From humble beginnings, gaming studio Kitamen has grown to be a franchise and also a formidable name when it comes to organising esports events in Malaysia.
If you’ve attended several big events such as the recent MESL playoffs or the Malaysia Cyber Games or last year’s Hotshotz Asia, the folks at Kitamen has done many behind-the-scenes work on ensuring the tournaments run as smooth as possible, as well as expanding its franchised gaming studio outlets, called ‘dojos’, to various parts of the country.
The company has also received Teraju Superb Series 2, a grant worth RM500,000 for potential startups last year. Kitamen COO Fahmi Fairuz is seen second from right.
— TERAJU (@TERAJUofficial) August 26, 2017
Now in their third year, the brand has announced multiple collaborations with key players in the national level to further develop the esports scene in Malaysia in their first-ever press event, dubbed Kitamen Experience.
The event was officiated by the Minister of Communications and Multimedia, YB Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak.
Among the announcements were a collaboration with MDEC, the government agency that has been helping the growth of Malaysia’s fledgling gaming industry. The two parties will be working in tandem to promote the concept of “healthy gaming”.
“MDEC is very much focused on the [game] developers, it’s always about the industry and development,” said Hasnul Hadi Shamsudin, VP Of Creative Content at MDEC. “But when we talk to the likes at Sony, to the big boys, one of the things they find really important when they look at investing into the Malaysia is really about having the community, or having the market that understands what they do.”
“Esports is becoming more prominent, especially with the youth generation right now. So we want to be part of that, as part of the government. It’s what we bring up with Kitamen, with ecosystem players: How can we bring up a more positive spin for games and the gamers?
“And this is where we thought that, for the lack of a better name, we call it the ‘healthy gaming initiative’.”
Kitamen also strategic partnership with Majlis Belia Felda Malaysia (MBFM), which will now explore the potential of esports for youths under Felda. Kitamen also signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Esports Kuala Lumpur (ESKL) and Esports Selangor (ESS), the first esports clubs in Malaysia to be regiestered under the Registry Of Societies (ROS).
With the MOU signed, expect the organisations and Kitamen to partner up and helped organising more tournaments. ESKL has plans to organise KL Cyber Games, with the help of Kitamen, sometime in November.
The main event was the announcement of an Equity Crowdfunding program, using Ata Plus as its platform. Think Kickstarter as it uses the similar crowdfunding program with minimal entry point, but it’s more closer to Fig where investors have the possibility to earn profit.
“We see that a lot of startups, especially in esports, they don’t have the right platform. We want to champion that, we want to see there is a platform, ” Hazaman Hassan, CEO of Kitamen said. “Equity crowdfunding, they provide an alternative platform for new things like esports. I think equity platform is the part of the future.”
Kitamen’s crowdfunding program aims to raise at least RM500,000, most of the sum will go into the creation of a flagship outlet that is well equipped with all the setups for various games as well as an esports event venue.
You can pitch in for as low as RM200 to be part of this investment, more details can be found here.
Kitamen is trailblazing at full speed with its press event yesterday, and with the backing of strong names to add to their legitimacy, expect to see the brand to be even more prominent in Malaysia’s esports scene. They have a strong track record- there has not been any damning exposé about mismanagement of events so far, and hopefully that continues as they expand even further to be a household name in Malaysia’s esports scene.