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Aussie star Matthew Hayden joins the virtual gaming space

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WCC 3 announces new update, targets 35% growth this IPL and summer vacation
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World-renowned online cricket gaming franchise World Cricket Championship (WCC) by Nextwave Multimedia now aims to bring you closer to actual cricket by roping in Matthew Hayden to lend his voice and expertise to the online cricket world as a commentator for its third edition, WCC3. Matthew Hayden will offer English commentary with his familiar banter bringing life into the virtual game. He will join Aakash Chopra who recently came on board as a Hindi commentator to cater to 110 million players.

This game will address all aspects of the real game on field including the weather conditions, the ground, the players, every good or dismissal shot and defense responses, all with detailed graphics diminishing the interface between reality and non-reality. The game caters to 2.5 million daily digital cricket players worldwide with maximum players from the USA, UK, UAE, Bangladesh, and Pakistan who will benefit from Mathew Hayden.

WCC3 comes with competitive multiplayer simulation of actual cricket, updated gameplay features like brand new controls, exciting animations, real-time motions of athletes and professional cricketers, advanced artificial intelligence along with the bilingual commentary feature with celebrity cricketers. Players can also come together to build grassroot communities, and cheer for the teams of their choice. Fans can also enjoy Mathew Hayden’s commentary if they only want to watch the game like any other esport.

On the collaboration, Matthew Hayden says, “Very excited to be a part of cricket as a digital commentator. The game gave me complete space to bring my own spin on the script creatively. I used variations and patterns in my voice to generate energy and bring the excitement of a live game to the audience, something that is only possible in this lockdown with a game like WCC 3.”

P R Rajendran, Co-Founder and CEO, Nextwave Multimedia and creator of WCC, says, “With no actual cricket being played currently, we hope to fill the gap with commentators like Matthew Hayden and Aakash Chopra to build familiarity and comfort on the game enabling people to come as close to actual cricket as possible.”

Online sports games have never been bigger, WCC franchise has witnessed a 20% surge in sessions and revenue, 25% increase in new users, and daily active users and over a 100% spike in in-app purchases in the game. The WCC franchise games are some of the topmost downloaded games according to the Annie App Report and have been listed by Google’s editor’s choice and Google’s best games.

Asia

Max Level bags PR mandates of India’s gaming powerhouses NODWIN Gaming and SuperGaming

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Max Level’s deep expertise in gaming and esports will enhance the industry standing of NODWIN Gaming and SuperGaming through innovative PR and communication strategies,

Max Level, India’s premier marketing and PR agency crafted by gamers for gamers, has secured the PR mandates of two of the nation’s leading gaming and esports companies, NODWIN Gaming and SuperGaming.

Established in 2014, NODWIN Gaming is a leading South Asian gaming and esports company and a key subsidiary of Nazara Technologies Ltd. The company has expanded its footprint across South Asia, Singapore, the Middle East, and Turkey, specializing in the development and monetization of gaming and esports intellectual properties such as leagues, tournaments, and reality shows.

NODWIN Gaming has played a pivotal role in the evolution of esports into a mainstream phenomenon in India, pioneering the industry and engaging the youth demographic to spearhead the digital entertainment revolution.

Gautam Virk, Co-founder and CEO NODWIN Gaming said, “NODWIN Gaming has always strived to consistently innovate and push the boundaries in the esports, lifestyle and entertainment domains, and partnering with Max Level as our PR and communications partner aligns seamlessly with our overarching vision. Having worked closely on numerous projects in the past, we are confident that Max Level’s strategic approach and deep understanding of the gaming and esports industry will significantly bolster our brand presence.

This partnership will enable us to achieve brand advocacy among a diverse audience of esports enthusiasts, gamers and other industry stakeholders alike”

SuperGaming is a Series-A funded game developer, building India’s gaming revolution. Known for building popular titles including MaskGun, Battle Stars, they are currently building Indus, an Indo-futuristic Battle Royale, which is one of the most ambitious games from the country till date and has 11 million pre-registrations and counting.

“At SuperGaming, we are committed to revolutionizing the gaming industry in India and beyond, and working alongside Max Level as our official PR partner marks a step forward in our journey. Their deep-rooted understanding and extensive experience in the gaming and esports ecosystem makes them an ideal partner to elevate our brand presence and together, we aim to put India on the global gaming map,” commented Roby John, CEO and Co-founder at SuperGaming.

Max Level is a holistic marketing and PR agency founded by gamers, specializing in comprehensive B2B services tailored for gaming and esports audiences. As the official PR and communication partner of NODWIN Gaming and SuperGaming, Max Level will leverage its expertise to curate innovative and impactful PR strategies that not only resonate with gaming audiences but also establish deeper engagement, and accelerate brand growth.

