Romulo Reyes – Outsourcing and the Gaming Industry
In this episode, Derek is once again joined by Romulo Reyes of Elite Global Sourcing, specifically a gaming BPO. Derek taps Romulo’s expertise in the specialized outsourcing vertical in the gaming space, both gaming development, gaming support and gaming marketing.
- Romulo is the Managing Director of Elite Global Sourcing. He handles the business operations B2B, B2C, Marketing and Sales for the company.
- Elite Global Sourcing is founded by Mr. Johnny Pick. He used to be a Chief Operating Officer for gravity interactive USA, one of the pioneers of the free-to-play business model for games which is the creator of Ragnarok Online.
- Elite Global Sourcing original name was Ignited Game Services and there was a publisher called Indoors Interactive.
- Romulo shares the services that Elite Global Sourcing offer, game development, and game publishing.
- Romulo explains that the pricing is dependent on your goal.
- The company is for the long haul, they make your game, launch your game, publish your game and support your customers.
- Romulo believes that it would be more economical to actually have a Philippine team or offshore team to develop the game for you and it would have the same quality if not better.
- Game development is a company that develops different games.
- Game publishing would be the people or the organization that brings the game to the consumer.
- E-games are live gaming events.
- Everything about game development talents and products is already developed in the Philippines.
Derek: Hi and welcome to another episode of the Outsource Accelerator podcast. My name is Derek Gallimore and this is episode 108. So today I am joined again by Romulo Reyes of Elite Global Sourcing. This is a specialized outsourcing vertical in the gaming space both gaming development, gaming support, gaming marketing and also, now e-games which the whole kind of competition surrounding games. This is I’m kinda way out my depth here, So I tapped into Romulo’s expertise in the area. I don’t have big gaming background, very light knowledge on gaming but I’m just fascinated by the depth of this industry but also the huge potential there is in outsourcing such technical uncomplicated vertical such as the gaming and everything doing with the gaming sector. So I’m sure you will enjoy this whether you’re in gaming or not. If you wanna get in touch with Romulo then go to our show notes, If you want any information go to our show notes and you can find this episode at outsourceaccelrator.com/108. Enjoy.
Derek: Today, I am joined again by Romulo Reyes. Hi Romulo.
Romulo: Hi Derek.
Derek: Romulo is from Elite Global Sourcing and this is specifically a gaming BPO or provides technical staff to gaming industry which have course Romulo will be able to explain. We have spoken to Romulo in the previous episode, So go back and listen to that if you want more of the broader background of Romulo and his journey. And today we are going to discuss Elite not because this is an infomercial but because I wanna give people a good insight into the incredible services available here in the Philippines that absolutely broad standard. So I’m happy to be joined by you, Romulo.
Derek: Do you wanna give us I supposed to start an introduction to yourself and how you came to be working with Elite.
Romulo: Yeah, I’m Romulo Reyes, I’m the Managing Director for Elite Global Sourcing. I handle the business – Operations B2B, B2C, Marketing and Sales for the company.
Derek: Fantastic. And Elite is headquarters in California?
Romulo: Correct. Our headquarters is in California.
Derek: Right, and can you give us a sense of you’ve been going ten years and give us a sense of how big you are.
Romulo: Yeah, We started out ten years ago, We were founded by Mr. Johnny Pick. He used to be a Chief Operating Officer for gravity interactive USA. Now gravity interactive for those you know in the gaming scene, very famous company, publicly listed ** and they are the developers and publishers of the huge worldwide hit MMORPG called Ragnarok Online and they were one of the pioneers of the free-to-play business model for games. So, you know, our president while we’re working at Gravity USA back then the gaming scene was dominated by these online where you pay for a subscription. Now they came up with is a brilliant idea, Why not we give the game for free?
Derek: Get people hooked.
Romulo: Yeah, Get people hooked. I mean it’s a game after all right? I’m used to paying for my games but, you know getting a free game, right? And then you only pay for things that you like to pay for. It may have sound crazy back then but that’s you know, we have right now. It’s actually overtaken the subscription model in terms of online gaming currently.
Derek: Did he set up Elite to scratches on it or he was developing his own game or was it purely as an intended service for other game developers out there?
Romulo: Well actually Elite Global Sourcing was it’s orignal name was Ignited Game Services and there was a publisher called Indoors Interactive so after Johnny Pick from Gravity US he formed his own company called Emduris and it published a hit MMORPG turn-based called Atlantica Online. Now, what happened was there was this service operations department and he put the company here in the Philippines and during that time, I mean, You know for fact that service industry is booming back then, so he saw a lot of potential because there wasn’t a lot of game service BPO’s back then and we couldn’t find really someone partnered with. You know he put in a lot of resources into this service and that’s where the BPO section of that company came from and you know from then on it became it’s own organization, very strong foundation from actual publishing, from actual game development and that’s where the pedigree of the company comes from.
Derek: And this what I preach people out there as well. There’s a sense of the Philippines is the third world and it’s a sweatshop and you get poorly functioning call centers but actually the truth couldn’t be more different because you have significant people within the gaming industry of significant pedigree setting up these highly skilled workshops that if you take on your services at Elite you’re not just getting a guy sitting at a desk for an hourly rate, you’re actually buying in to the full expertise and the pedigree of your founders and your now ten years experience in the industry.
