After thousands of Filipino fans made it clear that the country should be next in line for a dedicated Razer hub, Razer co-founder, CEO, and creative director Min-Liang Tan has officially brought the “For Gamers. By Gamers” brand into local shores.
Situated at the fourth level Cyberzone of SM City North EDSA’s Annex, the Razer Philippines concept store is only the second official RazerStore in the world–the pioneer being in Taipei. Though initially drawing flak from fans in other countries, Tan commented “Our mantra is ‘For Gamers. By Gamers.’ We go where the community goes and clearly the community here is a very passionate community. I said to the fans in other countries ‘Look, if the Razer fans in your country vote for our next location, then we’d be happy to build one over there.’”
Asked about whether he expected to be building a Philippine store, Tan answered “In terms of building a store ultimately at some point in time in the Philippines, yes. But we didn’t think it’d be the next one. The one thing we did know was we had a lot of very passionate fans in the Philippines, and they’re always constantly talking to me on my Facebook page, posting, and tweeting to me. It was a surprise for us, but it was a pleasant surprise.”
The local RazerStore allows gamers a hands-on experience with all available products, including their full lineup of keyboards, mice, notebooks, headsets, and other accessories. Because of the store’s “Touch, Play, Stay” approach, clients can now get a feel of the DeathStalker and DeathStalker Ultimate; BlackWidow and BlackWidow Chroma; Orbweaver; DeathAdder Chroma; Firefly; Kraken Chroma; the latest Razer Blade and Razer Blade Pro; as well as the Leviathan soundbar, Nabu wearables, and the Forge TV; these, just to name a few. Additionally, Razer merchandise such as bags, jackets, and shirts are also available for purchase.
“The RazerStore is a great way for gamers to come by, meet, and talk to each other,” says Tan. He also made it clear that this isn’t your typical store where you’ll be bombarded by jargon and other marketing lingo designed at forcing you to cough up your dough. “We actually encourage people to come over here just to have fun. We don’t want to sell them anything. They can stay here all day long and they can play games all day long. Over here, they can form teams, they can get to know other gamers, and they can get to know our staff.”
The definition of consistency, Tan has reiterated (again) that they have no target sales figures. “Target sales? No. I don’t obsess over figures. The odd thing is, for us, you won’t find anyone trying to sell anything in this store. That’s mainly from my own philosophy. I like to check things out. I don’t like being pressured to buy anything. I just like going to a place and test stuff out. I love having help, though, and we spent a lot of time training our staff to make sure that this is a welcoming place.”
And sure enough, the RazerStore’s staff was more than accommodating and they certainly know their stuff. From peripherals, to games, to generally anything under the sun, you won’t have a problem striking a conversation with them.
Razer’s official presence here in the country opens up a ton of opportunities, not only for consumers but also for the Philippine eSports scene. “We have something called Arena coming up. It’s an online platform that allows gamers to compete, and basically that’s where our Team Razer managers are watching the games to make sure that we get gamers to compete, see their skill level, and discover the next great eSports athlete that will hopefully come from the Philippines.”
“Having an actual, physical presence here is our commitment to the Pinoy gaming community,” Tan adds.
However, their premium price point leaves a lot to be desired for those wanting to join the bandwagon. Tan admits that they could wake up tomorrow and market lower priced but compromised products and they’ll be a larger company than they are now. But Razer’s not one to come out with unappealing products slapped with the world-renowned triple-headed snake logo.
“We were built for gamers right from the start. We are gamers. We aren’t a company that came from some other thing like memory or power supply. For me, we’ve always been focused on gaming. We will always be here whether the gaming industry does well or it does badly. Why? Because at the end of the day, we just want to do cool things. Razer will rise and fall and grow, but we’ll always be focused on the gamers.”
“I don’t expect that we will change things over night, but having a physical presence over here is a message that we are really committed to gaming; that we’d like to share the technology that we have with every single gamer out there. I hope we don’t disappoint the Razer fans here. If the store here’s a success, I don’t see why we won’t have any more Philippine stores in the future.”
One of the places namedropped was Cebu, but don’t get your hopes up just yet. Razer will be spreading their wings internationally before blessing Filipino gamers with more accessible hubs.
Finally, and probably the most important quote from Min-Liang Tan, is the Razer Toaster. “If that hits 100,000 likes I might actually do it. I’ll think about it,” Tan said laughing.
Photos by Emmanuel Luz | Additional Photos from Razer Press