“We are thrilled to be named the official PR and communication partner of two prominent entities in the gaming and esports industry in India. We have built Max Level over a decade from the ground up with a deep understanding and passion for the gaming culture. We will extend this expertise to amplify the voices of these iconic brands. As a leading agency working with many top brands, our objective is to continue collaborating with more companies and organizations in India and globally to tell their stories and contribute to their overall growth,” said Siddharth Nayyar, Chief Revenue Officer at Max Level.

With the addition of NODWIN Gaming and SuperGaming to its diverse portfolio which includes esteemed brands such as KRAFTON, Saudi Esports Federation, ESL Faceit Group, ASUS ROG, Jio Games, TVS, HyperX and more, Max Level strengthens its foothold in the Indian gaming and esports industry.

 

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INTEGRATED RESORTS FUEL ECONOMY, LOCAL TOURISM – PAGCOR

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The country’s integrated resorts and casinos remain as one of the main growth drivers of local tourism, in the process creating a multiplier effect across various industries, according to the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation.

This was emphasized by Ma. Vina Claudette Oca, PAGCOR Assistant Vice President for Gaming Licensing and Development Department, during a panel discussion at the 1st Philippine Tourism and Hotel Investment Summit held over the weekend.

Oca, one of the panelists on the topic, “Navigating Challenges and Opportunities for Casino Hotels in the Philippines”, said casinos are just a small component of the many attractions offered by integrated resorts in the country.

She said that this is because PAGCOR mandates all integrated resorts to offer more non-gaming attractions and resort facilities, including dining and shopping destinations.

“In fact, they are only allowed to allocate 7.5% of their facility’s total floor area to gaming,” she said. “The rest of the floor area is allocated for non-gaming facilities such as hotel rooms, retail areas, dining and other attractions.”

Ms. Oca added that currently, integrated casinos employ over 20,000 Filipinos, helping provide livelihood opportunities to locals.

Meanwhile, close to 80% of PAGCOR’s revenues from regulated gaming are remitted to the government to fund significant socio-civic projects, she said.

Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco also graced the 1st Philippine Tourism and Hotel Investment Summit as keynote speaker. The event was held at the New World Makati Hotel last June 21.

The event was co-presented by the Department of Tourism’s attached agency, Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority along with PAGCOR and the Tourism Promotions Board as government agency sponsors.

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Fintechs in Kazakhstan Raises Concerns Over Proposed Gambling Regulation

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Fintech companies in Kazakhstan are urging greater scrutiny of a proposed law intended to regulate betting transactions in the country.

The submitted legislation, currently in its final reading, would form a monopoly entity, the Unified Accounting System (UAS), the firms said in a joint press release. The UAS would be used to determine market participants, process payments, maintain a single “electronic wallet” and make settlements with clients. A critical concern is that it could charge up to 1.5% in commissions on all market transactions, within a market where regulated transactions exceed KZT1.2tn ($2.6bn) annually.

Irina Davidenko, a spokesperson for Kazakhstan’s payments industry, commented: “The proposed legislation would be a step backwards for Kazakhstan, harming competition in the country’s vital payments sector and signaling to the outside world that necessary business reform is being driven by shadowy interests, rather than what’s right for industries and consumers.”

The proposal, partly billed as a public health move against problem gambling, resembles a previous initiative, the Betting Accounting Centre (BAC). It was shelved in 2021 after a scandal involving a deputy minister who was dismissed for accepting bribes from BAC lobbyists, according to the press release.

The lack of transparency on the UAS structure and ownership as outlined in the legislation is another aspect of the change that is seen by critics as troubling.

The reintroduction of a UAS model occurred as late as the second reading of the legislation. If passed by parliament, it will become law without the comprehensive impact analysis and scrutiny typical for such significant regulatory change.

Observers argue the new regulation duplicates existing regulatory functions already managed by Kazakh state bodies and was proposed without the cooperation of the National Bank of Kazakhstan. The central bank has previously developed its own reform proposal that avoids introducing a monopolistic entity.

Opponents further contend that the regulation could cause “significant economic damage”. National Bank of Kazakhstan representatives and the payments industry have sounded alarm bells, but the issues have not been adequately addressed, the press release added.

The concerned fintech and payment companies want the legislation to be reconsidered. They are advocating for it to be sent back to the lower house of the legislature for a full regulatory impact analysis and thorough examination to ensure that it does not adversely affect industry or the economy.

Ilya Efimenko, commercial director of the payment organisation PayDala, said: “I appeal to the Senators, who need to know the true purpose of why the UAS has made a comeback in the bill.

“This is a re-emergence of the ‘Betting Accounting Center’ (BAC), a strikingly similar entity that was withdrawn before, and behind which, as the deputy from the Amanat party Elnur Beisenbayev said, are the powerful forces of ‘Old Kazakhstan.’

“Before our eyes, a monopolist, a private operator, is being created. The emergence of monopolies such as the UAS threatens the principles of a Fair Kazakhstan. Now everything is being done to break the financial system of Kazakhstan, recognized by experts as one of the best in Central Asia.”

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