Razer's online Game Store heads to Asia as esports heats up

The store, which first launched in the US, the UK, Germany and France, is bound for Southeast Asia via regional e-commerce platform Lazada.

Razer will collaborate with Alibaba-backed Lazada, Southeast Asia's equivalent of Amazon, to bring its digital game store to the region.
Screenshot by Zoey Chong/CNET

Razer is taking its digital game distribution platform to Southeast Asia, the region that's seeing the fastest growth in esports.

The gaming hardware manufacturer is teaming up with Southeast Asia's Amazon-equivalent Lazada (backed by China's tech mammoth, Alibaba) to make its digital game store available on the online shopping platform, the companies jointly announced Wednesday. PC games sold on the platform will be delivered in the form of game keys activated on platforms such as Steam and Uplay.

The announcement comes less than a week after the launch of the Razer Game Store in the US, the UK, Germany and France. The store is intended to provide access to localized content, prices, payment methods and customer support, meaning buyers get to save on conversion rates.

Razer's store arrives as interest in gaming grows -- the global games market was expected to grow 7.8 percent year over year in 2017 -- although PC games are expected to perform worse as gamers move to mobile gaming, according to market research firm Newzoo.

While concerns have been raised that Razer Game Store could kill platforms such as Steam -- some labeled it a "Steam alternative" -- the company's co-founder and CEO, Min-Liang Tan, emphasized in a tweet that's not his motive:

Razer declined to say whether it will bring its Razer Game Store to other markets, but added that its store on Lazada opened first in Singapore. Malaysia and Thailand will follow "this quarter," with Indonesia and Philippines expected "thereafter."

"A gamer's wishlist never stops growing, and we're always on the lookout for great deals to expand our game library," Tan said in a statement announcing the launch.

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