Legends attempts to answer.

The effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic can never be minimized. It touched every aspect of our lives — the way we worked, communicated, socialized and even relaxed.

With social distancing measures in place and lockdowns mandated, with work-from-home arrangements and our houses either full of family members forced to stay in or having one lone person doing everything within its four walls, the necessity of functioning as well as we can within the new normal was a given.

As a developer of mobile games such as Mobile Legends, our products — by nature — provide fun and entertainment for people without necessarily bringing them all in one space. In the digital world, they engage in exciting games with their co-players and create new worlds and characters.

We usually hold offline activities to get our players and fans together, enjoy a day of sharing their love for Moonton’s games, and connect beyond the virtual world. One of these activities is the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB) 515 carnival, which we hold every May in five Asian countries.

At the beginning of 2020, we were in full swing for our 515 preparations, particularly to offer all-round offline activities for our players. However, all of this planning was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Even our Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB) Professional League (MPL) Southeast Asian Cup to be held at the SM Mall of Asia Arena, which was supposed to be participated by countries, were impacted by the same situation as well. 

We understood the importance of everyone doing their small part to keep safe and help stave off the spread of the virus, but we also recognize their need to have a bit of normalcy in their lives in these uncertain times.

When we learned about the lockdown plans last March, we needed to regroup to see how we can alter our plans. We decided to just cancel all our on-ground activities but thought of other ways on how to bring the fun and excitement to our loyal gamers. 

For us, it is not only imperative to reach our gamers in another way, and bring them the offline activities that they have always looked forward to and anticipated — it was also a way to help them connect with others, engage, be entertained and not feel constrained in their homes.

Brand’s greater purpose

To achieve our goals, we had to make even greater plans in terms of bringing all our players together — virtually. We understood the importance of everyone doing their small part to keep safe and help stave off the spread of the virus, but we also recognize their need to have a bit of normalcy in their lives in these uncertain times.

We then came up with the idea of an e-party, which served as a perfect venue for our gamers to be part of during the lockdown. It encouraged gamers to join and socialize with old and new friends in the community while in the safety of their homes.

In addition, we organized games and rewards programs on our official Facebook page and created other various activities online with challenging activities and fun rewards. 

We wanted to reassure them, our loyal players, that MLBB is here for them not just to bring happiness and fun — but also a safe venue for our players to get some relaxation even amid all this uncertainty.

And while our supporters take part in the fun activities online, we made sure to also use our platform to help and raise funds for the children and families severely impacted by this global pandemic. By participating in our various events, we have raised more than P1 million to help those in need.

Project NEXT

We, at Moonton, acknowledge that many of our players grew up with our games. Our massive player base has truly helped MLBB become the hottest game in the Philippines.

They even regard MLBB as a social platform — where they can connect and make some friends, have fun and even fall in love.

Recently, we announced our most important initiative of the year: Project “NEXT.” It is a long-term project that aims to elevate the game experience with visual and audio upgrades; hero story development and updates; and player control optimization.

As we approach the new normal, our commitment to creating more amazing stories with our Filipino players is our top priority. 

And yes, we’ll continue to adapt and think of what more can we offer #NEXT.


Edited by Janvic Mateo

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