RIYADH: A pioneering Saudi technology company is set to make it big in Japan with an innovative new gaming platform. PlayHera on Tuesday held the soft launch of its esports app in the Japanese capital Tokyo, and already its creators are aiming to market the product globally.
Based in Dublin, Ireland, but founded in the Kingdom, PlayHera was first launched in Saudi Arabia and its success has prompted the expansion into Japan, the birthplace of the gaming industry.
“Japan is a country that has 50 million gamers and has companies that specialize in gaming and esports on a large scale. We have appointed three companies to represent us in Japan, and we’ve been working with them for eight months,” said Naif Mulaeb, founder and chairman of PlayHera’s board of directors.
Gaming has become a worldwide phenomenon with the creators of hit games such as “Fortnite” making multibillion-dollar fortunes.
PlayHera is a gamers’ social hub and global esports platform, where players can connect and compete for prizes in online tournaments. It supports hundreds of millions of users with games such as “Call of Duty,” “Fortnite,” and many more.
Founder Sultan Al-Mousa revealed that there were six other major countries looking to launch PlayHera, and he attributed its success to the Saudi Vision 2030 reform plan and the direction of the Kingdom’s leadership. “Gaming is a form of entertainment and it has a huge audience worldwide.
“Our vision behind creating this platform was for gamers to have a safe community that brought them together to enjoy games. We always say that PlayHera is the Facebook of gamers,” Al-Mousa said.
“In the past there was no platform that brought gamers together, they were lost between YouTube, Instagram and Twitter. That’s where our idea sprouted from.
“PlayHera is a platform specifically founded for gamers, where they can play together, get to know one another and even share their best scores. Nearby mapping is also available, which allows gamers to find players close by.”
Merchandising is a feature that has been added to the platform, where gamers can sell their items. The mapping function offers the chance for players from the same district to hold tournaments with each other.
The app has registered gamers who monitor and patrol usage in order to provide a safe platform for users of all ages, and it comes complete with its own rules and regulations. “It’s a platform that enforces safety and you will be notified if, for example, you’ve been playing for more than three hours,” added Al-Mousa.
PlayHera is affiliated with the Saudi Arabian Federation for Electronic and Intellectual Sports, and following the soft launch in Japan, Mulaeb said the official opening of the platform there would take place in the first quarter of 2020.
He stressed that in line with Vision 2030, PlayHera aimed to contribute to building the Saudi digital economy through the development of the private sector and added that by keeping pace with the latest trends and technological developments, the platform would provide advanced employment opportunities for individuals.
Shingo Otomo, CEO of PlayHera Japan, said: “It is a great honor for me to collaborate in the establishment of PlayHera Japan. As the CEO I certainly believe that PlayHera can contribute to the development of Japan’s esports market and be the outstanding platform to serve all enthusiasts and stakeholders.”
Akihito Furusawa, director of PlayHera Japan, said: “PlayHera is an autonomous innovative platform. It is a simple app that anyone can easily connect to, and compete and challenge in various competitions. Together with all the stakeholders, and with the introduction of the latest technologies, we will be the pioneers in creating exciting moves through PlayHera.”
More than 8,000 players from throughout Saudi Arabia are expected to take part in the upcoming Viber Tournament, sponsored by Saudi Telecom Co., said Al-Mousa. “We are very proud that this is a Saudi platform. There are six countries on the same level as Japan that want to launch PlayHera in their countries,” he added.
Twitter: @PlayHera_MENA You can download the app from Apple Store or Google: PLAYHERA