Emerge Gaming completes network integration in anticipation of South African market launch

Emerge Gaming ASX EM1 South African market launch Arcade X
The platform integration gives Emerge Gaming access to over 50 million potential users.

Emerge Gaming (ASX: EM1) shares were off to the races this morning after the gaming company announced it had now completed network billing integration across all major South African telcos of its cutting-edge gaming platform ‘Arcade X’.

The completion of network integration means that Emerge now has the capability to accept daily payments from subscribers across all major South African telco companies – thereby opening access to 80% of the South African population for the newly listed ASX company.

According to Emerge, the integrated billing solution provides access to over 50 million paying subscribers in South Africa which opens the door for Emerge to monetise its Arcade X platform within Africa’s 2nd richest country.

Furthermore, Emerge is seeking to use the integration as a springboard to pounce on other commercial opportunities further afield.

“Following airtime billing integration with South African Telcos and our launch with eMedia Holdings Group, our corporate partnerships are set to drive significant high volume of new user acquisitions in the near term across multiple devices and networks. We will use this experience to roll out the proprietary ‘Arcade X’ technology to markets across the globe,” said Greg Stevens, CEO of Emerge Gaming.

Mr Stevens said that the combination of Emerge Gaming’s proprietary integrated tournament services with “strong network partnerships” is set to “secure corporate agreements with major global companies looking to gain eSports marketing exposure.”

Integrated gaming

One of the key consumer-focused features being rolled out by Emerge Gaming is integrated billing.

The fully integrated airtime billing model is a unique feature of Emerge Gaming’s Arcade X platform and provides the mechanism where the company will be able to implement its business model in other emerging markets.

Integrated billing could also boost faster user uptake, mass customer acquisitions and immediate revenue.

Emerge Gaming debuted on the ASX earlier this year and shortly after listing, signed a partnership with Detonator Media Group in South Africa to facilitate the launch of Arcade X and its inherent corporate tournament and sponsorship revenue model in South Africa.

Under this model, Emerge Gaming receives revenue for providing online gaming tournament hosting services while being able to attract gamer registrations at “no cost” as a result of corporate brands marketing the Arcade X platform on its behalf.

Emerge Gaming is expected to benefit from this ‘no cost’ mass user acquisition while receiving 20% of all subscription fees from users.

The airtime billing integration is crucial to giving Arcade X access to the subscribers of the 3 largest Telcos in South Africa – MTN, Vodacom and CellC.

These telcos have a combined user base of more than 83 million subscriptions across South Africa and hence represent a large addressable market for Emerge to tap into.

Emerge Gaming also entered into a memorandum of understanding with eMedia Holdings last month as part of its South African market strategy. In a statement, the company said that a full-bodied licensing agreement is “imminent”.

eMedia Holdings operates a variety of broadcasting, content and production businesses including South Africa’s first private commercial free-to-air broadcaster, e.TV. These channels will be leveraged as part of the South African launch.

Leading up to its inaugural South African launch later this month, Emerge Gaming’s management team have implemented an aggressive, all-encompassing customer acquisition strategy that is now on the verge of going live.

Mobile gaming

Emerge Gaming is coming to South Africa with a sprawling strategy that includes both desktop and mobile gaming.

According to Emerge Gaming, the focus of its South African launch will be ‘Arcade X Mobi’, a mobile platform that provides casual gamers with the ability to play over 300 casual games on their mobile devices while being exposed to corporate advertising – a key revenue stream for the ASX listed newcomer.

Industry statistics show that social and casual gamers represent 90% of the 2.1 billion global gamers, of which 844 million engage in mobile gaming on a regular basis.

Upon announcing news of achieving its technical milestone early this morning, Emerge Gaming shares were around 38% higher at $0.022 per share.