Romulo: Correct, Correct.
Derek: Incredibly compelling. I will just go into your price structures next, but what do you cover because we were just discussing before this that the gaming industry now has surpassed the movie industry in terms of revenues but also expanding the breadth of gaming has been broader. What services do you offer?
Romulo: Well for Elite Global Sourcing, Let me talk about the services first. We can split the business of games into two major segments. First is the game development, This would be the company that makes the games and the second one would be game publishing, This would be the people or the organization that brings the game to the consumer, Sometimes one company is both. So for game developers, What we provide because we are a turnkey solutions provider for both. We can provide all your requirements from game design, sound engineering, Q&A quality assurance, development or programming integration, 3D and 2D art asset development, Animation you name it. And for game publishing side, we also provide customer service, quality assurance, viral-marketing social network management, viral-marketing community management and quite recently publishing partnership where in if you want to penetrate a certain country, let say in South-East Asia, let say you’re in the Philippines but you do not have the means to do so, then you can work with us and we will provide you the necessary people, departments, and skills that you would need publish the game in certain areas. Now if you do not know how to that, Then we will work with you in creating the architecture and the framework, going so far as we help you find the right infrastructure hosting for your game.
Derek: And then you also expanded recently into E-games as well. It just shows the speed of the spread of this industry. So E-games, for those not too familiar these are live gaming event.
Romulo: Yeah. Well E-sports actually. We provide E-sports for South-East Asia. Wherein we have quite currently first-person shooter game and they wanna penetrate their South-East Asian market. So we recruited the best community managers from Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, and Indonesia. And then we them working in our office and what they provide would be the individual Facebook and discord community management. Discord is a game communications channel. Now we also provide game streaming services wherein the tournaments and the games that you know, these small teams play against with each other, We stream them using shoutcaster live and we also put them up on twitch and on Facebook. And by the end of the month we’ll be to this October, we’ll flying in teams from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore to compete in electronic sports game show from this 27th to the 29th will be flying them in, I will be booking them in hotels, transportation, we also, we will handle the PR, interviews with the media and what not for them and then make sure that they will take care of. So it’s a full e-sports suite support.
Derek: Incredible. I’m not blowing any trumpet but I am amazed by the kinda depth of this industries and sectors, the ones that I’m not so familiar with myself, and then I know it’s a question how long it’s a piece of string but how for the outsider, how do you price this services?
Romulo: Well it really depends on what your goal would be. Right now we have a fixed rate per person. There is three major business bubs we have, first is the direct outsourcing wherein, you know you give us, let say a department or a task. Let say for example you want customer service.
Derek: So it’s mainly kind of ongoing job isn’t it?
Derek: Because obviously if I came to you wanting to build a game then that is more project based. Whereas you find your sweet spot in providing kind of ongoing staffing solution for?
Romulo: But here’s the thing, I mean when we engage with the client, we don’t really see ourselves as a project partner although we’re open to that. But in terms of the value, we see more value in terms of providing the full player life cycle. Meaning to say that we can help or make the game for you, we can launch the game with you and then we can support the game for you and help you drive better bottom line. And that’s how we always project and talk to our clients. Meaning to say we’re not just a one trick pony development, you get your game, bye bye. We’re in it for the long haul, meaning to say we make your game, we can launch your game, we can publish your game and support your customers.
Derek: Right. And then to give me insight potentially the other listeners out there. I mean I don’t want to dig too deep in becoming insensitive but what is the cost of a game developer here versus a game developer sitting on Silicon Valley, what’s the price difference for that?
Romulo: Correct. A game developer here, I don’t wanna put a price tag people can go to payscale.com and then check it out but it’s roughly a third for the same experience because maybe unknown to lot of people, there are triple A publishers both in North America and in Japan and in Korea actually doing business here. Employing Filipino talents, not just for programming but for voice, art, animation, you name it. I mean everything about game development talent and products are already developed currently here. So it’s not really a question of “do they know how?” because they have the know-how and experience. But in terms of cost of living versus Silicon Valley, I mean, I don’t know if you’ve been or stay a while it’s not cheap. My mom lives over there in San Jose and it’s not cheap I’m telling you. So the cost of living is much much lower of course in Manila and you know i’d say it would be more economical to actually have a Philippine team or offshore team develop the game for you and then would be the same quality if not better. Why? because most mobile games now are made to cater to global audience. I mean I’m not saying anything bad about people at Silicon Valley but you got people here centrally located between the west and the east. And for hundred of years were this melting pot of language and culture, so we know and we feel that what product would work best for a global audience.
Derek: Now let’s end. They say with call center Filipinos are good because of cultural alignment but actually with gaming. It is quite a past time for a lot of Filipinos, so It’s almost like a first language for Filipinos as it would be for gamers in the US. There is actually no cultural delineation with that anymore.Fantastic, Thank you for the insight, and if people wanna get in touch with you, how can they do that?
Romulo: Yeah, They can visit our website elitegsl.com, they can send us some email or chat with us on our webpage were they are available 24/7.
Derek: Fantastic, Thank you, Romulo.
Romulo: No problem.
Derek: Ok, that was Romulo Reyes of Elite Global Sourcing. If you wanna get in touch with Romulo then go around show notes at outsourceaccelerator.com/108 and if you wanna ask us anything then please do just drop an email to [email protected] See you.